Whether you like it or not, good communication is one of the core tenets of a positive relationship between residents and property management.
Simply put, if you're a building owner or property manager, you should be striving to build good relations with the residents you manage. The better your relationships, the easier your job will be. Trust us, interacting with residents who love you is a far better proposition than dealing with those that don't.
What's in your future if you're a good communicator? For starters, less potential conflicts, less stress, and better relationships. You can't beat that. But, before we dive into the article, let's first explore what resident experience actually is.
Resident experience is the living experience of a resident in a rental property that belongs to a community, such as a multifamily building. A large community pool, fast internet, nice décor, and other amenities may come to mind when you think of the term "resident experience," but it's so much more than that.
Resident experience is about a sense of personalization, security, and feeling like you're part of a community. As a property manager, resident experience should be one of the top metrics you should be tracking.
Doing this right can lead to satisfied residents, which in turn can lead to a variety of benefits, such as increased loyalty, longer-term leases, and higher occupancy rates. And while there’s so much more to explore when it comes to resident experience, it all starts with good communication from property management.
With that said, let's take a look at 5 ways manager communication impacts resident experience.
Everyone wants to feel a sense of community. Communities provide safety, comfort, and security. Property managers can build healthy, long-term relationships by communicating with residents and following up with their needs.
This will create a great living atmosphere for your residents and help them feel like they’re part of a community. Additionally, good communication will also help you avoid potential future conflicts.
Poor communication can lead to miscommunication. For instance, miscommunication could lead to you hiring a plumber to look at a resident's toilet when in actuality, it was their air conditioner that was broken.
You didn’t get that email though. You were too busy dealing with the two hundred other residents you manage who have issues of their own. Now you have to pay the plumber for wasting his time and still shell out money to get the air conditioner fixed.
Regular communication can help you and your residents learn how to best communicate with one another, reducing potential misunderstandings. Furthermore, good communication makes it so that even if you slip up despite your best efforts, you can nip the problem in the bud before it grows into an even bigger issue.
Want to know what's equal parts expensive and time-consuming? Finding new residents! But guess what's cheaper, less stressful, and putting money in your pocket? Retaining your residents!
When you consider the expenses associated with an empty rental unit, you’ll realize that acquiring a new resident can easily cost you thousands of dollars. Just the thought of months upon months of missed rent can make even the most experienced property manager shudder. We won’t even talk about marketing expenses.
However, good communication will help you meet the needs of your residents. If their needs are being met, the likelihood of them extending their lease is fairly high thus raising their lifetime value (LTV). For example, if an average resident pays $2,000 per month and the average length of stay is 36 months, their LTV is $72,000. Needless to say, your communication strategy should be tailored with LTV in mind.
Every resident wants to feel safe and secure in their abode. As a property manager, it's your duty to keep residents up to date on issues such as local news, building maintenance, amenity availability and even natural disasters.
Residents should be informed if there is a shelter-in-place order or if a big storm is headed their way. The more informed a resident is and the more resources available to them, the more peace of mind they will have, creating a sense of security.
Good communication will also help improve your company's perception and help you grow your reputation as a respectable property management team.
By this point, you're probably sensing a theme – the better you communicate with your residents, the more likely they’ll stay put for the long-term. And frankly, why would they want to leave if you're meeting all of their needs? As we've discussed, finding new residents to fill a vacancy can be expensive and time-consuming.
Thankfully, residents who feel they're heard by management will likely be more inclined to recommend their community to friends and family who may be looking for a place to live. As an added bonus, referrals help you to save money on marketing. Word of mouth is free after all!
We get it. As a property manager, your time is limited. Many property managers spend just as much time in the office as they do outside of it due to the demands of the job. A hectic schedule, however, is no excuse for poor communication.
How you communicate will have a significant impact on resident experience. Whether that experience is good or bad falls entirely on you.
Ready to up your game and offer an even better resident experience? Take Sugar's Free Resident Experience Survey to get your Resident Experience Score to help you figure out how your property stacks up.