As a property manager, one of your main responsibilities is to make sure residents have the amenities and services they need to live comfortably. You can measure their satisfaction with various surveys and questionnaires — but what if the reviews you're getting aren't too positive? Does this mean you need to spend a bundle to upgrade your apartments' counters, add a giant Olympic pool, or charge less rent? Probably not. There are plenty of quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive ways to increase resident satisfaction ratings. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Respond Promptly
When residents communicate with you, make sure you are giving them a prompt response. Even if that response is simply saying that you can't get back to them for another week, giving some response is better than giving no response. If you have trouble keeping up with all of the messages, voicemails, and emails you receive, consider having them all forwarded to one account. (There are apps that do this for you.) Set up your smartphone to make a certain alarm sound when that account receives a new message. Make it your goal to get back to your residents within an hour, even if that response is that you're working on it and will get back to them soon. This sort of transparency is reassuring to residents and shows them that you do care about their needs.
2. Organize monthly events
Residents like to feel like they are connected to one another and part of a community. If the property feels like home, they are more likely to give it good ratings. An easy way to build a sense of community is to organize monthly events for clients. This does not have to be anything fancy. Playing a movie in the community room and providing popcorn is enough. You could also set out a bunch of board games, put on some music, and provide ice cream sundaes. Introduce yourself at the beginning of the event so that residents get to know you personally, which will also make them feel connected.
3. Maintain a transparent service list
When a customer calls to have something in their apartment repaired, add their name to a list — and make that list public. You want them to be able to see how many people are in front of them and when their repair will be made. A common reason residents rate communities poorly is that they feel like they're always waiting and waiting for service requests, and this transparency addresses that. Even if there is still a wait, they will know it's because the repair people are busy taking care of neighbors' needs.
4. Give small gifts on the holidays
A note and a piece of chocolate can go a long way! When the holiday season rolls in, give each of your residents something small. It does not have to be chocolate — it could be a key ring, a bottle opener, or an ornament for their tree. This gesture shows you care, and it reminds residents that you are human.
5. Train employees consistently
One of the big complaints among residents of larger apartment communities is that different employees have different approaches or different answers to questions. For example, one employee may always waive late fees on rent, while another employee always charges them no matter what. Your residents will be happier if they are treated consistently by all members of your staff. So make sure you are training your staff regularly on protocols, and observe them often to ensure they are all being consistent.
With the tips above, you can have happier residents, resulting in better ratings and ultimately more business.
For more ideas, contact a company like MacPherson's Property Management.