How Atlanta Metro Property Management Companies Can Attract and Retain More Residents in 2022

Last modified on March 28th, 2022
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Over the past year, Atlanta’s housing market has largely followed the same trend line as the rest of the nation with sharp increases in demand, skyrocketing prices, and extremely limited inventory.

For Atlanta’s property managers and owners, this scenario presents new opportunities. For Atlanta area residents, this market shift isn’t exactly leaning in their favor and it’s undeniably redefined renter perceptions, wants, and needs. To see just how much they’ve changed, we surveyed local renters and asked them about their experiences with property management.

Our 2022 Atlanta Resident Motivations report revealed a lot, but the most important revelation is that survey respondents made it clear that property managers and landlords need to do a better job of meeting resident expectations. So let’s dig into their survey feedback to uncover what will attract and retain renters today, because it has changed drastically over the last two years.

Attract Atlanta Renters: Focus on Empathy and Flexibility

The feedback from Atlanta survey participants was direct: They don’t just want to be seen as a business transaction. For example, when we asked renters how their property manager has exceeded their expectations over the last two years, we heard positive feedback like this:

She was very understanding when my grandmother got sick and passed away. She accepted late payments when I was out of state and waived late fees.

The last two years have been incredibly hard for everyone, in every way, so it makes sense that renters want property managers and owners to show they care about individuals rather than just collecting monthly rent payments. Outward displays of empathy are a huge part of that for Atlanta residents. Another part is giving them some level of autonomy and flexibility.

When we asked survey participants how important several different factors are now compared to before the pandemic, two of the most important areas they ranked were around digital tools and flexible payment plans:

Compared to before the pandemic, how important are each of the following factors to you now? MORE
My property manager offering digital tools (e.g., mobile app) to manage my rental 40.22%
My property manager offering flexible payment plans 51.50%


In the end, a little goes a very long way with residents. Simply adding digital tools, offering more flexible payment plans, and treating them like the real people they are can make a massive difference.

Retain Atlanta Renters: Improve Communication and Maintenance Speed

Now that you’ve attracted Atlanta renters with empathy and flexibility, it’s time to keep them. 

While property management isn’t something that specifically attracts Atlanta renters to a new home, based on their self-reported feedback their experience with property management is something that will make or break the entire experience.

When we asked renters how their property manager had disappointed them over the last two years, we heard a lot of comments around communication and maintenance, such as:

They have not fixed this leak in our bathroom floor, but instead complain about how we need to be more careful about the water because it is leaking down to the apartment below us.

Service is terrible. Put in a complaint and didn’t hear back for weeks. Plus, the rent is outrageous!

Our pool has been closed without warning. It was one of the main things they advertised about living here and now I can’t even use it. Also they do a horrible job with keeping the property and building clean.

Just like before when we asked survey participants how important different factors are now compared to before the pandemic, we also saw significant increases around communication. As seen in the above responses, communication and maintenance speed are vital to keeping residents happy:

Compared to before the pandemic, how important are each of the following factors to you now? MORE
My property manager promptly resolving maintenance issues 42.86%
My property manager’s response time to my questions or concerns 47.74%
My property manager proactively communicating time-sensitive updates about my rental unit or community 47.75%


Open-ended feedback from survey participants shows these areas are both an opportunity for improvement when missing and a source of satisfaction when met. That means when property management gets it right, residents appreciate it. That also means when property management gets it wrong, residents really notice and it negatively impacts their entire renter experience.

Dig Deeper to Better Understand Your Atlanta Renters

These are just the top takeaways from our 2022 Atlanta Resident Motivations report. The full research contains even more actionable insights and information that can help Atlanta area property managers and owners stay on top of the area’s changing preferences and shifting dynamics.

For property managers and owners who want to meet and exceed Atlanta renter expectations, especially when it comes to responsiveness, maintenance speed, and providing digital tools to help manage rentals, AppFolio can help. Let’s chat when you’re ready, and we’ll be happy to give you a custom walkthrough of AppFolio Property Manager.


Looking for more learning opportunities? Join us April 12, 2022 for a half day of expert content & learnings to future-proof your business and keep you competitive.

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