Does your multifamily property still keep 9-5 hours that require tenants to make contact only during those times? Does it still have pay-in-person options only? And, is the designated form of communication an automated telephone call to tenants when important news must be shared? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions and you’re having a hard time renewing leases and staying at occupancy, we may have just uncovered the reason why.
Here’s the simple truth: younger generations not only need, but demand more efficient, advanced technology from their apartment complex. According to a recent article by Multifamily Executive, making any of these mistakes will likely affect your ability to recruit members of younger generations, most notably Generation Y (AKA Millenials). Thankfully, however, there are some relatively easy and cost-efficient fixes, as we explore here:
- Online Accessibility. If you’re only allowing your tenants to communicate with you during ‘normal’ business hours, you will likely not be hearing much from them. Become a 24/7 service by opening up the lines of communication online—giving tenants the ability to contact you directly through an service request portal or a simple Jot Form from your website. You do not have to answer immediately for this approach to work. These tenants simply want to be able to point out their needs as they arise and scratch it off their list with the knowledge you will address them in a reasonable amount of time thereafter. The key is providing the ability to reach out to you, whenever.
- Online Payments. If you have yet to explore the options available to you for accepting online payments, you are far behind the times and need to quickly get up to speed. While younger tenants demand it, almost all tenants prefer the ease of and ability to pay their rent online. And, it’s a fairly simple fix through a number of Software as a Service (SaaS) providers who can integrate a payment portal right into your website for a simple monthly fee.
- Stop the Calls. Do you ever wonder why hardly anyone will answer the phone when you call? Very few people enjoy calls that are not with friends and family, and even then, a significant portion of youngsters prefer texts and emails. To give tenants what they seek, you must do so using the methods they prefer. Stop the phone calls all together and start a mobile communications campaign that focuses on delivering pertinent messages via either text, email, or both—depending on their designation. You’ll likely find a far greater response rate.
Delivering high-tech solutions doesn’t end here. Millenials have expectations that extend beyond the ways in which they interact with you, to include the ways in which they are able to interact with others. So, ensure the property is properly equipped to allow tenants the best Internet access, phone service, and even mobile docking and charging solutions, and you’ll likely find your property is quickly ranked as favorable among the youngest of tenants.