Resident Retention: The Importance of Resident Comfort in the Renewal Decision

The Importance of Resident Comfort in the Renewal Decision


When looking at the top reasons a resident chooses not to renew their lease, four of the top 10 reasons have to do with “creature comforts.” Besides the usual suspects related to finances or relocation, it’s remarkable that a large portion of the residents who are ready to call it quits could be saved with a small investment by the property management team.

Here are the top “creature comforts” that can make or break the renewal decision:

  1. Kitchen Appliances
  2. Carpeting
  3. Kitchen Cabinets
  4. Washers and Dryers

Resident Comfort’s Impact on the Renewal Decision

This is their home. Residents want to feel comfortable. They want to have pride in where they live. So, if a resident has lived there for more than two years and the carpet was already a few years old when they moved in, offer to replace it. You’re going to replace it if they move out anyway, so why not just make the effort and reinforce that pride? Are you rehabbing the property, but it’s going to be awhile until you get to a long-term resident’s home? Why not upgrade something simple in the mean time? Maybe the bathroom light fixtures? Tear out those Hollywood lights, put in some cans. Is the oven ancient and continually needing service? Again, you’d replace it during a turn anyway, so why not replace it now and show the resident you care about their comfort and their residency?

Top In-Unit Renewal Incentives

As if one set of data are not enough, Software Advice just released a new study that confirms the top in-unit renewal incentives:

  1. New Carpet/Flooring
  2. Washer/Dryer
  3. Kitchen Appliances
  4. New Wall Paint

Sound familiar?

Property management teams have a real balancing act to maintain in their communities. They must manage budgets very carefully, maintain the asset effectively, retain residents, and attract new ones. While it’s easy to write off investing in homes that are already occupied, consider the fact that for every resident who chooses not to renew, it will cost the community between $2,000 and $3,000 to turn and re-rent that apartment. At the end of the day, what is going to save you the most?

When it comes to reasons for not renewing, more than two-thirds of those reasons are things the community team can influence, and many of those reasons are based purely in basic comfort. By seeing that the community is willing to invest some of its budget into a resident’s home, many residents will be more being willing to spend their hard earned dollars to stay.


(Image Source: Shutterstock)



Senior Vice President of Education and Consulting, SatisFacts Research

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Jen Piccotti, Senior vice President of Education and Consulting at SatisFacts Research, has over a decade of experience in customer loyalty, quality assurance programs and process efficiency, and has worked in the apartment industry since 2000. She heads up special projects for SatisFacts, including satisfaction survey action planning, work-time analyses, special studies, quality assurance, process evaluations, and educational services. Jen holds a Master of Science – Quality Assurance degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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