Like any relationship, understanding the needs of your residents starts with an open line of communication. If your residents don’t feel comfortable communicating with you, then you will never know their true wishes and needs. Once you have opened the door to communicating openly and effectively, you can begin to understand each resident’s individual needs.
Tips to Understanding Residents
- Residents are people too. — A “one size fits all” solution can’t be applied to every resident. After all, residents are people too; they have individual leasing goals and requirements. Residents come from different backgrounds and have a different leasing story to tell. Take the time to treat your residents as individuals, so that you can better understand “what makes them tick.”
- Needs can change with the season. — As the season changes, so too will the needs of your residents. For example, in the winter, they might need (or wish) the community pathways cleared of ice and snow. In the spring they might appreciate knowing that there is an outdoor hose, which can be used to wash the pollen off of their cars. Summer might be the time of year that a resident wants to feel appreciated as they begin to plan for weekend trips or extended vacations. Fall is the time of year when a resident might want to see a few maintenance repairs conducted around the property.
- Ask for feedback. — If you never ask for feedback, then how can you improve your services and how will you truly understand the unique needs of your residents? Asking for feedback gives your residents the platform that they need to speak openly. Whether they are filled with compliments or have a few complaints, asking for feedback is a critical step towards gauging the satisfaction levels of your residents.
Meeting the Needs of Your Residents During Summer
Summer is here, which means that it is one of the busiest times of the year for Real Estate professionals. During the summer it is all too easy to become caught up in leasing new rental units to eagerly awaiting residents. In fact, the hustle and bustle of filling vacant rental units can cause you to unintentionally neglect your current residents at a time when they are most receptive to special offers and gestures of appreciation.
Organize a resident appreciation special event to show your current and new residents that you understand that summer is the time for relaxing and indulgence. Below are a few ideas to jump start your creative resident appreciation event:
- Plan a resident barbecue. — Barbecues are a great way to get to know your new residents and to foster a sense of community.
- Host an ice cream social. — For many people summer holds sweet memories of chasing the ice cream truck down the street. Host an ice cream event to treat your residents and to create an environment that is both comfortable and fun. Residents are more likely to communicate openly when they feel at ease.
- Give your residents a simple gift that caters to their unique needs. — Giving your residents a gift that caters to their individual needs is a great way to show that you understand what is most important to them. Whether it is a new dog toy for the resident with the lovable puppy or a flowering plant on the porch of the resident that always seems to be in the garden, a personalized gift is a great way to show that you care and understand individual needs.
With these tips in mind, you will be able to foster better relationships with your residents. Remember, understanding your residents starts by recognizing that they are unique individuals, recognize outside environmental factors, and is an on-going process that is vital to successfully managing properties.