Every year, the NAA Education Conference gives me a chance to meet new people in the multifamily industry and catch up with old acquaintances. Many of the conversations I have involve what their company’s focus for success will be in the coming year.
This year, a recurring theme in my conversations and in many of the education sessions was giving residents more of a sense of community, and the services that would be advantageous to retention campaigns.
With the improving economy leading to higher rents, value in additional services is at its peak. Residents today want the conveniences of saving time, the custom made amenities for their individual lifestyles, and most of all the ability to really make their apartment their home.
Things such as personalizing their own paint colors, or adding services such as laundry or dry cleaning, cooking classes, or dog parks are on the rise of “value added” perceptions.
Value add also goes beyond offering these services and amenities. Management companies are focusing on hiring and retaining employees who are customer service-oriented and can meet the needs of demanding residents.
Business cannot survive as “usual”. As an industry, we must glean the best of the best to work for our companies. Those who have that work ethic and focus of being a service provider mentality that will be the discernible difference between property management of the past and the customer-driven expectations of the future.