Resident Retention

Resident Involvement

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I'm always amazed at the level of effort many parents are willing to expend to make a school event successful. Thriving school communities are aided by an army of volunteer labor. Parents and our communities owe a lot to these warriors who willingly give up their free time, evenings and weekends to coordinate a fundraiser or manage ticket sales at the football games. 

For a brief period of time, I attended the meetings for my oldest son's grad night planning committee. These people weren't kidding around. There were things that needed to get done -yesterday. And they all required a high degree of involvement. More than I was willing to give.

So why did these volunteers invest their precious time and valuable skills? I'm sure there are a plethora of reasons, but I observed a few points:

1.  A love for their son or daughter and a commitment to creating a positive experience for him or her.

2. Pride in the reputation of both the school and the event.

3. A desire to use their skill and experience toward something of lasting value--people.

At Apartment Life we've seen the results from residents taking ownership in developing community events. It is a game changer. Of course, it takes more time and work to manage volunteers, but we have seen time and time again that the results are worth it. Invested residents equals property pride. 

If you would like help from your residents in developing community events, give us a call. We would love to chat.

 

Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Pets and Profit

Do you live in a city with more pet strollers than baby strollers? In that kind of environment you would think renting to pet owners would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, in the highly competitive market in which some residents live, owners often don't feel the need to accommodate the needs of furry family members. While very sad for us (we had to adopt our dog out to another family), it is also often missed opportunity to build community, generate additional income and differentiate your property from the competition.  

In a recent article in Multifamily Executive, the authors outlined some very practical considerations for determining pet policies.  From high-end amenities to pet-free floors/buildings to monthly Yappy Hours, the opportunities to meet the needs of a wide range of residents can be accommodated and managed with some planning and forethought. Included in the article are practical ways to keep costs down (or even profit) with pet owning residents.

For us at Apartment Life, it's not hard to see how integrating pet activities into the life of the community is an easy win for retention and satisfaction. Our community building experts can help you integrate pets into your life or community. And, we will help you think through the needs of other residents who are not so fond of animal companions sharing the elevator, pool and grounds.  


Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

The Concessions Trap

What is it about living in your community that you want your residents to talk about?  The pool? The workout room?  The spacious units? The great parties?  How about the cheap rent?  Be careful before you answer that last one.  Particularly if you're using concessions as a primary incentive to move prospective residents to becoming residents.  According to one multifamily blogger, while concessions are quite popular in our industry, they often have the affect of keeping the new resident focusing on the rent--not the value of the their overall living experience. And this is on top of the obvious downside-the negative impact on NOI.  

Since concessions are used to gain a competitive advantage, where's the advantage if everyone is doing it?  What if prospective residents were truly sold on the value of the lifestyle options in your community?  Options like social events, community service opportunities, exercise groups, and possibility of meeting new friends with similar interests.  Of course there are plenty of other features that may draw residents to your community, but the human factor is one of the most attractive in our increasingly fragmented society.  

So, as you meet with prospective residents, remember that how you attract them is usually how you'll keep them. Is low rent or concessions really the thing you want them to remember?  


Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Event Idea: Zumba Class

Some of our CARES Teams have found success from hosting special work-out classes. You can probably find a local instructor willing to hold a class for free in exchange for free marketing. Even better, provide cold towels, fresh fruit and bottled water at the end of class to make your residents feel extra spoiled.

Other ideas:

  • If you don’t have a place to host at your clubhouse, you could offer a special class at a local gym exclusively for your residents.
  • Ask a local gym to hand out coupons for a free trial membership to all attendees
  • Ask a vendor to provide work-out related freebies or the cold towels/fruit/water
  • Partner with a local doctor or hospital to provide free health screenings and turn it into a full-fledged health and wellness expo
  • Ask a vendor to print special t-shirts with your property name and the event name on the front, and their logo on the back

Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Event Idea: End of Summer Bash

Send summer off in style with an End of Summer Bash. It can involve the pool, barbecue, or maybe you toast to a good summer with special summer cocktails. You could give away school supplies or do just about anything to say goodbye to lots of fun memories and welcome fall and all of its colorful glory.

As always, we’ve got more ideas on our Pinterest board.

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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Concert In The Park

Remember our post about the Cooper River Bridge Run? Well, we've got another team highlight and event idea like it! Kristen & Brent are our CARES Team at Parks at Nexton in Charleston, SC. They learned of a concert that was going on across the street from their community and saw a great event opportunity. It was a Concert In The Park event that was part of the Spoleto Arts Festival, a local community event. They didn't have to organize the big event or set up/tear down a thing! They used their budget to purchase tickets and drinks for their residents, and ordered hundreds of koozies with their apartment community's logo, hashtag, and website on them for marketing. They had such a blast at this low budget, low maintenance, high community involvement event!

