The SatisFacts Grand Prix: 3 Sessions, Unlimited Ideas
The SatisFacts Grand Prix is a 3-part seminar focusing on resident retention, maintenance and reputation management. Each session delves into the minds of residents uncovering what motivates them to renew from year to year. Here’s a rundown of key points covered during the seminar.
Part One: Gone in 60 Seconds – Making the Most of Every Resident Interaction
Residents are beginning to care more about how they live rather than where they live. They want the worry-free lifestyle that is promised on the brochure. They want fast and complete resolutions to their issues and concerns. If they have to work too hard to get those things, they will simply find another community willing to provide such a lifestyle. It all comes down to two things: prevention and recovery.
Prevention – management teams are no longer afforded the luxury of reacting to situations. They must anticipate a problem and plan ahead. Streamlining processes for resident follow ups and service requests is essential for resident retention. If the community has a preventative maintenance plan, they should also have a preventative attrition plan. Anticipate the reasons someone would have to leave the community and have standards in place avoid losing residents.
Recovery – residents are not expecting perfection, but they do expect a resolution. Residents are not born difficult; they are conditioned to be so when time after time their problems go unresolved. When an issue has been brought to light, fast and complete resolutions have to be produced. Noise complaints, maintenance problems and other resident concerns weigh heavily when it comes to resident satisfaction. A satisfied resident understands an annual rental increase and will easily accept such terms. Those not so happy residents will bristle at an increase, however slight.
Anticipate problems and plan ahead – and should things not go so smoothly, make a remarkable recovery.
Part Two: Greased Lightning – The Need for Speed
When I first started as a Leasing Associate, I developed a great time-management system for tackling all of the duties I was responsible for throughout the day. One of my most ingenious techniques came in the form of post-it notes. As service requests came in, I would jot them down on post-it notes and sit them to the side of my computer. Once I had a good amount of requests and time to spare, I would enter them into the computer and put the printed requests in the maintenance inbox. In some form or another, this was standard practice throughout the office – everyone did something similar for their requests.
Those of us in the office never realized the back-up this created for our maintenance teams. Imagine you are a Service Tech and throughout the day you stop by the office to check your inbox for new requests. First stop at 10am – no tickets. Second stop before lunch – no tickets. Third stop after lunch – no tickets. Fourth stop at 2pm – 5 tickets. Fifth stop at 4pm – 18 tickets! Who can possibly resolve 18 tickets before the end of the business day?
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of entering in each ticket as they come into the office. If a resident places a call for service at 10am but the ticket isn’t entered until 3pm, we have essentially lost 5 hours in which that request could have been resolved. That 10am ticket may not be resolved until the following business day, essentially a full 24 hours after the request was made. In the mind of the resident, that could equate to 2 full days.
The back-up created by our attempts at time management affect not only the maintenance process but the resident’s overall living experience. Do you have a standard in place for your service requests? If so, does everyone on your team, from office to maintenance, know about it and most importantly adhere to it?
Part Three: Fast and Furious – Changing Your Online Story
Maximize the “good” that’s happening at your community every day. Drown out those negative comments by asking your satisfied residents to stand up and be heard! Here are 3 simple ways to generate gratitude online.
STEP ONE: Start with a clean slate.
Respond to every review that has been posted within the last 6 months; even if they were left for the previous manager or management company. When forming a response, do so with the reader in mind. For every 1 reviewer, there are hundreds of readers and your response will be read for years to come.
STEP TWO: Give them something good to talk about.
Look for common threads among the reviews (i.e., outstanding maintenance issues, office is unresponsive, etc.). Listen to what these reviews are saying and make the necessary changes. Sometimes, the changes are as simple as putting a new procedure in place (ex: setting a deadline for returning calls and emails). More often than not, these changes have no financial impact on your community budget.
STEP THREE: Seize the moment.
Did you just get a “thank you” from a resident? When a compliment is received, acknowledge the feedback and let the resident know you plan on sharing it with the rest of the team. Then, take it a step further and ask the resident if they would be willing to repeat their great experience on your ratings and review page.
Provide the resident with the direct link to your page (either by email or a pre-printed card). Happy residents will gladly post a positive review. All you need to do is ask! Another option – if you have a business center – is to bookmark your page. Encourage your resident to post their comment before they have a chance to leave your office.
Remember, what happens onsite could end up online – give residents something good to talk about!
Interested in hosting your own Grand Prix? Please contact [email protected] for scheduling information.