You’re only as good as your communication
How and what you communicate matters.
Your communication channels are only as valuable as you make them
It might be tempting to think you’re done once you give residents your contact info, but accessibility to communication channels is just half the battle; the other half is optimizing those channels in ways that are valuable to both you and your residents.
Remember: every resident interaction is a chance to maximize your NOI so use your communication to foster a positive relationship and create sticky communities where residents want to stay.
Here are three ways you can make your communication channels more valuable.
Check in after move-in day
Residents need the most support from property teams right after moving in. While you don’t need to be the first person they see after they get their keys, make sure to check in early and let them know you’re there to help them settle in and that you actually want to hear from them. Depending on their prior experience with owner-operators, they might be hesitant to reach out with questions and feedback. But, here’s the thing: you want that feedback — whether it’s good or bad — because it will ultimately help you improve their resident experience and it sets the standard for positive and open communication from the get-go.
Follow up when there’s an issue.
It might be easy to let go of issues once they’re resolved, but there’s no harm in following up to see if there’s anything else you can do to. Whether it’s a maintenance request or an amenities issue, reaching out to the resident afterward can help them feel cared about – plus it gives you an opportunity to shift the conversation to a more positive topic, like an upcoming community event or new resident perk — more on that below.
Focus on good news – and not just your own.
Using building-wide communication can be helpful for sharing important updates that everybody needs to know about, like repaving the parking lot or getting new dryers in the communal laundry room. But it’s also a great way to share news about your tenants, fun building events, or about the neighborhood (with their permission, of course). Bonus: it helps make these channels a place not just of dread and disruptions but also for fun stuff. Residents are not only more likely to read these notifications, but it improves their overall sense of belonging, which leads to higher retention.
The Bottom Line
Letting your residents know you want to hear from them right from the start can help launch a mutually beneficial relationship that helps them feel good about where they live and provides invaluable insight for your portfolio. And then if things go wrong, they at least know you’ve got their backs.