2022 has been a year of amazing growth for the multifamily industry – from occupancy to technology to resident satisfaction – all thanks to new ideas, progressive thinkers, and leaders ready to move their companies, and the industry, in a new direction.
The team at ApartmentRatings & SatisFacts has compiled our resources from this year to offer up five key insights to carry the multifamily industry into 2023.
The impact of EX on CX
Employees set the tone for the resident experience and workplace culture. With trending topics such as “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” gaining popularity during 2022, company leaders are beginning to recognize the employee experience is paramount to a successful customer experience strategy. In our highest rated Power Panels webinar of 2022: Employee Development: The Future Frontier, multifamily experts shared what management companies in the industry are and should be doing to provide a company culture and customer experience that is worthy of their employees’ hard work and dedication.
We have been taking employee satisfaction seriously since 2008. As the first comprehensive platform to provide our multifamily housing partners with meaningful data, in-depth reporting and education from employee and resident survey feedback, we have been able to determine a direct correlation between service and profit for our clients across the country.
Reviews are a top 3 trusted source
More consumers are reading online reviews than ever before. As researchers across the country have shown this year, reviews have become a top source. From our own Biennial Online Renter Study released in February 2022, we can confirm that reviews are now among the top 3 sources for renters, surpassing any company generated marketing initiatives. Reviews are now trusted 75.5% of the time vs word of mouth now at 60.1%. Brightlocal found similar results in their 2022 Local Consumer Study, with 88% of consumers saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. A recent Yelp survey further confirmed this with 77% of consumers saying they read online reviews now more than ever before.
Authenticity in review generation is a must
As reviews have become more and more relevant this year, so has consumer demand for authenticity and transparency. In the same 2022 Brightlocal study, 62% of consumers stated they believe they can spot a fake review with 45% believing reviews are fake when they are over-the-top in praise and 40% saying when there are a lot of reviews with similar content. Similarly, the SatisFacts Biennial Online Renter Study found that 58% of renters would not trust a review site with all or mostly positive reviews. In the Yelp survey, 88% of respondents said it’s important to them to understand how online review platforms determine which reviews are reliable and which are less trustworthy. Our team has been educating the multifamily industry on FTC regulations and review generation and response best practices since 2019. To better assist our industry partners in understanding the facts about review generation and provide clarity on review gating, review suppression, and FTC regulations, we increased our online reputation education in 2022 through articles: The FTC is Cracking Down: Are You Participating in Deceptive Review Practices and 5 Realities of Review Generation, as well as through our monthly Power Panels webinars: Review Generation Reality and User Generated Content.
The customer experience game is shifting
The customer experience is all-encompassing. It includes every form of interaction or communication, direct or indirect, that a person has with your company. As user generated content, social media, and employee wellness have been placed in the spotlight, no longer can you get away with poor reviews, lack of responses, or treating employees as dispensable. Customers know they have options and they know they deserve a quality place to live and work. The multifamily industry has shown major growth in customer experience this year and we’ve seen it first-hand with the SatisFacts National Index for resident satisfaction currently standing at a 4.4 out of 5. We’ve seen our multifamily partners, such as Altman Companies, Berger, Tricap, Trilogy, RADCO and more, and those highlighted during epIQ Week 2022: RIM, ASMC, J.C. Hart, and ProMark, share how they have worked to implement new programs and create a culture of change and the impact it’s had on their business and customer experience.
Don’t be scared to be the first
While it can be scary and challenging to be the first to do something – to be the one to lead a team or business on a new, forward-thinking path – doing so helps pave the way for others and gives the multifamily industry momentum, which is a challenge our industry regularly faces.
The team at ApartmentRatings & SatisFacts are forward-thinkers. Through regular user testing, biennial renter studies, and data collected from millions of resident and employee surveys, the education team is always comparing data, spotting trends, and sharing and educating the industry on our findings. As a company who is often the first to introduce industry trends, we encourage multifamily leaders to challenge your companies and communities to be their actual best – which means taking a real look at what customers (employees and residents) truly want and need and adjusting practices and policies to provide genuine, meaningful experiences that create authentic reviews and referrals – which will capture new employees who truly want to be a part of your company and culture AND new residents who are truly happy to both live in and refer your communities.
We wish everyone a successful 2023 that brings a culture promoting new ideas, diversity, and a work-life balance to build a team of connected, engaged employees who ultimately create inspiring customer experiences that generate an authentic reputation.