From the very first moment a resident walks into their new apartment, they are making a conscious decision whether they want to continue to live there. One of the major contributors to being a successful property manager is having a high resident retention rate. The following tips will help save you time and energy in coming up with resident retention ideas. There are countless ways to get residents excited and engaged and foster a positive relationship between the two of you.  

1. First Impressions Count: Move-In Day 

As the old saying goes, first impressions are everything. On move-in day, welcome your new residents with a “welcome home” door hanger that they’ll see the first time they use their key, as well as a housewarming gift that will make them smile. Some fun and unique gift ideas to get you started include a gourmet food basket, a travel toiletry kit, and a scented candle.   

2. Engage with Your Residents  

It may seem like common sense, but a simple hello and a smile can make a significant impact on your residents. A successful property manager knows that creating genuine connections with their residents is crucial. Property managers should try their best to match names to the faces they see around the building and greet residents whenever they see them.  

3. Show Your Appreciation 

Property managers that show sincere appreciation for their residents will attract long-term residents. Some examples of ways you can show your gratitude include:  

Give residents their own reserved parking space  

Parking is very scarce in large cities/urban areas, so giving your residents their reserved spot is an extreme help.  

Stay on top of maintenance requests  

There are few things more frustrating than submitting a maintenance request and not being contacted/having the issue resolved promptly. Your residents pay money to live on your property and therefore deserve to have a unit with working utilities. Don’t make them wait a week to have a working shower! Stay on top of maintenance work orders by using CMMS software like Hippo. Work order software such as this will allow you to stay organized and manage your work orders more efficiently. You can easily access documents, interactive floor plans, and warranty info in one spot. Not only will it make things easier for the maintenance team, but it will also make residents happier.  

Host events in the community  

Hosting community events is a great way to promote on-site relationships. The possibilities for resident events are endless, ranging from holiday parties, karaoke nights, and free fitness classes. Remember that the execution of these events relies on the team that is organizing them. Make sure that your management team is invested in resident retention, and the effort it takes to pull off. When done correctly, events are a significant boost to resident satisfaction and ROI.  

Bring back that new apartment feeling  

You can quickly turn a unit into a brand-new space by painting the walls a new color or cleaning up. Tip: Hire a cleaning service to come over and make the place sparkling clean.  

Upgrade amenities whenever they need a refresh  

You should always check on your amenities and stay on top of technology trends that could improve them. Evaluate things such as the machines in the laundry facility and the equipment in the gym. In 2020, luxuries have become necessities to many, and if you wait too long to adjust, your resident retention rates will feel the heat.  

4. Freshen Up Your Website

A top tier website is essential for a strong brand identity. You must keep your website updated and working. If a prospect wants to know more about your property, your website is most likely the first place they will go. (Once again, first impressions are everything!) Often, when referring your property to friends, current residents will send a link to your website. A good site for property management drives traffic, generates visibility, and is easy to navigate. Post your vacancies promptly and blog on topics relating to the rental industry regularly. Your website helps to set the tone of the experience they will have if they live there, so make sure it’s full of life! 

5. Extra, extra, read all about it!

Newsletters are an excellent way to engage with your residents. A newsletter can be a weekly or monthly update of all the happenings at your property and within the community. The newsletter should be both fun and informative! You could even have a “Resident Story of the Month,” where you highlight a resident who has done something newsworthy. You can distribute these via email or delivering at their door.  

6. Send those Surveys 

Feedback is essential to making changes. It can be challenging to prioritize what needs to be improved, especially when it comes to time and money. That’s why surveys are so helpful. Custom surveys, feedback management software, or comment cards stacked in your lobby are just a few ways you can get valuable feedback.   

Remember, people only care about surveys when they see that their opinions are being taken into account, so make sure that you follow up with them on the progress of improvements through newsletters or emails. This way, they can feel like their opinion matters!  

7. Hold Office Hours

As quick and easy as communicating through technology is, if you are not available to meet in person, residents may feel frustrated and annoyed. Communicating through email/over the phone can cause a delay in communication. Holding open office hours from 8 am-6 pm is a great way to let your residents know that you are there for them. It’s a window of opportunity for residents to express concerns or ask questions and a productive way to nurture long-term relationships and increase overall resident retention. 


Ultimately, your resident retention rates depend on the continuous effort you put into giving the best service to your customers. Following just a few of these steps will help to build an active community that will attract and keep residents, which will, in turn, lead to increasing your profits.