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Employee Engagement

The latest multifamily research and data regarding the impact of employee engagement on resident retention, online reputation, and revenue growth.

Resident Retention: Quit Buggin'!

How annoying are bugs? Very! And with summer, we often see an onslaught of bug invasions. Along with the pretty appearances of butterflies and fireflies, we've got to deal with mosquitoes, gnats and worse. We don't necessarily mind them outdoors, but when they start making themselves at home in our home - well, that's a problem!  Ant invasions, spiders in every corner, swarming termites, wasp nests, and dare I even mention the bed bugs stowing away in our vacationing residents’ luggage? It should come as no surprise that when asked in our annual resident satisfaction surveys why residents don't indicate they are "Very Likely" to renew their leases, "Pests/Bugs" are in the top ten reasons!  The good news: You can do something about this!

Meet with the exterminating service under contract and make sure they are made aware of the company’s and residents’ expectations.  If you have applicable survey results, they should be shared with the vendor so the issue can be put in perspective in terms of its impact on resident satisfaction. Ensure your vendor is made aware that their performance will be monitored.  In addition, have the service provider tour selected apartments and common areas with the staff to evaluate them.  An action plan to remedy any issues should be requested.  If the property has a solid, long-term relationship with the provider, then the tone of discussions should be from a “partner” perspective; if a new service provider, the tone may need to be stronger, with severe cases requiring the provider be put on notice with a specific time period to rectify the issues. Notify your residents of what the service provider is doing, so they understand the problem is being addressed from a management perspective.

From a customer service perspective, show your residents that you are taking the bull by the horns and provide a summer pest control tip sheet for pest problems that are common to your geographic region. For example, if ants are a local problem, provide tips and suggestions on what residents can do to minimize ant infestations: store cereals or crackers in airtight containers; don't leave dirty dishes in the sink, etc. This shows residents you are aware of the problem and are taking an active role in providing solutions for the issue. Educate your residents on how to prevent other infestations, such as bed bugs or fleas.

Tip sheets are quick and easy reference guides that provide information at a glance – no long winded explanations needed.

  • Bullet points are best.

By demonstrating a proactive approach to common and annoying community issues, your residents will have one more reason to say, "It's EASY to be a resident here!"

Jen Piccotti is the VP Consulting Services for SatisFacts Research. www.satisfacts.com

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