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8 Property management trends influencing resident retention & acquisition

Learn the newest property management trends affecting the resident experience and how property management companies are using these trends to help with resident retention and acquisition:

What are the property management trends influencing resident retention & acquisitions?

Our State of Resident Experience Management Report is hot off the press! If you want to know the newest and most interesting property management trends, this report is for you. And trust us, it’s full of insights to help companies thrive in the long run.

It’s a unique year to uncover the latest property management trends, especially as they relate to the resident experience. That’s because there have been so many unusual circumstances impacting the industry.

There’s been record rent growth. Supply chain shortages. Exceptionally high employee turnover. And of course, the seemingly never-ending pandemic. All of these factors are impacting apartment communities. And it trickles down to the resident experience. Based on our research, these are the top 8 property management trends that are influencing resident retention & acquisition in 2022:

  1. Turnover costs are close to $4,000 per resident

  2. 94% of companies have dedicated personnel to manage the resident experience

  3. Fewer companies are setting resident retention goals

  4. Companies are very aware of the importance of online reviews

  5. Companies are not prioritizing staff satisfaction and retention

  6. Staff turnover is higher than ever and it is hurting resident retention

  7. Modern living features are the top reason renters renew their lease

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The 2022 State of Resident Experience Management Report

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The best way to understand how these dynamics are changing the resident experience is to hear first-hand from people in the industry. That’s why we partnered with Strategy Analytics to survey 600 multifamily professionals. Surveys were completed by those who manage a minimum of 250 multifamily units during March 2022.

After combing through the survey data, we found several themes. In our State of Resident Experience Management Report, we go into each one in great detail.  But if you want a quick read, here they are at a high level.

Property management trend #1: Turnover costs are close to $4,000 per resident

A top finding in our 2021 report was how expensive it is to lose one resident. Turnover costs were (and still are) the top reason to focus on resident retention for multifamily communities.

And with prices soaring on almost everything, we wanted to see how turnover costs are being impacted. As you can imagine, they have increased since 2021.

property management trend: turnover costs from 2021 and 2022

You read that right. Each time you lose a resident, the costs of turning their unit are about $4,000! That really adds up if your communities don’t have great retention rates.

And, the financial impact lingers well beyond the point your resident leaves. Depending on how long your lease terms are and how long the next occupants of that unit stay, you may cycle through two or three more renters before your original turnover costs are recovered! This snowball effect alone is why companies minimize turnover as much as possible.

Property management trend #2: 94% of companies have dedicated personnel to manage the resident experience

Resident experience management has increasingly become a top priority for many companies. One way we know this is by how many companies have employees solely dedicated to managing this function. In fact, 94% of companies do!

property management trend: 94% of companies have a dedicated resident experience management team member

Having someone to manage resident experience is a relatively new property management trend. One in 4 companies say their company added the position in the past year.

What’s particularly interesting is that companies who have had these positions in place for longer periods of time have higher resident retention rates.

Property Management Trend: Resident retention increases when there is a dedicated position

Property management trend #3: Fewer companies are setting resident retention goals

Last year, we asked companies if they have goals for resident retention. Almost all (94%) said yes. And with the current demand for multifamily apartments at an all-time high, we wondered if it’s caused companies to stop setting retention goals.

As it turns out, fewer companies are setting resident retention goals than they were one year ago. Now, only 76% of companies have a retention goal.

Property Management Trend: Less companies have a resident retention goal in 2022 than 2021

This is worrisome.

That’s because 82% say they want to move within the next year. And, as we mentioned earlier, turnover costs are extremely high. Companies need a plan to minimize a potentially sharp increase in turnover. Just like budgets are useful to prevent costs from spiraling out of control, so too are retention goals for keeping turnover rates to a minimum

Property management trend #4: Companies are very aware of the importance of online reviews

Renters posting reviews about their apartment community is by no means a new property management trend. But, the importance of online reviews is growing.

For renters, reading reviews is a top way of finding a place to live. In fact, 69% read reviews when they are looking for a new apartment. And if reviews for a property aren’t great, 79% of renters won’t visit it.

Since reviews matter so much to renters, we wanted to know how apartment operators feel about them.

Luckily, renters and property managers align on the importance of online reviews. In fact, not a single survey respondent said it wasn’t important.

Online reviews importance to acquiring new residents is a property management trend
Having a lot of positive reviews for a community is a good signal to renters. It shows that communities prioritize keeping their residents happy. That naturally attracts prospective renters to a property. And, it can ultimately lead them to move there. Since the stakes are so high with reviews, we asked what companies do to get positive reviews. The top way is to ask!

Property Management Trend: Encouraging more favorable online reviews of your property

Property management trend #5: Companies are not prioritizing staff satisfaction and retention

In this unique market, we especially wanted to hear how leaders prioritize what their business focuses on. After all, there are several challenges the multifamily industry is facing.

Here’s what they said.

