Every year seems to have a different focus for people. This year, we have the Chinese Year of the Horse, the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. But what is YOUR focus as a property manager?
Most of the buzz I hear lately is that 2014 is the year that “Customer Service is the New Marketing”. And I have to agree. Social media and online reviews only seem to be getting bigger and bigger…so amping up your customer service arsenal only makes sense. But what does that really mean?
For some, it means increasing your number of resident events. Our industry saw a big jump in resident event programming in 2013 and you can plan on that only getting bigger and better. Residents want to connect, not only online but in person. What can you do to help foster that connection? How about at least one monthly activity that’s focused on getting your residents to know one another, and one activity that focuses on you and your team serving your residents better.
5 Easy Ideas to Connect with Residents
- Ice Cream Sunday: A make-it-yourself sundae bar for everyone at your property is always a hit. You might want to wait till the weather breaks in those colder states, but this is a guaranteed winner.
- Pre-Pool Party Opening: Nothing makes people feel like Winter is on its way than either a pool opening bash or a pre-pool opening bash. Shorts, tees , picnic food, limbo contests…who cares if there is still snow on the ground in your market? Give people something to look forward to and they’ll appreciate it.
- Gate Giveaway: Instead of the tried and true “Breakfast at the Gate”, offer something along with the goodies that makes the giveaway more memorable. How about a St. Patrick’s Day theme in March with green cupcakes? Or even McDonalds’s Shamrock Shake coupons? And if you’re a high rise, you know you just do this in the lobby since you don’t really have a ‘gate’.
- Pet Portraits: Give your residents a chance to have their best friend photographed in the best possible light by offering pet portraits. If you contract with a photographer, you don’t have to pay a thing, and your residents only pay if they like the portraits!
- Movie Night: Get some family friendly flicks to show on the flat screen in your clubroom. Let the families bring the blankets and the pillows and you serve the refreshments and popcorn. Start off with something the little ones would like and maybe work your way up to some scarier fare for the teenagers and Moms and Dads (so the little ones can go home and miss the scary stuff!).
It’s important that you plan your activities well in advance so that your residents can make room for them on their calendars. The more time they have to plan, the better turnout you will get for your event.
Read Part 2 of this blog series for 5 Easy Ways to Connect with Residents with technology amenities.