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RHI: Resident Happiness Index

RHI: Resident Happiness Index

The more and more I think about apartment communities and SaaS companies, the more I realize how alike they actually are. In essence, apartments and SaaS companies provide a subscription service to their residents or clients. We are also focused on defining and improving the Resident Experience1 (RX) or the Customer Experience. There is also a little event that happens every year that we are both (or should be) keenly aware of - renewal time! Everything we do should be focused on making residents' experience so good that they don’t even have to think about signing another lease.

How do you effectively track and monitor how happy your residents are leading up to the renewal? One of the tools that SaaS companies are building and using is something called the Customer Happiness Index or CHI. The CHI is a data-driven tool that allows you to take an objective look at your customers and determine how happy they are with the service(s) that you are providing them. It is a tremendously helpful tool that provides you a snapshot into how healthy your relationship is with a client at that point in time. CHI is certainly a tool or principle that apartment communities can borrow and tweak to make their own... so how about a Resident Happiness Index (RHI)?

Now the tough part begins - deciding on what metrics and data you want to include in your RHI. If you've already defined your RX, then that's the best place to start. If you have not yet defined your RX, now is the time to start. Get your team in a room and start talking about all of the important indicators that are going to have an impact on your residents. Two important things to remember when creating your RHI:

  • Automate it: The metrics that you include in the RHI need to be data that is recorded automatically. The more complex or in-depth the process of gathering data, the less likely that you will be able to utilize the RHI.
  • One size may not fit all: If you are looking to create a RHI for multiple properties, you may find that there are some useful metrics that span multiple properties. However, you need to be sure that you’re not ignoring an important metric because it only applies to a single property. All properties are different and, as a result, your RHI may have to be as well.

Here are some metrics that you may want to include in your RHI:

  • Number of Maintenance Requests: The more requests that a resident submits, the more frustrated they may be with your community.
  • Resident Tenure: The length of time that a resident has lived at your community can provide insights as to how happy they are with that community.
  • Community Engagement: How engaged are your residents at your community? Are they using the amenities that the property offers?
  • Referrals: If a resident continues to encourage their friends to live at your community, that must mean they love living there. Right?
  • Property Transfer: If a resident ends up moving to another community that you manage or own, this could indicate that they are happy with corporate.

It is important to remember that the RHI is not going to be all-inclusive— it will not always provide you the clearest picture regarding how happy your residents are. There will always be some subjective items that will impact whether or not a resident signs a renewal at your property and you need to be conscious of those items as well.  However, the RHI is a great place to start and is an effective tool that provides constant insights into the health of that resident relationship. Is your property or management company already using a RHI or something similar? If so, we would love to hear about it! What are some of the metrics that you are including in the RHI? How are you tracking them? How helpful and/or valuable has the RHI been to your business?


By: Blake Webster


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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Very insightful article and interesting analogy. Metrics and areas they cover are very relevant. Most of them are readily available in our systems, but some require little bit more effort. All in all, RHI is a very interesting concept in apartment industry.

Two other concepts that good SaaS companies do well are capturing/calculating CAC (customer acquisition costs) and LTV (life time value). They are very relevant for us as well.

  Amar Duggasani
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Nice job Blake, and very interesting! The RHI concept is intriguing. Another metric that might be predictive is how active they are on community and collaboration networks for the building, if they are in use. Whether activity on a building Facebook page, an electronic bulletin board or a sharing and collaboration network like we offer at Spare to Share, the level of resident engagement should be a factor in the RHI.

Again, nice job!

  Greg Jaros
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hey Amar,

Thanks for the comment! Great points about CAC and LTV - both very important stats that we use in the SaaS industry. How effective have those two figures been for you?

  Blake Webster
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

<p>Blake - We definitely use CAC and LTV in our line of business as Revenue Management provider (LRO). These stats help us with what the breakeven point is and investments to be made in customer acquisitions. So I would say very effective.<br />
<br />
We are in early research stages in terms of how these principles could be implemented for our customers wrt their renters.</p>

  Amar Duggasani
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Very cool Amar. It's nice to see all the different ways that we can leverage data and technology to make us more efficient. There are too many resources out there now to not take advantage of. I'm excited to see some of the stuff that you guys come up with.

  Blake Webster
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Thanks Greg! Agreed - tracking their engagement in your online communities is also a great factor to consider - whether its positive or negative engagement. It is all about getting a clearer picture about how happy (or unhappy) they are.

I appreciate the kind words!

  Blake Webster

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