Last modified on October 27th, 2016
By Elizabeth Millar
In property management, a big question to ask yourself (and often) is: “How can I wow my residents in a way that’s not only going to bring in new renters but also keep the ones I have?”
In today’s world, excellent service is no longer a nice to have, but a requirement for a company to be successful for the long term. Whether you are approaching it from an employer’s point of view or from a property manager looking at resident retention rates, you want the decision to leave you to be a difficult one. You want loyal residents and owners who will refer you and keep coming back to your services. Think about what keeps you coming back to certain brands. Part of it is probably the services themselves, but often, you can’t put your finger on the reason, you just feel it in your bones that you like the brand and what it stands for.
Here are a 3 things to remember when you’re trying to WOW! your residents:
- Everyone is responsible for handling complaints, maintaining customer service, etc. It’s a team effort. If a resident has a negative experience with one employee, it can tarnish their impression of the entire company.
- Values and emotional connections sell your community, not amenities and features.
- Hire emotionally competent people to be on your team.
Emotional Competency: One’s ability to express or release one’s inner feelings and emotions. It implies an ease around others and determines one’s ability to effectively and successfully lead and express. It is described as the essential social skill to recognize, interpret, and respond constructively to emotions in yourself and others.
There are three types of renters to pay attention to: Detractors, Passive, and Promoters. Knowing what types of renters make up your properties tenants can help you determine how much “wowing” you need to be doing.
The Detractors: Unhappy clients waiting for their lease to be up for renewal so they can run. They feel trapped in a bad relationship.
The Passive: Quiet residents who you think are happy, but secretly harbor frustration. These people are not passionate about your community.
The Promoters: Loyal enthusiasts who keep buying from you, speak your praise, and wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.
Can you answer True to the following statements?
- Our residents regularly attend events.
- We get a lot of great interaction on social media.
- It’s not uncommon for our residents to bring us gifts.
- Residents love to come in and chat.
If you answered false to any of these, your renters are probably in the Detractor or Passive phase.
“Why satisfy when you can wow?” – Barbara Savona, CEO, Sprout Marketing
How to Wow! Your Renters?
Moving is stressful. In fact, out of 2,000 people interviewed, 61% listed moving as the number one stressor in their life. No one wants to move multiple times, but they will if you don’t give them a reason to stay.
- Ask your residents: “How likely would be you to recommend our community to friends and families?” Ask people all year, not just at move in/out.
- Know what residents really want from you. Survey them. Ask them in person.
- To know your customer you have to live in their shoes. Take the same entrance they take. Park in the same parking lot as they park. Try to live in the experience of your own renters so you can feel their pain points.
- Have a daily huddle with your team. Share stories about renters so next time you see him or her walking down the sidewalk you can say, “Hey, how was that graduation?” or “How’d your granddaughter do on that math test?” One person can’t possibly keep up on 300 residents.
- Start by looking at one touch point of the entire move-in process. Ex. Moving Day. – How can everyone on the team make this a start to finish great experience. Then move to the next one. Focus on things like ease, speed, and accuracy.
- Don’t drop the ball on the basics. Residents can’t see anything positive past a bad first experience.
- Think about planned vs. spontaneous “wow” moments. Pleasant surprises can make all the difference. Even fun and cheesy gifts in the mail like messages and chocolates or candies can make a renter appreciate living in your property more.
But remember, finding people homes is an intimate experience; single-homes and multi-family apartments are where people raise families and make memories. So it shouldn’t be stressful; it should be exciting! The goal is to interact to capture hearts not just minds.
We recently held a webinar on this topic with Sprout Marketing CEO Barbara Savona. If you missed it, check out the slides and recording below for tips on how to WOW! your renters and keep them renewing year after year.