Product Updates

Cash is King: Research proves financial empowerment for renters works best

February 16, 2023
Liam Hecht
SVP of Platform Operations

Try this: Get new residents in the door with financial empowerment that’s instant, fuss-free, and lets each resident decide how to spend their dollars. Better than concessions, Cash Back is a tangible, immediate benefit that empowers residents to spend on or save for whatever they want — whether that’s travel, guilty pleasures, everyday expenses, education, or something else entirely. It puts the residents in charge.

Studies show that Cash Back works

In the U.S., 82% of consumers will shop more frequently at retailers that send them Cash Back notifications, according to Forbes. Cash Back works because it gives immediate gratification and clear benefits. Plus, more brands see increased revenue due to promotions (36% growth) versus discounts (28% growth), according to research from 200 companies.

In traditional multifamily advertising, client outreach and retention has focused on discounts or concessions, like offering a month’s rent as a discount. Yet, discounts send the negative message that an apartment isn’t really worth what the property says it is.

Simple Cash Back amenities help multifamily communities stand out from all of the other communities by offering an active benefit. This benefit makes it clear to residents that they’re directly reaping the rewards each and every month.

No waiting for a dopamine rush

The best part of Cash Back loyalty programs is that residents feel the benefit immediately and consistently, rather than with a once-a-year concession that residents may forget as the year progresses. With Stake, residents earn Cash Back over the course of their lease for paying rent — and for renewing their lease, too, whereas at many other properties, residents don’t get a thank you at renewal time. Not only do properties continuously engage their residents with Stake, but they incentivize residents’ positive actions, like paying rent! When residents see the Cash Back notification each month, it releases a rush of dopamine, the happiness hormone that gets triggered by satisfying and positive occurrences.

That dopamine kickback helps build loyalty throughout the year, as residents get a little reminder each month that they’re saving money. According to Harvard research, there’s an evolutionary reason for dopamine: it rewards humans for beneficial behaviors and motivates them to repeat them. When it comes time to renew a lease, residents are much more likely to remember the positive feeling of getting Cash Back each month, rather than a one-time concession.

Keep it fuss-free

Loyalty programs based on points, coupons, or gift cards often end up seeming like they’re more work than perk. When rewards are based on a complicated points system, or provide gift cards to random retailers, they are likely to turn off potential residents because they don’t really feel like a benefit.

The more residents understand the benefit they’re receiving, the more they feel like they’re  getting a good deal. And nothing is easier to understand than cash.

Residents want amenities they’ll use. The pool table and those stylish couches look nice in the marketing photos, but nothing is more useful than Cash Back.

“Empowering renters means that we are putting Cash Back into their pockets to spend that money on what is most important to them.”

- Morgan Bartkowiak, Continental Properties

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