Barrington Group’s Tenant Incentive Program Proving Successful
- Oct 18, 2010
Sarasota, Fla.–Incentives can go a long way, and, in the form of apartment property manager Barrington Group Inc.’s Resident Rewards program, motivation has spurred positive change for tenants and management alike.
The apartment market is rebounding, but property owners still have to compete to secure and retain tenants, as recession-weary renters continue to seek the best bargains. Barrington, which has long made a habit of regularly evaluating the success of their 14 properties, recently noticed a pattern; the turnover rate is lower at properties where residents are involved in the apartment community and interact with their neighbors. Approximately one month ago, that realization led Barrington’s creation of the Resident Rewards program, which allows residents to earn points for such accomplishments as submitting rent payments on time, to more interactive undertakings like arranging a welcoming committee for new neighbors. For tenants, points translate to coveted amenities.
The rewards range from the nice and simple to the relatively extravagant. Points can be traded for the Rest and Relax Reward, which offers a gift certificate to Starbucks or an AMC movie theater, or the Economy Booster Reward, which endows a gift certificate to a discount retail destination like Target. The stakes get higher as the points mount. A significant number of points can result in home upgrades, including new granite countertops or stainless steel appliances.
The Resident Rewards program also allows room for creativity. “At one of our communities, the tenants came to the managers and asked if they could pool their points to get something for the entire property,” Joan Thornton, director of property management with Barrington, tells MHN. “That was great, that our residents came to us to do something special for the apartment community. It’s fantastic that that was one of the first responses we got to Resident Rewards. One community is even heading up a blood drive, so the program has taken off very, very well. People are really enjoying it.”
Barrington has instituted the Resident Rewards program at all of the company’s apartment complexes, which are located in Georgia and Texas, as well as the Midwestern states of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Of course, to facilitate the program, a bit of a monetary commitment is required of management. “We anticipate our operating costs will increase by 1 to 2 percent overall, but the financial benefit is reduced vacancy levels and lower turnovers,” Thornton says. “And there is the social marketing benefit and goodwill in the neighborhood. Also, we want our tenants to love their home and love their lifestyle in a multifamily community.”