Unconventional methods may encourage renters to stay on

While many landlords and property management firms depend on market conditions to keep tenants, Home Properties has determined that a more proactive approach may have benefits, and has held events to court tenants and encourage them to stay, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Home Properties operates 118 communities, mostly located between Boston and Washington, D.C., and has held "appreciation days" with varying events to appeal to renters. One New York apartment treated the residents to Popsicles every Saturday in June, which quickly became popular with the children.

Other communities have allowed free laundry for a day, or held movie trivia or child safety events. Home Properties vice president Charis Warshof told the source that while the exact benefits of these events are difficult to define, happy residents are more likely to renew leases and tell friends.

According to the source, 27 percent of the new leases were referrals, which may support the effectiveness of such methods. Average occupancy and monthly rental rates were up slightly from the previous year when measured in the second quarter.