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Why Aren’t There Loyalty Rewards for Renters?

A case for the Rent-to-Earn Model

February 4, 2020


As consumers we benefit from brand loyalty by gaining access to exclusive perks and discounts. Loyalty programs exist for just about everything you can think of. If you order your morning coffee enough times, the next one is free. Keep shopping at your local grocery store and you’ll earn discounts to apply at your next visit. Fly with one airline enough and you’ll earn “mileage” or companion passes. And if you’ve been with your auto insurer for, say, five years, you may just get a discount on your premium.

Customer Loyalty has long been a primary marketing tool for consumer brands. And discounts to coffee shops, groceries, and airlines are great. But what about for your largest monthly expense — your rent payment?

With all these loyalty rewards programs across a variety of industries, isn’t it odd that you rarely hear about landlords offering these incentives to their residents? What gives?

Landlords have typically opted to provide upfront discounts on rent, and even the occasional gift card, in an effort to attract and retain residents. It’s not that property owners aren’t incentivized to implement loyalty programs, it’s just that they haven’t innovated their incentives in quite some time. Quite frankly, it hasn’t been possible for them to do so without a huge upfront expense.

But that is changing due to a confluence of factors.

The new paradigm

A “Rent to Earn” movement — loyalty rewards for renters — is taking hold.

It’s happening as landlords are forced to confront a new reality where they must compete to attract and retain residents. While vacancy rates remain low across the country, many properties have 40% to 60% turnover rates.

Even as competition heats up for property owners, renters continue to see prices getting more expensive. No longer are renters in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and other coastal markets alone in spending an inordinate amount of income on rent. Prices are following suit in Heartland markets such as Columbus, where more and more renters are spending over 30% of their take home pay on rent each month (a threshold that qualifies someone as “rent-burdened”).

This increased cost of living is just one housing-related obstacle that Millennials and younger generations are facing. Home values are growing more rapidly than wages, student loan debt has eclipsed $30,000 on average, and healthcare costs are going through the roof. All of these factors are putting homeownership further out of reach and delaying traditional life events for younger generations. Thus, consumers are now turning to alternative options to help them get a leg up.

So Why Rent to Earn Now?

While increased competition is changing the landscape for property owners, and renters are facing increasing challenges to keep up the financial demands of the urban lifestyle, new technology platforms are emerging to allow for simple and effective programs to support the structure of loyalty rewards programs.

We’re starting to see forward-thinking property owners seek out solutions that incentivize resident loyalty AND enable them to give back to their residents in a meaningful way. These modern landlords care not only about the bottom line, but also about creating a sense of community and connectedness within their properties.

At Rhove, we see these changing market dynamics as an opportunity to help both renters and landlords alike. Our mission is to expand access and opportunity for everyone to own in their community. We’re completely rethinking renting vs. owning and, in the process, aligning incentives in housing like never before. Rhove is designed, like every loyalty program, to improve customer retention and reduce the cost of marketing and acquisition, then pass on those savings to loyal customers in the form of exclusive benefits.

It couldn’t be easier. If you rent anywhere Rhove is offered, you can earn 2.5% cash back on your rent every month. It’s simple to get started, and we help you every step of the way. You can find apartments that offer Rhove that are smart, stylish, and centered around community.

Some day it will be hard to believe there weren’t always loyalty rewards for renters, and this sea change will shift the way we live. It will be common for renters to build a connection with their property owner and move within their portfolio of properties throughout their journey. It won’t be unusual to rent with the same company for five to ten years, earn and build substantial savings by doing so, and use those savings to buy a home. Renting will truly be a win-win situation that is a stepping stone into homeownership. In turn, property owners will have longer term relationships with renters that lowers portfolio wide aquisition costs and turnover rates.

With Rhove, the first cash rewards program for renters, there’s a simple new way to take control of your financial future right from your apartment.

By living at a property that offers Rhove, you can make money on rent every month.

Empower yourself to build significant savings toward important life events by doing something you already do every month — paying your rent. Soon you’ll be wondering why you weren’t always rewarded for being a loyal renter.

Interested in checking out a property that offers Rhove for your next home? See our ever-growing list of partner properties.