Property Management Trend: staff retention is last business priorityWe are happy to see resident retention listed as a top priority. But probably the most startling property management trend is that staff retention and satisfaction rank last.

Why is this so surprising? For one, your associates are a critical piece of the resident experience. Happy and fulfilled employees are far more likely to be attentive and courteous to your residents than unhappy ones.

Also, happy employees are motivated to achieve great results. And, they often do. Gallup finds that engaged teams generate 23% more revenue than their disengaged counterparts.

From a leasing standpoint, the disposition of your on-site associates clearly influences prospective renters. NAA reports that 20% of renters said their interactions with on-site staff had a strong influence on their renting decision. Furthermore, 55% said that staff caring about renters was the most important factor in selecting their apartment.

Property management trend #6: Staff turnover is higher than ever and it is hurting resident retention

In the property management world, job turnover is typically much higher than in other industries. And with The Great Resignation leaving most industries short-staffed, it’s even harder to retain its employees.

Half of companies say they have had higher than average employee turnover since the same time last year. Property Management Trend: staff turnover has increased over the past yearWhen communities are understaffed, it harms the resident experience. After all, fewer staff members means it takes longer to help residents. And receiving great customer service is an important piece of keeping residents happy.

Our survey data proves this. We compared survey respondents’ staff turnover rates to their resident retention rates. Those with low staff turnover have higher resident retention rates. 1 in 4 retains over 70% of their residents.

Property Management trend: staff turnover rates impact resident retention rates

This shows that there’s never been a better reason to prioritize making your team members happy. Without a full team of engaged employees, many parts of your business start to unravel.

Resident satisfaction is one area that takes a hit. Unfortunately, that negatively affects reputation and revenue, too. And since staffing is harder than ever, it’s clear that employee retention HAS to be prioritized. Otherwise, companies risk increasingly lower resident retention over time.

Property management trend #7: Modern living features are the top reason renters renew their lease

There will always be reasons why renters move that are out of your control. Perhaps they are getting married. Or maybe they are moving to a new town.

There are also many reasons why renters leave that ARE in a company’s control. And we wanted to know which property management trend is the most effective for getting renters to renew a lease.

Our survey asked property managers to rank in order of importance the reasons renters choose to renew their lease. They also ranked why renters leave. The cause for both is the same: “Modern Living Features.”

Property Management trend: modern living features are why residents renew and why residents leave

“Modern living features” is a broad category. It includes everything from how your community looks, to unit features, to the building’s technology (ie: a resident app). But clearly, modern living features are the top property management trend you can have in your communities. And the more outdated your community, the less likely you will retain residents.

Renters always want the best value for their money. That’s especially true now when rent prices are at their peak. New and modern is attractive to renters. And it signals that companies prioritize keeping the community updated.

Property management trend #8: Safety was a top priority during the height of the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every industry while also creating hot-button issues that divided the nation. We wanted to know the policies that multifamily communities implemented to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Vaccine mandates for staff were prevalent

With vaccine mandates stirring up heated debates nationwide, we wondered how many companies require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vast majority of companies required this of their team members.

Vaccine mandates for staff

Communities had a variety of requirements for their in-person events

As people began socializing more and communities resumed in-person events, finding the right balance of fun and safety was key. Survey respondents detail what measures were required for residents to attend community events.

Keeping residents safe at in-person eventsMasks were the top requirement to attend an in-person event, closely followed by showing proof of vaccination. Only a small percentage of companies were still not holding any in-person events.

More insights & best practices from our State of Resident Experience Report

If you think any of these property management trends are interesting, you’ll definitely want to give the full report a read. We not only elaborate further on these trends, but we also offer recommendations to help to thrive in this market. Read the 2022 State of Resident Experience Management Report now!

 

 

  • What's Your Resident Experience Score?

    Take this 10-question diagnostic to find out how your Resident Experience program stacks up! At the end, you'll get a set of customized recommendations and resources to help take your score to the next level.

    happy resident using resident experience platform
  • Question 1 of 11

    What's your name?

  • Question 2 of 11

    How many units do you manage?

  • Question 3 of 11

    Do you provide an online forum for residents to connect with each other and/or their neighborhood?

  • Question 4 of 11

    Are your residents able to self-serve when they have common questions? (e.g. package retrieval, guest registration, etc.)

  • Question 5 of 11

    Do you offer residents multiple payment options for rent?

  • Question 6 of 11

    Do you provide a self-serve option for residents to create and track work orders?

  • Question 7 of 11

    Do you collect feedback from residents following the completion of work orders?

  • Question 8 of 11

    Do you send resident satisfaction surveys on a regular basis?

  • Question 9 of 11

    Do you offer lease renewal incentives?

  • Question 10 of 11

    Do you have goals around resident retention and/or turnover reduction?

  • Question 11 of 11

    What's your email address?

  • Your Resident Experience Score 75/100

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