To be a successful multifamily property owner or operator, you must put resident satisfaction first. An apartment unit is the place your residents call home, so it should be your priority to foster a sense of community and security. This does not solely depend on getting the latest trendy amenities or hiring a better landscaper. Instead, the most significant impact comes from how you and your staff interact with residents and accommodate their unique needs.
Here are five simple ways to improve the resident experience:
- Make a great first impression
- Host regular community-bonding events
- Invest in property technology
- Focus on strong communication
- Respond to maintenance requests ASAP
1. Make a great first impression
Believe it or not, most residents start making their lease renewal decisions during the first month of living in a new place. So, it’s important to make the best first impression to retain residents and reduce turnover.
Before a resident’s move-in day, make sure the apartment unit is sparkling clean, and all maintenance repairs are completed. To add a personal touch, leave a little surprise – like a bouquet of flowers with a handwritten note – for them to see when they first walk through the door.
During the resident’s first week of living in your building, check in on them to see if everything is going smoothly. This shows that you care about them and leave a lasting first impression.
2. Host regular community-bonding events
If a year in lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that people crave social activities. Since Americans are working from home now more than ever, their homes serve more than one role. Your building might be a resident’s office, their kids’ classrooms, and their space to (virtually) hang out with friends. More time spent at home creates an excellent opportunity for your residents and staff to mingle and socialize.
When organizing community-bonding events, use your best judgment on safety protocols. Host events outdoors when possible. Promoting a strong community among residents can create a sense of belonging, which transforms your building from a house into a home.
Some ideas for community-bonding events include:
- Host virtual game nights for families.
- Hire professionals for virtual classes, such as yoga and cooking classes. And if the weather permits, hold the class outdoors.
- Cater lunch or dinner by ordering food delivery or hiring food trucks – especially on holidays like Memorial Day and Fourth of July.
- Organize a contest for pets – such as “Best Dressed” or “Best Personality” — and have residents choose the winner.
3. Invest in property technology
In 2021, technology is a part of everything we do. Regardless of your property’s built year, you can add the latest apartment amenities by investing in property technology (proptech). Having the newest technology can set you apart from the competition.
One of the most popular proptech devices is a video intercom system, like ButterflyMX. Video intercoms provide residents with safe and easy property access by empowering them to open and manage doors from their smartphones. Choose proptech that can integrate with existing products and services.
Using proptech on your property can also promote a clean, health-conscious environment. The pandemic might have set a new standard for health and safety protocols that are here to stay. Enabling contactless and touchless entry will give residents peace of mind.
4. Focus on strong communication
Informing residents about everything going on in the apartment building is key. Be sure to respond to resident emails and calls as soon as possible. Tell them of any construction or systemwide maintenance issues/repairs—and new state COVID-19 regulations—as soon as possible. Keeping residents “in the loop” will reassure them that their voices are heard and their comfort and time are valued.
Depending on your residents’ demographics, you might want to consider using an SMS messaging platform to communicate with them. Emails and flyers can be easily ignored, especially by the younger generation, so text messaging ensures they read the information. Of course, if your property has an older population, emails and phone calls might be more effective.
ButterflyMX is a highly adaptable video intercom system used by 1000s of properties across the United States to put the power of access back into the hands, and phones, of residents. Check out their blog and see what they have to offer or let us see if they’re right for you!
5. Respond to maintenance requests ASAP
Last but not least, make sure to respond to resident maintenance requests as soon as possible. With many residents staying home all day, it’s that much more important to ensure their living spaces are safe, clean, and free from distractions. A leaky sink or clogged toilet can definitely ruin a resident’s day, especially if they’re working from home. Make efforts to improve the efficiency of your maintenance request logs. This will ease communication between residents and maintenance staff.
As a property manager, you should also keep the apartment units and community areas in tiptop shape. This can be as easy as applying a fresh coat of paint or installing smart locks. You want residents to be proud of where they live and to want to live there long term. A well-kept property makes residents feel satisfied with their homes. In turn, this will reduce their likelihood of moving out.
Put current residents’ experiences first
Often, property managers don’t put as much effort into retaining residents as they do recruiting new ones. Yet, it is estimated that it costs five times more to attract new residents than to keep existing ones. You’ll want to make your apartment building a home for your residents, which will reduce turnover rates and save you money! Follow these tips to increase resident retention rates and improve the resident experience.