Three Keys To Unlock A Move Out Notice

Move out

The phone rings.  It’s a resident calling to have us explain the process to give their move out notice.

The standard response usually includes a question about when their lease ends.  We explain either the 30 or 60 day lease termination notice.  If its appropriate we review the lease break policy.  We end with a closing remark that the notice must be in writing.  And remind the resident to include the forwarding address to comply with state/local security deposit laws as well as lease compliance.1st

This is probably just one of dozens of calls received on a busy morning.  The event is not particularly memorable.  Unless you’re the resident making the call.   Not exactly, a fond farewell to a valued resident.

The Move Out Notice Policy

A proactive lease management program has the opportunity to give managers some insight into residents intentions for their future housing plans. Too many times, management staffs sell themselves short when the move out notice option is discussed.

An inquiry about the process does not mean the final decision has been made.  First, offering interest in the resident, inquiring about the reason for their decision, and showing interest to encourage them to renew their lease could be the influencing factor to make a decision.  The general assumptions, first; the resident has purchased a home.  The second, the resident is unwilling to renew at an increased rent.  Bottom line, we don’t know if we don’t ask.  And for our resident, our failure to ask reinforces their belief that they are nothing more than an apartment number and a rental payment.

Second, we can remind our resident of the advantages and value our community offers.

What are the services and amenities are used by this resident at your property?

Move out-after school latch key programs for children?
-evening or weekend social activities?

-fitness center and swimming pool?
-concierge service for packages delivered when the resident is away from home.
-dry cleaning pick up or delivery
-emergency maintenance service

Taking 5 minutes to talk with someone about their decision to move could influence and even change that decision.

Residents may be surprised, belatedly, to learn many of the conveniences they appreciated and utilized at your apartment community are not offered at other properties. If we don’t take the opportunity to inform them. The resident might believe, “If I have that service here, it’s probably available elsewhere.”  Certainly the services provided by the apartment community staff are not going to be available at a single family home.

 A Single Family Home

Third, for individuals deciding to rent or purchase single family homes, the aspect of carefree living, no maintenance repairs, no lawn work, no snow removal, emergency maintenance is available 24/7 should be talking points.

 Move Out Notices Can Be Prevented

Communicating with your residents throughout the year can assist you in the lease renewal process. Providing information early in the decision making process could secure the renewal for you. Handing a resident the form to document their intention to move, without a question, certainly creates impression that the leasing staff doesn’t care if the resident renews or moves.

Don’t assume the decision is made. Ask the question…”Have you made a commitment on a new place to live? Is there anything we could do to have you reconsider this decision to give your move out notice? We’d love to have you renew.”

The most important keys in the process to give a move out notice policy start with; ask a question.  It could reward you with a lease renewal…but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.  Inviting the resident to the leasing center to review the renewal options, or asking for an appointment in their home could be the foundation for a lease renewal.

Lori Hammond
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