Resident Retention: Modern amenities or better communication?
The list of desired traditional amenities for renters could fill a book. Stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, gym, pool, flexible pet policies…etc. These amenities in apartments have been around for a long time and are always updated as new owners come along or planned with other construction. But, has the desire for traditional amenities changed for renters when considering their full experience at their potential new home?
A big shift in current and future renters is the influx of younger aged renters. As we have covered in plenty of previous blogs, these younger renters are much more digital savvy and rely on different forms of communication than apartment leasing staff have used in the past. New demands from new renters mean the apartment industry is evolving, as it always is. But this time, it is a little more clear what these renters are asking for. To analyze the difference between traditional amenity and digital amenity types, we have to look at what kind of value they bring.
As I mentioned before, traditional amenities range from things like updated kitchens, to access to pools and gyms, and so on. When a renter hops on an apartment website and begins searching, it’s easy to tell that a large majority of available apartments in many different price ranges offer these amenities. Over the past couple of decades, and especially as new apartments are being built all over the place, these amenities are a standard. Now, this is not to discredit the value that amenities like these bring to a property. They obviously increase the equitable value of an apartment property and create much more likable and immersive living experiences, but that’s where it stops.
Digital amenities take apartments to a different level of offering for renters. As younger renters begin to dominate the pool of available residents for apartments, it’s clear there are new demands. In units, renters want smart technology where they can access and control parts of their unit through an app. They want easy accessibility to high-speed internet to accommodate working and doing school from their home, gaming, and streaming tv. Above all else, these renters want honest, open, fast communication with leasing staff and maintenance through easy-to-use online tools.
How do these correlate to resident retention?
Now we are coming to the point of why these are important, and it’s a pretty simple answer. Traditional amenities are important being people want and need to live in affordable, respectable, clean living environments. Digital amenities and improved access to communication are important because it creates personalized experiences for renters and creates more home-like environments. Renters will stick around and sign another lease when they know they are being cared for by leasing staff and maintenance. When apartments can create a higher living standard that matches the majority of renters' lifestyles and build trust through transparent communication, you have won their hearts and signatures.
What is my next step?
The first step is to evaluate why your current residents stick around for an extra year, and why others don’t. Renters will always tell you, whether directly or indirectly, what is working and what isn’t. Second, always plan for the future. The apartment industry and renter demands are always changing and will keep changing faster and faster. It’s your responsibility to stay on top of what kind of amenities keep renters coming back.
Our team at Quext loves to talk about how digital amenities can improve lifestyle experiences for residents. Reach out to us here to keep up the conversation!