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Posted by on in Resident Retention
The Secret to Happiness

If there’s one thing Americans are good at it’s the pursuit of happiness.  The only problem is that happiness is an elusive goal. Until recently, at least. In the last year, Harvard researcher, Robert J. Waldinger  has published and publicized the findings of the longest study of human development ever completed. What the researchers from Harvard medical school discovered was that the secret to happiness is found in developing and maintaining close, intimate relationships.  Researchers studied a group of men for 75 years and discovered that no matter what their economic, educational or social status, the common denominator for greater health and happiness was the quality of relationship.  

Why would I share that in a blog for the multifamily housing industry?  For lots of reasons.  First, because regardless of your stance on new year resolutions, it can’t hurt to spend some time considering if our pursuit of the good life is actually aimed in the right direction. But also because we have the unique privilege (if we choose to accept it) of creating space for community.  Apartment communities are ripe for helping people connect—thereby increasing their health and happiness.  

Fostering a sense of community is a common tagline for us, but I think we do a poor job of informing our residents and others of the benefits of connecting. What if we could really claim that living in our community could add years to life and increase happiness!  It’s a no-brainer.  Here’s to a new year of connectedness.  


Kiley has been in the multi-family sector for over 13 years. She currently serves as Sr. Vice President of Client Relations with CARES. Apartment Life serves more than 400 multifamily communities and has direct responsibility for branding CARES and integrating it into the multifamily space.

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  • Kiley, we find connecting residents and trying to build a neighborhood to be a critical component of increasing resident retention, reducing turnover, and improving the bottom line. So in addition to the "feel good" benefits of connecting our residents, it has financial benefits. What could be better! Thanks for this!

  • Phil

    a 75 year study is an incredible accomplishment and the info contained therein should be taken very seriously
    this is something worth hanging your hat on for a lifetime
    if you can accomplish it in any facet of your life - personal/family/work it will be well worth it
    to make it work in an apartment community is a real challenge but it should be attempted in any way you can