How a renter-friendly lease-signing process improves resident retention

Resident retention is an essential piece of the puzzle for any multifamily property.

And while some property managers only think about renewals when a resident’s lease is almost up, that resident’s decision will be based on their experience starting from day one. 

Barring any serious issues, the lease-signing and move-in processes are when residents spend the most time interacting with property managers and staff—and their opinion of those processes can make or break their decision to renew. 

Retaining residents is just as important as finding new ones

It’s all too easy for property managers to put the bulk of their time and energy into finding new residents. Empty units mean lost revenue, and getting renters into them is understandably a priority—but keeping those renters is just as important. 

Of course, a certain level of turnover is unavoidable, as residents move to new cities, buy homes, and grow their families. One CBRE study found that while turnover rates are currently lower than they’ve been in decades, the average in 2018 was still 47.5%. 

This means that for most properties, just under half of residents will move out in any given year. And considering that a single turn can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 in advertising, preparing the unit, and finding a new resident, that’s a serious expense. It also means that even incremental changes in turnover rate can have a significant impact on a property’s expenses—and, ultimately, its NOI.  

Resident satisfaction begins on day one

The more satisfied a resident is with their experience at a property, the more likely they’ll be to renew. But given that most residents’ interactions with property managers and staff tend to be fairly limited after they’ve settled in, the lease signing and move-in processes can have an outsized impact on their overall opinion. 

One Kingsley Associates study found that residents who were satisfied at move-in remained satisfied through the duration of their lease, and those dissatisfied at move-in largely stayed that way. And at the end of their leases, 51% of the residents that were satisfied at move-in renewed their leases, while only 32% those that were dissatisfied at move-in did the same. 

Jetty makes the leasing process faster, easier, and more renter-friendly

In our 2019 Renter Sentiment Report, we found that 84% of renters who’d purchased Jetty instead of paying a cash deposit were satisfied with the leasing process at their current apartment, compared to only 56% of renters not using Jetty products. 

We also found that renters who’d used Jetty to replace a deposit were 80% more likely to say they had a positive relationship with their landlord than those who had not. 

So while there are many factors that go into creating a leasing experience renters love, offering products that eliminate deposits and lower move-in costs can have a major impact. That’s especially true for properties that choose products with fair, transparent pricing like Jetty’s. Plus, if a resident has already purchased Jetty at the start of their lease, they (and the property!) will continue to be covered if they renew—at no additional cost. 

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