Why Number 275 is Essential to Lease Renewals

 

Within every property management company, there are people known as “Manager Makers.” These individuals possess the skills to hire the right people, train them on the ins and outs of managing a community, and set them on the fast track for promotions. I was fortunate enough to work with such a person at the beginning of my property management career. This manager was constructive in her criticism and generous with her praise.

Upon my first day at the community, I noticed a frame on her desk with the number 275. That’s it; nothing but the number 275. Intrigued by the symbol, but too intimidated to ask, I wracked my brain trying to figure out what that number stood for. Number of apartment homes at the community? No – we had over 500. Number of evictions year to date? Impossible. What about the number of people she had fired throughout her career? Goodness, I hope not! The more I thought about it, the more bizarre the possible solutions became.

Being the new girl on the property management team, I was apprehensive about asking anyone – for fear it would get back to this manager who controlled my entire property management fate. Surely this was something I was supposed to know. Months later, when I had been promoted to Leasing Director and felt I had earned a little more standing on the team, I mustered up the courage to finally ask. I tried, unsuccessfully, to ask in a nonchalant, “oh by the way” type of approach and got a response I wasn’t quite expecting. She laughed. Laughed…and shook her head, to be exact. I was mortified!

The Mystery Behind “275” Revealed: Lease Renewals

She went on to say that she had wondered how long I would take to ask about the 275. She also said some often ask within their first week. Now I was really feeling stupid. Reassuringly, she told me that asking, regardless of the time frame was a good sign – many come and go on her team without ever making an effort to inquire about the 275. I told her that I had wanted to ask months ago but thought I could figure it out on my own, given a little time and creativity. To this she added, “One day, you’ll have to tell me some of the creative answers you came up with.” I found myself liking this manager more and more.

So at last, the meaning behind the number 275 was revealed: From the day a resident moves into the community, to the day we send them the 90-day renewal notice, essentially 275 days have passed. Those 275 days equal 275 opportunities to either intentionally secure or unintentionally sabotage the lease renewal. So how does one intentionally secure or unintentionally sabotage a lease renewal? Let’s look at some specifics:

How to Secure Lease Renewals

It’s no surprise that according to the SatisFacts Index, the Pre-Renewal Insite survey overall score is 3.98 as opposed to the Unclosed Traffic survey at 4.23 on a 5-point scale. On-site teams put their best foot forward during the initial visit, hoping to impress the prospect and acquire a lease. The dramatic decline in scores shows the need to translate that enthusiasm to every resident interaction. In other words: keeping the love going. It’s all about the details: greeting from a standing position, remembering the resident’s name, including a little small talk into the conversation, etc. Residents need to know that they are more important than a prospect. And prospects are more eager to lease when they see current residents being given the royal treatment.

How to Avoid Sabotaging Lease Renewals

So, how does one unintentionally sabotage a lease renewal? By not making every resident interaction better than the last. Once again, it’s all in the details, returning calls and emails, following up after a completed service request, and putting resident concerns above our convenience—just to name a few. You never know how that one phone conversation or meeting with a resident will factor into their renewal decision.

Doug Miller, President of SatisFacts, gives this great example: Imagine the resident you just encountered, walked out of your office, went home, and found their renewal offer posted to their door. How will they react? Will it be positive or negative, based on their most recent interaction?

275 days equals 275 opportunities for a property management company and staff to make the most of every resident encounter and intentionally secure more lease renewals.

 

 


Vice President of Education and Consulting, SatisFacts Research

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Lia Smith career in training, property management and marketing began in the mid 1990′s. Lia began her training career at Nextel Communications, where she was responsible for training over 1,000 Customer Care Representatives. She then embarked on a new career in property management as a Leasing Associate with Lincoln Property Company, and steadily moved up the ranks. Lia was able to merge the worlds of training and property management when in 2006 she became Director of Training and Marketing at SPM Property Management, a 14,000+ unit portfolio; this included creating SPM Academy and a Learning Management System. She also developed and managed SPM’s resident feedback program, and was responsible for providing post-survey action planning support for property teams and management. Lia has proven experience in solving training and resident retention challenges for market, affordable, senior, tax credit and student communities. These experiences have helped Lia relate to both onsite and corporate associates. Lastly, Lia has presented at key industry events such as MultifamilyPro Brainstorming on topics related to developing the operational and service skills of onsite and executive level teams. Lia Joined the SatisFacts team in 2011 as VP of Education and Consulting.

One response to “Why Number 275 is Essential to Lease Renewals”

  1. Discriminated Male says:

    Great Information! I’ve join a new company in which I’ve noticed the renewal process is not good. As of today, there are 20 NTV! And it doesn’t seem like its going to slow down anytime soon. The company has drastically raised rental rates as well as utility charges some well over market rents! When I asked how renewals were handled, I was advised that no one is able to negotiate renewal rates with residents because it was against fair housing. I’ve never heard of this in all the years of working in the industry.

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