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"Pool" Your Resources

As temperatures rise, so do easy chances for resident retention!  Summer is a great time for connecting with your residents and one of our greatest warm season assets is, of course, our pool.  However, there is more to using your aqua resources than a single large gesture of the large summer pool party.  You can utilize this great tool throughout the summer with implementation of just a few small gestures that can result in some great improvements in resident retention by making even deeper and more frequent connections.  Here are 5 ideas to get you started on "Pooling" your resources:

  1. Summertime lemonade and cookie poolside breaks- Do you have 20 minutes to spare in the afternoon to gain a little resident retention?  All it takes is a bowl full of fun cookies (I recommend animal crackers since they're inexpensive, low fat, low sugar, not to mention both adult and child friendly) and a snap top pitcher of lemonade with some disposable cups. Medium sized Dixie cups would work well, since they give good portion control and come in a lot of cute festive prints for a reasonable price. Head down to your pool during the busiest times of the day for about 10-15 minutes to pass out lemonade and cookies and have a quick chat with your residents. Total time spent: Maximum of 40 minutes a day.  Money spent: around $50 a month if you do this twice a day 3 times a week. Leases renewed:  The possibilities are endless.
  2. Courtesy Towels- Many communities already do this, but if you're looking to add a seemingly high end touch of class to your property, I'd recommend investing in some courtesy towels for the pool.  Not only do your residents see that you've gone the extra step for their comfort, it gives them one more thing to remember when it comes time to renew that lease.  You can either go through a laundry company for your towels, or you can invest some retention monies during summer linens sale and buy towels that put through laundry in house.  Buying the towels will be more expensive on the front end, but in the long run, you'll save money.  Best yet, they can serve double duty by also being housed in your workout room!
  3. Poolside Service Requests- If you took 5 minutes from your day and a clipboard with work order forms down to your poolside, how many service requests do you think you could get out of your residents?  People sometimes forget to put in their orders because it just slips their mind until we ask them if they need anything attended to in their home.  This is an old technique but it has been around for so long because it really works!  And it's beneficial on many levels.  For example, not only does it look like we're taking that extra step in service to our residents, but it also helps us catch little work order issues before they become big asset damaging problems! 
  4. Pool Item check out cabinet-  Have you priced the very basic toys at your local discount store lately?  Things like water guns, diving sticks, water balloon kits, and other fun poolside toys are SUPER CHEAP this summer!  $50 could go a long way in putting together a cabinet of fun for the residents in your community.  Best of all, these toys encourage group involvement, putting your residents in a good situation to become friends.
  5. Summer Swim groups- Do you have a lot of moms and tots?  How about retiree swimmers?  Putting up fliers about swim groups not only allows you to have a better chance to keep your pool busy so that it looks good on tours, but it also gives your residents an opportunity to connect with each other.  From Mommy and Me swim groups at 10 am to your Senior swimmers at 12 pm,  to younger swimmers at 4pm with a parent supervising, the chances for connections greatly improve with just a little push from you!

These are just some quick ideas that can help you maximize the advantages of your pool this summer.  What others can you think of?

 

 

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Heather is a consultant, staffing facilitator, recruiter and trainer in the Seattle area with Career Strategies Inc.  Check out more of her property management ideas at www.behindtheleasingdesk.com .

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Jen - These ideas are great! Printed off the entry and am faxing it to my properties with pools!

  Tara Smiley
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Er... Heather... sorry... thinking one thing/typing another. Thousand apologies.

  Tara Smiley
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Hey, I'll take being mistaken for the brilliance of Jen Piccotti as a compliment ANYTIME!

  Heather Blume
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I'm blushing over here, ladies! Great ideas, Heather. These are good examples of making it easy/convenient to be a resident. Charity Hisle and I were just tweeting yesterday about how so many businesses make it challenging to be a customer (i.e....

I'm blushing over here, ladies! Great ideas, Heather. These are good examples of making it easy/convenient to be a resident. Charity Hisle and I were just tweeting yesterday about how so many businesses make it challenging to be a customer (i.e. bank tellers taking their lunch from noon to 1, leaving 1 teller to deal with the lunch crowd), so any extra conveniences definitely add value!

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  Jen Piccotti
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Great list, Heather! I have a few dovetailing comments/ideas for ya! I've thought it would be a great idea to have a "Starbucks Saturdays" where you work with the local Starbucks to provide Frappucinos and other cool drinks to the residents for...

Great list, Heather! I have a few dovetailing comments/ideas for ya! I've thought it would be a great idea to have a "Starbucks Saturdays" where you work with the local Starbucks to provide Frappucinos and other cool drinks to the residents for a given hour on Saturdays. (And I don't think you have to pay for them - maybe just a 20% off deal or something...) I wonder if it could turn into the adult version of the ice cream truck!

My other comment is with the summer swim groups - If you can get a bonded provider, having yearly summer swim classes could not only be a benefit to your residents, but maybe even an outreach tool for other families with children in the outlying area. This might even provide a small amount of ancillary income as the provider gives you a cut...

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  Brent Williams
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Jen- I think that as we're trying to build value and show the bigger buck bang here, you're exactly right. You can never have too many cherries or too much whipped cream on a sundae

Thanks!

Brent-
I love those ideas! The starbucks thing...

Jen- I think that as we're trying to build value and show the bigger buck bang here, you're exactly right. You can never have too many cherries or too much whipped cream on a sundae

Thanks!

Brent-
I love those ideas! The starbucks thing could even run throughout the year, since a nice caramel machiatto (spelling?) sounds good in December too! I like the summer swim groups idea quite a bit actually, and I think that with just some community parental involvement it could turn in to something pretty cool. You know, in the Seattle area, that's something that Community Northwest could probably help the property out with. I wonder if Kim has people who already run swimming lessons?

Thanks for the comment!

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  Heather Blume
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Some of our Community Teams have been contacted by people who want to give swim lessons. We gear it around the Community's desires and liability concerns.

One thing I did when we were a Community Team, was host a pool party for the kids. ...

Some of our Community Teams have been contacted by people who want to give swim lessons. We gear it around the Community's desires and liability concerns.

One thing I did when we were a Community Team, was host a pool party for the kids. Parents had to be in attendance. I gave out beach balls from OrientalTrading.com and had fresh fruit and juice pouches to munch on. A few long term friendships grew out of this one event.

Another thing our Teams do that is always a hit is buy a box of Otter Pops and keep a stack of them in the freezer. Whenever a warm day comes around, which is not always guaranteed here in Seattle, we take a stack of pops, a pair of scissors to cut the tops, and a small garbage bag around. We hit at random times of the day to provide a nice surprise.

The kids love them, and the adults are always happy to have one too! We often hear, "I haven't had Otter Pops in years! What a treat!". After making one lap around, make a second lap to pick up the garbage. It is usually plenty of time for everyone to finish, and gives us great time talk with all the residents. And the best thing...it only costs $6 for a box that lasts all summer! All it takes is time.

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  Kimberly Lee
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Otter Pops!!!! My mom one year bought what seemed to be 1000 of those. You're always left with tons of Purple, Green and orange But people do love them!

$6 resident retention idea! SWEET!

  Heather Blume

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