Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

The Apartment Marketing Blog

Apartment Marketing Solutions to increase leads, retain residents and stay sane.

Adding A Little Love To the Resident Relationship

When I was in college, I used to wait tables. We had a lot of regulars in the restaurant I worked at, and when people came in who we didn’t recognize, we treated them as if they were going to come back, as if they were going to become regulars. This played out in a few different ways, but on a very basic level, we interacted with them as if we would see them again.

It’s unfortunate, but true: most of us treat people differently when we assume we will never see them again, as if somehow they are less worthy of kindness and consideration if our interaction with them is only a single instance.

selling-doesnt-end

At this restaurant, when we intentionally treated people like we would see them again, it generally resulted in customers being treated better. They received the subtle perks and privileges of a regular that bond a person with a business.

Have you ever been a regular at a coffee shop?

They knew your name and your drink and you probably had a warm fuzzy feeling when you walked in. It creates a sense of ownership and loyalty. It makes you not want to go to a different coffee shop, because, well, it wouldn’t be the same as entering a familiar place where people remember you and make you feel special. Maybe it’s an ego boost, maybe it’s what Mr. Rogers preached about neighbors, either way, it’s nice and it works.

resodent-is-customer

When I became an apartment manager, I used this same practice on the phone with prospects. I thought of that first phone call as the beginning of a long term relationship.

I endeavored to treat each person who called as if I was setting the tone for how we would interact for the next year or more. As if in that two minutes, I was showing them how they would be treated if they became a resident. I don’t have the specific stats, but trust me — closing rates and occupancy levels were consistently high.

There are many ways in which the relationship between staff and residents is like a long-term romantic relationship. If you really want to take it a step further, you could compare Craigslist to on-line dating… but, I’m no stand-up comedian, so we’ll just move on.

The resident is a customer, but not the kind that just makes one purchase and moves on. In a sense, every single interaction you have with them is a part of the sales process. The selling doesn’t end when a prospect signs a lease. You want them to refer their friends, give positive on-line reviews, and of course renew that lease.

That means you need to maintain the relationship after the commitment is made, i.e.: after the lease is signed.

apartment-marketing-love

Just like a married couple still needs to go out on dates after the wedding, you’ve got to continue courting your residents… to keep the spark alive, if you will. Resident events are like a date night. Quickly taking care of maintenance requests (or at the least communicating about delays) is like a spouse’s “Honey-Do” list.

Sometimes all a resident needs is some clear communication, to be reassured that their issue is not being ignored, that the office knows and is working on it, even if it’s going to take longer than would be ideal.

Communication is key in every relationship. The resident and staff relationship is no different. You can create that sense of loyalty and trust with some small attitude shifts and a little extra effort to communicate. Answer the phone and lead the tour like you are building a relationship with this person that will last for the next year…or more.

communication-is-key

Rate this blog entry:
0
 

Comment Below

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
“Should we have a property blog?” Blogging isn't for everyone, but I think there are lots of reasons why the answer is absolutely YES. If you have a property blog, or if you’ve thought about writing one, but don’t think you have enough ideas to write about, here are 30 ideas to get you started: How to get the most from our property management team.Recommend an improvement to our community.What kinds of community events would interest you most?Exciting updates or changes c...
No...I'm not asking if people in your office hum while they work. I want to know if your office has energy; energy that people can feel when they walk in the door. Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computers ,said that he likes to have his office 'create hum', or energy that you can literally feel when you are in the offices of Dell computer. So I ask you, does you office have 'hum'?Let me give you a couple of more examples:1. Have you ever eaten dinner in an empty restaurant? What did it feel l...
For those of you Gen Y's and perhaps some Gen X'rs, you might not know who Ricardo Montalban is. He was one of the first really famous and very successful Latino actors who appeared in television (Fantasy Island anyone?) dozens of films (for you Trekkies out there, he was Kahn in both the Star Trek series and one movie), and he won both an Emmy award and a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement award. But many of us will always remember him as the velvety smooth spokesperson in the 1970's ...