Wondering what's going on in your area this summer? We've got pinterest boards for each of our regions with CARES Teams. They're full of links to local event calendars and resources!


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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

The Changing Face of the Multifamily Housing Industry

If you're a Millennial, you probably think this blog is about you.It's not. IfMillennials are self-focused it's got to be partly our fault.We keep talking about them!So, to do my part, I'm taking a break.This is not about you, Millennials.

Baby Boomers--yes, your grandparents--are poised to produce some major changes in the industry according to Multifamily Executive writer, Lindsay Machak.Amenity must-haves include adaptable space for their changing needs and more manageable space without losing luxury.But community is key to this demographic.Boomers want to be able to walk to grocery stores, restaurants, and gyms and they want to be near their friends.This is where the multifamily industry has an advantage.These responsible, stable residents are much more likely to renew if they have personal connections with others in their community.

At CARES, our research has shown a link between the number of friends a resident has on his or her property and the likelihood of renewal.This seems particularly true for Baby Boomers.So don't forget this important group of residents when planning events or considering amenities.It's not all about Millennials.


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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

When the Resident Isn't Right

That's right, sometimes the resident isn't right.Of course, you already know that, but today I'm giving you permission to acknowledge it out loud.

But isn't this the number rule of customer service? Frankly, no.Sometimes the fallacy that says the resident or customer is always right can set you and your team up for some pretty bad treatment.This can be particularly demoralizing in a setting where you might interact with this person regularly.

So how do you respond to a disrespectful, unreasonable, or abusive resident?First, it's important to realize that difficult residents can negatively impact the morale of your team and you have a responsibility to them as well.

And, secondly, as customer service expert Shep Hyken reminds us, they might not always be right, but "they are always the customer.So if they are wrong, let them be wrong with dignity and respect."That probably doesn't mean yelling back at an abusive resident or attacking their character.But it may mean you respond by gracefully cutting ties with this resident, particularly if they are causing a major disruption among your team.Obviously, this won't become your new 'go-to' response when a disgruntled resident makes a scene in the leasing office.But don't make the mistake of sacrificing the safety, dignity, and morale of your team for the sake of an incorrect adage.

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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

CARES Team Event Highlight {The Cooper River Bridge Run}

Here's just a little peek at the awesome things our CARES Teams are doing!

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We're excited to highlight Kristen & Brent, our CARES Team at The Boulevard in Charleston, SC! They recently hosted a couple of really neat events centered around a big, annual race that goes on in their community: The Cooper River Bridge Run. Here's the lowdown:

They hosted a morning event and an evening event!

The morning event included handing out water bottles, bananas, headbands, and shirts with their property's logo on them. It was a great marketing opportunity for their Greystar property because they handed out thousands of items with the property's logo. They also hired an '80s band (a big hit that scored the property some time on the 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. news) to play while the runners were waiting for the race to start.

6:00 a.m. '80s dance party anyone?

Then, Kristen and Brent hosted a relaxing evening event on race day for runners and their families to enjoy on The Boulevard property. They had a low-country boil for dinner, complete with a small acoustic band. This was also another great marketing opportunity for the property because people could come in, see the property, and experience first-hand what CARES and the property have to offer.

Who knows how many people in attendance are looking for a new place to lease or know of someone looking!

How could you get more involved in your city's community? Is there an annual event that happens in your backyard or one that you could easily set up a tent/station at?

This Greystar Property Manager, Regional Manager, Senior Managing Director of Real Estate, and more "high-ups" really enjoyed this event. They gave public kudos for it and have asked that it happen more often!

What about marketing for your property? CARES is an incredible program that partners with you to be an extension of your hands and feet: marketability, caring for residents, and improving your resident retention. We're all about redefining the resident experience through relationships. Contact us for more information about partnering with CARES today.

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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Event Idea: Small Business Mixer

A networking event is a great way to attract residents who might not normally attend your events. Whether you host a mixer for small businesses or open it up to everybody, there are several ways to make it fun.

1. Business Cards & Bubbly – check out our ideas from a previous blog.

2. Pop Up Shops – Invite local vendors to set up pop up shops at your location. Offer prime spots to your residents first.

3. Read over this list of tips before planning.

4. If your community is a member of a chamber of commerce, ask them to take part in your event.

5. Ask local vendors to provide your food, decorations, name tags, and signage. Small businesses love to sponsor in exchange for featured publicity.

6. Consider using an ice breaker or game to help people mingle.

Whatever you do, make it FUN!


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Would you like more information about the CARES Program and what we offer? Visit our website today. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.