To be successful investing in multifamily properties, resident satisfaction is key. Here’s how to improve apartment services to attract and retain great residents.
Two of the top things on the wish list for apartment residents is to find pet-friendly housing and a community with concierge services.
Apartment services can improve life for residents, lead to longer leases, and help build a reputation for a great apartment property management company.
For multifamily properties, safety and user-friendly are top priorities. If the community is family-focused and has an elevator, elevators should be wide enough to accommodate strollers. Railings and stairs should be safe and kid-friendly.
For more ideas on how to make your multifamily properties more attractive to new residents and keep your favorite residents around, try these 10 apartment service enhancements.
- Better Lease Process
Do you send a lease out to a prospective resident expecting a one-step process obtaining their signature and then getting your copy back? Consider drafting the lease document together. A face-to-face joint effort where potential residents can voice concerns will make the process much friendlier and cement new relationships.
A relaxed negotiation will speed up the process and make sure everyone is happy.
- Move Services Online
If your resident needs to schedule a service call from maintenance, they should be able to do so easily. An online format will give them the ability to contact the appropriate people day or night.
Consider setting up a system that allows residents to pay their bills and rent through a secure online portal. Putting all of your forms and information in one central location will save residents a lot of headaches and save your staff from fielding too many phone calls.
Think about creating a calendar of events and services that residents, their families, and friends can participate in for free to create community connectivity.
- Promote Strong Communication
Get everyone on board with good communication. When residents feel listened to and feel it’s easy to access their property managers, everyone wins.
They will communicate functional issues more promptly before they get out of hand and lead to more expensive long-term damage.
Utilize social media to let residents know what to expect during holidays and weather alerts. You can advise of safety concerns before an extreme storm. You can also guide them where they can report HVAC issues over a holiday weekend.
- Project Positivity
No matter how often we’re told not to judge a book by its cover, it’s hard to avoid this reality. People judge things often by first glance.
Whether it’s the appearance of your property manager, your concierge or your service professionals, it’s essential that everyone looks professional and friendly at first glance. Projecting a positive and friendly appearance will make everyone feel welcome at first glance. Guest and new residents will respond better to professionals based on their appearance. And, don’t forget to smile!
- Teach Proper Appliance Use
Many of the service calls that technicians get are due to improper use or damage to appliances through misuse. Showing your residents how to use their appliances can save you time and money on repairs and replacement.
Some professional property management companies have created short videos showing how to use garbage disposals, new ovens, and dishwashers. Give access to your residents access through online platforms. This can reduce service calls dramatically.
- Everyone Loves A Gift
Swag is fun and everyone loves free gifts. Toys for the kids like imprinted flying discs are a big hit. Jazzy sunglasses imprinted with the property name are fun and make people smile. Pens and notepads are always helpful for new move-ins.
When service personnel come by to offer apartment services, they can leave a helpful tool behind if its relevant to the call. For a resident who makes a call about a simple toilet blockage, show them how to use a plunger and leave the plunger with them afterward. They will feel empowered and save maintenance staff the distraction of such a common issue in the future.
- Get To Know Each Resident
Property management and service staff should take the time to get to know everyone who lives on the property. Some people desire more privacy than others. Either way, everyone respect the time that your staff takes to get to know them.
If you have concierge professionals on staff, have them get to know frequent guests, partners, and close friends. Greeting those who your residents care about by name and with the same kind of friendly service they provide to residents themselves will build a stronger community in all of your properties.
- Hire The Right Staff
Not everyone has a service personality, and that’s all right. When you’re hiring staff who will be your front-facing people on your properties, you need to know that they’re focused on the resident experience. Make sure that person is easy to understand on the phone and bilingual if necessary. An upbeat personality with a smile will go a long way when dealing with potential new residents and existing residents. Do some secret shopping and test the leasing experience unannounced. See what others find when they first enter your property or call on the phone. If it doesn’t fit, fix it and fix it fast.
Make each of your properties a relaxed, friendly, and fun work environment and your staff will bring a positive attitude with them every day. Love your staff and they will love you and your residents.
- Reward Good Service
Think about ways that you can reward your staff when they provide service above and beyond. Each year you can send out a letter to your residents asking that return a card to the leasing office with a name nominating one or two staff members for employee of the year. Banners with recognition and gift cards can boost moral sky high.
You’ll see that your staff enjoy competing for this and will work hard to make customer service a priority. Let your employees know that they’ll be rewarded and it’s up to them to succeed.
Give everyone some kind of year-end recognition and reserve something special for your best performers.
- All Feedback Is Valuable
Every piece of feedback provides a learning experience. When you get a 5-star review, you get proof that your strategies worked. When you get a 1-star review, you know there is room to grow.
While it might be a frustrating headache to deal with customer complaints, you aren’t always judged by the complaint, but you are judged by how you handle it. A smile and a can-do attitude go a long way in keeping residents happy and leases renewing.
Enhancing Apartment Services Pays Off
Most of these solutions don’t cost a whole lot to implement and the returns can be profound. Resident happiness leads to better care of your property and more personal commitment to the quality of your community.
To find tactics beyond apartment services to increase the value of your multifamily investments, check out our guide to apartment investment success.
Better yet, give us a call. Better yet. Or come visit. At Better World Properties LLC, we love talk apartments.