Make or Break Maintenance

Maintenance teams have a direct impact on residents’ decision to renew. Here is some insight into bettering your odds.

Maintenance teams are the unsung heroes of apartment communities: When a resident has a problem with their home, it’s the maintenance technicians who come to the rescue. But how much does the work of the service team factor into resident satisfaction and their decision to renew?

Probably more than you think.

NAA’s APTVirtual session, “Make it or Break it Maintenance” delved into the role that maintenance service plays in renewal rates—for better or worse.

A SatisFacts survey gauging residents’ reasons for nonrenewal pinpointed several controllable community maintenance factors.

While 44% of residents reported that they were not likely to renew, 27% listed apartment appearance and condition as a primary factor. Another 23% named community appearance and cleanliness and 21% cited pest or insect problems. An additional 14% listed maintenance staff themselves as their reason for leaving.

“We’ve always known that our maintenance teams are essential. They’re the face of our communities,” said Mary Gwyn, session expert and chief innovator at Apartment Dynamics. “There was talk at the beginning of the pandemic about laying people off. The people they didn’t even talk about laying off were our maintenance people because they’re essential to maintaining the property, to retaining our residents.”

Though the survey shows that unsatisfactory service and upkeep levels can cause residents to leave, proactive and attentive maintenance service also has a direct and positive correlation to renewals.

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