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Resident turnover is one of the leading contributors to

operating expense in multifamily. According to the National

Apartment Association, tenant attrition averages just over

50 percent. That’s a considerable amount of cost going

toward unit preparation, vacancy loss, and marketing.

One frequently untapped way to reduce the number of

move-outs is to create an experience that individuals never

forget. Community. The key that will keep residents from

saying goodbye.

Meaningful kinship with neighbors and a sense of belonging

are powerful drivers to stay put. Multifamily owners and

operators have a valuable opportunity to foster that sense

of community. Here are five ways to engage your residents

and build a true community.

1. Embrace Technology

Creating a community requires coordination and

communication with residents. Today’s most effective

form of communication is the mobile phone. The average

person checks their phone 150 times a day. Text messages

have a 98 percent read rate (compared to 22 percent

for email) and 90 percent of them are read within three

minutes of delivery.

An SMS/MMS platform makes it easier to access a wealth of

tenant data and insights while instantly delivering messages

from anywhere. Whether it’s a notice about scheduled

maintenance, a past-due rent reminder or an invitation to a

social event, text messaging allows management to connect

with residents effectively and efficiently. A robust platform

also provides the ability to segment or “tag” residents by

building number and characteristics. That breakdown is

key to fostering common connections and keeping your

messages targeted to only applicable recipients.

2. Play Matchmaker

The more you know about your residents, the better

you can connect them. Another benefit of an SMS/MMS

platform is the ability to Text for Survey, meaning that you

can poll your residents about their interests and lifestyle

to better categorize them in a PMS/CRM. Once residents

are categorized by their commonalities, management can

facilitate connections between like tenants.

Depending on resources, the property can organize

gatherings for tenants, or residents can take the lead. For


• A playgroup for residents with young children

• A dog-walking co-op for dog owners

• A singles mixer

• A community Bible study

The possibilities are myriad, and by playing matchmaker,

the property plants the seeds that allow meaningful

associations to flourish between tenants.

3. Gather Round

It can be challenging for residents to get to know their

neighbors. Management can pave the way by hosting

community events; however, the demographics of the

community will lend themselves to different types of

activities. Use Text for Survey to poll residents about the types

of events that interest them most – A potluck? Wine and

painting? A Bridge tournament? Based on the resources of

management, residents can be leveraged to get involved and

take on hosting duties. Events can be held offsite but nearby

if the property doesn’t have adequate common space.



5 Ways to Boost Tenant Retention by Fostering a Community

By Russell Davis, CEO of IRIO