Before COVID 19, placemaking, community management and resident engagement was a topic beginning to rank higher on the priorities of developers, property managers and agents everywhere.
Then… the pandemic happened and local community became ever-more important.
What we are seeing now is a switch from community being seen as a luxury to being seen as a necessity, by both developers and residents. Across our portfolio we’ve seen social engagement increase dramatically over the last 12 months.
Which is why we have put together a series of articles to help the industry prioritise and grow their resident engagement strategies, to meet the changing needs of residents and potential residents.
WHAT IS RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT?
Resident Engagement is a strategy focused on increasing connections between your property offering, and your residents. Resident engagement represents the levels of enthusiasm and connection residents have with the places they choose to live. It’s a measure of how residents positively interact with activity connected to your property, and a sign of how committed they are to staying there. Importantly, it’s an outcome that depends on the actions lead by property operators, managers and or/owners.
Initiatives can incorporate anything from social events, to software implementation, depending on your strategy and focus. The aim is to ensure residents are positively engaging, and are as emotionally connected to where they live, as possible.
Some popular strategies property operators and owners focus on include:
- Keeping residents connected to on-site staff
- Creating community by connecting residents to one another
- Offering helpful, additional services to enhance residents day-to-day lives (e.g. Cleaning)
- Enhancing your online reputation
- Streamlining rental / purchasing journey
- Improving building management efficiency
- Improving the overall resident experience
WHY IS RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT IMPORTANT?
Resident Engagement goes hand-in-hand with increased resident satisfaction. Maintaining high tenant satisfaction is top priority for 97% of facility and real estate managers.
It’s widely accepted that consumer satisfaction is essential to long-term business success, and is one of the most frequently researched topics in marketing (e.g. Jones & Suh, 2000; Pappu & Quester, 2006).
More specifically, Research shows that resident engagement is essential for retaining residents. In a recent study, 77% of consumers say that engagement programs make them more likely to continue doing business with a brand. Positive resident engagement leads to signed renewals, increased revenue and a better reputation.
By embedding resident engagement tactics into your sales / rental processes it can directly affect new revenue also. It is widely accepted that satisfied consumers are less price sensitive, less influenced by competitors’ messaging and loyal to the firm longer than dissatisfied customers (Dimitriades, 2006).
In 2021 the modern consumer expects more than just a place to live, and they are willing to shop around, and do their research to find what they’re looking for. Respondents rated the importance of the online reputation of the management company managing their development community at a high of 7.85 on a 10 point scale.
To remain competitive, property operators, owners and managers must prioritise resident engagement to maximise retention, revenue and reputation.
Resident engagement has become ever-more important over the last 12 months, as people are spending considerably more time at home. Social distancing measures also mean people are at a higher risk of loneliness, especially in single person households. By supporting your residents though these uncertain times, brand loyalty is built and will be remembered. Operators who go above and beyond for their residents will be the leaders of tomorrow.
To find out more about how Spike could help improve your resident engagement, retention and reputation, get in touch and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.