Office to Residential Conversion Symposium

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Turning Residents into Friends in Multifamily Communities

  • Insights
by Amy Goff, Senior Account Director, Residential

We’ve all heard the statistic: if a resident has seven or more friends in their building, they are 47% more likely to renew their lease (according to Satisfacts). As the economy goes through changes and new properties coming online offer concessions to lease-up, it’s more important than ever to retain your residents so they don’t concession hop, and so you save on turnover costs.


Community building and resident programming must be a priority. No longer does superior service or a beautifully designed space mean that your resident will renew– intentional opportunities to connect with neighbors and build community must be top of mind.


Let’s start with the obvious: events. I’m not talking about Wine Down Wednesday and Taco Tuesday (which are still important!), but thoughtful touchpoints of all sizes to bring residents together that also align with the physical and branded presence. Maybe it’s a flower arranging class in the resident lounge hosted by a local flower shop that ties into the floral-inspired brand and outdoor gardens, or a property with art-deco inspired architecture hosting an art deco-themed blowout with ties to charity and giving with branded mocktails by local popular mixologists and a silent auction. According to Satisfacts, community events are one of the top five drivers of renewals, so let’s make them special.


And to take it a step further, let’s discuss the spaces these events are hosted in. Spaces cannot be designed as single-use anymore. A lobby is not only just a lobby to pass through. It’s a place to gather with friends, to get some work done, and in the case of The Apollo in DC, designed by Edit at Streetsense, a place to people-watch and enjoy a cappuccino. The lobby is your first impression – let’s make it memorable. Plus, with the rise in remote employees, having places to work at home are increasingly important. I’m not only talking about larger unit sizes to squeeze in that desk or a coworking space to plug into. Resident lounges can host events – small and large – and offer comfortable spaces to sit with your laptop, in addition to typical coworking spaces like booths for calls.


While human interactions are important, let’s not forget our furry friends who are instrumental in bringing their human parents together to make friends. According to the Humane Society 72% of renters are pet owners. Nothing like unique dog amenities to bring people together – to make friends and hopefully renew. Dog spas just won’t cut it anymore. We see dog parks with agility equipment, rooftop bars connected to a dog run staffed with bartenders on weekends, and at-your-fingertips swag such as branded tennis balls, treats, bandanas, and leashes.  You can even take it a step further and offer services such as doggy daycare and dog-walking services.


Every part of community building should be conducted with resident retention in mind – providing ample opportunities to turn neighbors into friends and spaces designed to form connections.  


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