One of my most irritating habits is my compulsion to finish other people's sentences--particularly my spouse's. Even given the evidence that I'm just as often wrong as right about what he was going to say next, I just can't seem to stop myself. Before you criticize my character defects, take a moment to consider if you might not be doing the same thing with your residents. I'm not talking about finishing their sentences, but I do find that most managers are quick to make assumptions about what their residents want. To be certain, taking the time to find out what is really meaningful to a resident takes time and effort, but according to research out of Stanford's renowned Design School, it is well worth it.
Whenever you're wanting to innovate a new process or product, consider these instructions on interviewing for empathy. Don't worry, though it sounds like a therapy session, it's actually a proven method for accurately determining peoples thoughts, emotions and needs.
It does require a level of emotional intelligence, but as Eric Clark, Director of Marketing at Altman Companies, stated this year at the NAA National Convention in Denver, "Discovering what motivates people emotionally can result in substantial increases in both new leasing and resident retention."
You don't have to be a Director to innovate on your property and the better you understand your residents, the better you'll be able to meet their needs, resulting in new leases and better retention. I, for one, am going to take note and stop assuming I know what people want or need.
But I'll still probably finish my husband's sentences.