A new trend in housing has the multifamily industry re-thinking the way they appeal to renters.

Reportedly, residents are moving more, making renewals—not new leases—a major priority for apartment companies. Only 51.4% of renters who were three to four months out from the end of their lease planned to renew during Q2 of 2016. And this number reflects an ongoing trend: residents’ renewal intentions have continued to drop over the past several quarters.

For multifamily owners and operators, it’s an expensive challenge. The cost of one lost renewal averages between $2,500 to $5,000, generally spent marketing to renters and new leases.

Now for the good news. Savvy industry experts are exploring innovative incentives that entice tenants to renew while also increasing community engagement.

Cue Laurie Lyons of Cardinal Partners. The multifamily veteran is creating a Renewal Specialist role for her on-site teams. Acting as a kind of concierge, the Renewal Specialist will focus on community events and personal service to tempt renters to stay.

Convenience is king

Lyons’ tactic is a logical move in an age where renters are used to getting what they want, when they want it. In order for multifamily firms to retain tenants going forward, they’ll have to deliver more convenience, including a smooth online experience. And with online renewals by On-Site, apartment companies make renewing leases fast and simple.

Property managers simply create the renewal from within a streamlined dashboard, and send it to a leasing agent to finalize the terms. Once it’s finished, renters can review the offer online and e-sign the document. And that’s it. Residents never even have to set foot inside a leasing office.

The feature has proven to be a powerful asset for San Diego-based Cambridge Management Group. According to COO, Kayla Roeder, “It’s one of the areas where we’re strongest with our reviews and the feedback that we get.”

Multifamily firm, Holland Partners claims similar success. According to an anonymous survey sent to property managers using online renewals, “100% [of respondents] said it was a better experience for customers as opposed to mail merges and manual letters.”

Roeder also points out that the feature is convenient for management as well. “Online renewals have solved a tremendous amount of problems. It cuts out four or five steps in the [renewal] process.”

To retain residents in an industry where people are moving more often, multifamily companies need to invest in online renewals, or risk losing out.