How the multifamily resident experience can boost your brand
In our last blog, we talked about how managing a multifamily property goes well beyond the walls and walkways of the community. Your property’s reputation hinges on a number of factors, and the multifamily resident experience is probably the most important of the bunch.
Do your residents love you?
Do you know how your existing residents feel about you right now? I mean, would they throw you a birthday party – or at least toss a Facebook emoji your way on a great social post?
No, you don’t need to be Instagram buddies with all your residents (but, wow, that could be pretty amazing for your brand if you were). However, you should have a general idea of how they feel – and what they are saying about you.
If you have never conducted a resident survey, start there. You can encourage responses by offering a prize drawing entry for each completed survey, and you can ask the questions on paper or online. Just ask.
Do they secretly dislike you and you can’t figure out why?
If a resident can’t stand one of her neighbors, she might kinda hate you (and your brand) for it. I know, I know! It isn’t fair, but it happens. What’s worse, that resident likely won’t say a word to you.
According to a survey published in June, most apartment residents hesitate to contact management about any issues:
“While the complaints and struggles uncovered by the survey were sure to be recognized by anyone who has rented an apartment, exactly how renters interacted with management was surprising. According to the study, even when it was in the best interest of the renter, such as reporting a disturbance or getting something repaired, renters still hesitated reaching out.”
So, Julie’s neighbors party hearty until 2 a.m. every night, which means she hates her building – and, sorry to say, she hates you. Conducting resident surveys and encouraging regular feedback will go a long way toward fostering resident satisfaction.
When you do receive a complaint or negative feedback, a quick response on your part will help soothe a lot of your resident’s misery. She just wants to feel heard, darn it.
Turning residents into friends and fans
Beyond uncovering potential issues, you can also take proactive measures to create an amazing experience for your residents.
A happy resident will tell all her friends about her great community. An unhappy one will tell her friends, enemies, coworkers, the barista across town and that random guy who hangs out on the corner.
You want happy residents, and you can help shape their outlook on your community. How?
Include them in the conversation. Engage in person and on social media. Encourage conversation and open communication within the community.
Go above and beyond. Solve problems quickly, but also look for ways to add extra touches to your customer service efforts.
Create community; not just a place to live. Everything from interior design decisions to hosted events can contribute to a sense of belonging for residents.
Convey a sense of purpose. Your community’s purpose can be as simple as “enjoying life to the fullest,” but find an authentic brand personality that resonates with your unique residents. Not all renters want the same things. Know what yours want and need.
As one multifamily expert wrote for Forbes:
“Taking care of the residents allows conversion into advocates and spokespeople. Generally speaking, people want to be proud of where they live. This starts online – reputation first. In the end, it’s all about the resident experience.”
If you have focused more on prospective renters than existing ones, it might be time to reconsider both your customer service and your marketing strategy. Happy residents will help market your property for you, and prospective renters will be able to suss out if your residents are generally satisfied or not.
To learn more about how we can help your multifamily branding and marketing efforts, contact us. We create unique brand strategies for multifamily properties nationwide.