The cornerstones of any good business relationship are mostly unified into a few simple concepts. When applying these to the multifamily industry, they become relational necessities. Not only are you dealing with services provided, but the stakes are also higher as you hold in your hands the key to their home (and often their hearts). Resident loyalty is largely based on a relationship, and the following are a few things that can kill that relationship between residents and their multifamily community.
Security and Safety Concerns
There is a direct correlation between feeling safe in a multifamily community and higher retention rates. You have heard the old saying: “Fear breeds fear.” Maintaining a community of confidence starts with the management. As a property manager, it is your job to maintain the reputation of the community and many times this means ensuring that the community is safe.
Being aware of the community’s demographic, general coming and goings, and having a maintenance team apt to do the same, is an extremely helpful tool. Property managers should always listen to resident’s concerns, never discount them and document the complaints. Often residents are the first to know that there is an issue arising.
Taking your awareness and documentation of a security concern to another level may require involving the local authorities. There should be no fear in this. Should it become necessary, you must understand that a single resident’s “friend” is not worth the safety of your entire community.
Poorly Enforced Policies
Policies exist to keep order in a community and also to ensure that each resident is treated fairly. By inconsistently enforcing policies you could be setting your multifamily community up for issues in dealing with Fair Housing laws. Furthermore, you will begin to create an environment of insecurity among the residents. Instead, empower your residents with a mindset of fairness and equality.
No resident will ever “like” paying a late fee on their rent, but they can be reassured that the rules exist equally across the board. The worst possible situation you can put your community in is to be in a situation where you allow one resident to forgo the late fee and insist that another resident pays it. Residents talk. Word WILL spread of your “unfairness,” and this will lead to very disgruntled residents.
Lacking Maintenance Response
Potentially the most documented reason why resident move out of multifamily communities is maintenance issues. Maintenance response is not only measured by the amount of time it takes to respond to a request but also in their willingness and ability. The overall scale of how effective the maintenance team depends on this threefold approach.
Every good maintenance team will tell you that their reputation depends on their quick, accurate and congenial response to the situation. If a resident has what they perceive to be an emergency, a calming, professional response is the best possible method to diffuse the situation. Even a resident with a large complaint can be tuned into lifelong loyalty if they are treated quickly, and with respect.
Ignoring Resident Feedback
One of the surest ways to tell your residents that you do NOT value them is to ignore them. Good communication, as a whole, is the ultimate goal of any relationship, and this is not unique to multifamily communities. Yes, you may have a few “complainers”, but even they can become allies in your resident pool. If only you take the time to hear their concerns, you may find that they are valid and applicable!
Listening to your resident is so very important to having your thumb on the pulse of your community. Don’t make these residents come to you. The only time you will have someone go out of their way, is if they are complaining. If you want to hear what your community is doing well, ask, but be prepared for the feedback from all directions.
Missed opportunities to promote a community culture
Your residents could choose to live almost anywhere. In the age of the internet most know this. You should be respectful of the fact that they have chosen to live in your community, for one reason or another! Don’t make it hard to live in your community. Offer positive engagement opportunities at any time possible. Greet everyone, even if in passing, with a smile and a kind word. Express your sincerity in telling each resident that you value them individually.
Go the extra mile for your residents!
Having “satisfied” residents is not enough. View any day, event, or issue in your multifamily community as the opportunity to go the extra mile and earn a LOYAL resident. Loyal residents are happy. They turn into lease renewals and even referrals. Don’t kill your residents’ loyalty with negligence or “good enough.” They will never remember the things you did NOT do, but they will remember those you DID.
Promoting resident loyalty is just as much of an art as it is a science. Every community is different, and therefore every relationship between property manager and resident will be different. It simply takes the will and time to develop that relationship. Leonardo247 provides the organizational and time-saving tools your team needs to nurture and maintain that relationship. Register for a FREE demo today!