Today’s economic conditions show prices increasing on almost everything, including rent. This can be an ideal time to raise rents while still keeping our current residents. Accomplishing both goals is a bit of a balancing act, but here are some strategies that will help.
- Start Here When You Raise Rents
- Provide STELLAR Customer Service – Add value to that rent increase by giving the resident more than they expected in their initial lease term. Does your property have a poor performance record? If so, you will have more resistance to rent increases.
- Consider the Residents’ Point of View – “We have just come out of COVID (we hope). Inflation is raising the cost of living. I have paid my rent on time for two years. And now you want to raise my rent?” the residents will say. Be prepared for this response and listen with genuine concern. This increase may actually be a burden on the resident.
- Be Genuine and Authentic with Your Residents – Create opportunities to know and acknowledge your residents. A leading reason for resident move out is “lack of appreciation from the office staff.” Know names, jobs, pets, and even current life situations.
- Knock on Some Doors!
Is this too bold in 2022? Should you run down your non-responding resident who has given notice or simply not responding? Depends. If you have a relationship with the resident and a pleasing personality (not all of us do!), go ahead and knock! Residents may appreciate the personal touch and an easy opportunity to commit right then. Bring a clipboard with any necessary renewal documents. If there is some concern, set an appointment for the resident to meet you back at the office for further discussion.
- The Lease Renewal Guarantee
“What do you mean you are raising our rent? Our refrigerator has been on the blink for six months. You promised you would fix it!”
Demonstrate your commitment to “getting it right” shortly by guaranteeing you will resolve the issue…or their new lease is void. Determine if the concern is why they are unwilling to renew today. Then offer the Lease Renewal Guarantee to assure the resident that if this problem is not addressed as agreed to in writing, they can be released from their lease, and the renewal is void. Powerful!
Sample “Lease Renewal Guarantee” – This link will take you to a sample document that will give you an idea of how to format your community’s renewal guarantee. Please do not use this exact form without checking with your legal representative. This may be an ideal time to raise rents, but like all onsite endeavors, remember your goal. Your efforts must maximize income while minimizing turnover. Raising rents can be part of that strategy if implemented along with actions to maximize value and satisfaction for residents.