Focus on Resident Retention to Save Money, Paperwork
The paperwork associated with tax credit sites is formidable. Owners and managers must not only deal with paperwork generated from the application process, but also annual owner certifications and submissions of various compliance forms on an annual basis.
To save time and minimize paperwork with the application process, tax credit expert Karen Graham recommends that owners and managers emphasize resident retention efforts. If a customer service-oriented staff can prevent a resident from moving out, you’ll avoid processing a whole new application package to fill the vacancy. According to Graham, on average, the amount of paperwork for a recertification is about half of what it is for a new move-in.
In addition to paperwork considerations, the financial costs associated with tenant turnover are high. An average turnover costs over $4,000 and at least 10 hours of an owner or manager’s time turning the unit and processing the application through move-in, says Graham.
Owners and managers should focus on meeting residents’ needs with a courteous, professional, and responsive staff to increase resident retention and save time and money in the long run. A recent SatisFacts study found that 54 percent of residents choose not to renew leases based on controllable reasons such as poor customer service, lack of responsiveness, and dissatisfaction with maintenance requests. So, it’s critical that managers and owners address these issues.
Karen Graham, CPM(R), HCCP, SHCM: President, Karen A. Graham Consulting, LLC; www.compliancesupport.com.