We all know that great resident retention depends largely on factors like timely maintenance response, friendly staff, unique amenities and beautiful curb appeal. But how much thought is given to the importance of social connectedness relative to resident satisfaction and renewal rates?
There is a great deal of evidence of late on the impact of being socially connected (or not) on physical health and psychological well-being. You can read an outstanding article on the subject citing several related studies here.
Witten Advisors presented some interesting industry data on connectedness at the recent NMHC Annual Meeting in a session titled "Hanging onto Residents by Cultivating Real Community and Relationships." Take a look at the following graphs:
Surprising, no? Such a small percentage of residents have more than a couple of friends within the community, and the majority have none. And yet, look at the correlation of number of friends to intent to renew! It seems like a no-brainer that efforts to increase social connectedness among residents are well worth the investment, time and energy. All those great activities you spend hours planning are so very worth it! Anything you can do enhance or facilitate interaction between your residents will pay off in a big way; community apps and portals that make it easy for residents to communicate with you and each other, a consistent and creative schedule of events designed to get people talking and playing together, pet play dates and sitting connections, carpool-to-work opportunities, book clubs and bulletin boards for selling stuff. You get the idea . . . there are so many ways to help your residents connect.
Connect to succeed. And have a lot of fun along the way.