With 2021 drawing to a close, we’ve taken time out to reflect and share what we’ve learned this year.
Buying, selling, and swapping
Across our client base we saw an increase in residents joining ‘marketplace’ forums, set up to enable residents to easily sell and promote their items to their neighbours within their building. At the start of the year, and as lockdowns were slowly being lifted, we regularly saw games consoles, handmade jewellery, cooking equipment, chairs, sofas, and desks being listed. The marketplace is one of the most actively used forums across our client base, helping residents to find exactly what they need right on their doorstep.
Some of our clients have also chosen to set up ‘I’m happy’ and ‘I’m not happy’ forums in their Spike Living portals. Residents can then post issues or praise accordingly. Although this might sound risky, it gives operators the right to reply to any complaints and keeps the problem contained. Moreover, it offers residents complete transparency which often translates into trust and loyalty.
Greater importance placed on health
Rather than the usual January spike in gym bookings and exercise classes, we saw this happen much later in the year, which coincided with the majority of lockdown restrictions being lifted. This had a continued knock-on effect where gym bookings remained unusually high all the way through to August, where they then dropped down to pre-pandemic levels. Interestingly, Yoga and meditation classes were the most popular sessions being booked amongst residents, which really emphasises the importance placed on both physical and mental health.
We also saw in-person event bookings increase over 1500% in March compared to January, when stay-at-home orders in the UK were lifted. Bookings rose a further 112% in July when all restrictions were lifted, and then tailed off slightly in August.
We’ve seen Christmas events, such as wreath and mince pie-making classes being held much earlier this year, with residents eager to get together to celebrate once again.
Continued rise in internet shopping
Our software processed more than 100,000 deliveries per month in 2021 and as we head towards the end of the year, we’re seeing that number rise considerably. Our Spike Living software can take away the stress of online shopping by ensuring that when parcels get delivered, residents receive real-time alerts when they are ready to collect from the front desk, eliminating the need for constant calls to the concierge or worrying whether their parcels will be left in a safe place.
Yet another year has gone by when people have spent lengthy amounts of time being at home – and there’s no doubt that this has created a long-term change of mindset when it comes to what is important about where we live. It’s not just the obvious – room to move, fresh air, access to the outdoors – in fact, as the amenities and facilities being provided by operators are becoming less differentiated, so the decision on where to live is becoming less and less about the building and the actual physical space, and more about how a tenant can see themselves building a life there.
The challenge for developers is how to set themselves apart in an era when good facilities are increasingly common; and here at Spike we see community engagement playing an increasingly important role in attracting and retaining tenants. Our Spike Living portal is much more than just an easy way to book a slot in the gym or check if the concierge has received a parcel – it can help residents to find friends, join clubs, expand their interests, and become part of a community. It can help them to book the resident’s lounge, find a good cleaner or get a discount on a round of drinks in a nearby bar – all of which creates the kind of glow that makes a tenant feel they belong.
2022 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GUIDE
To help you hit the ground running in 2022 our Customer Success Team have put together a handy monthly guide which will hopefully provide you with some suggested content you could be sharing with your residents throughout the year.
Download a copy of our 2022 Community Engagement Guide below.