Our March Power Panel on the topic of 2022 Value Drivers featured several surprises. There were two new drivers that we haven’t seen in the Top 5 since 2015 and 2016. In this post, we are recapping the Top 5 Value Drivers for 2022 and answering all of the questions from the webinar.
Top 5 Value Drivers for 2022
- Sense of Community
- Apartment Appearance & Condition
- Social Media
- Safety & Security
- Community Appearance & Condition
Questions & Answers:
Q1: What is the name of the app/communication you used?
- A1: Sameer Shantaram, our panelist with Paradigm Management, shared how he and his team kept open communication with their residents and continued to provide a sense of community during the pandemic. Using their open outdoor space, the were able to bring food trucks to their community to help small businesses stay afloat and to allow residents to socialize outdoors while enjoying local food truck fare. Additionally, his community utilized a virtual community engagement platform called COBU. Through this app, residents were able to build connections with each other through common interests and create/join chat groups to enjoy common interests and/or help neighbors.
Q2. If amenities are part of the vision of what drives “sense of community,” why aren’t amenities on the list? What is happening maybe on a “deeper” level that drives sense of community?
- A2: Lia and several of the panelists responded to this question. In a recap: amenities is a value driver option on the resident survey; however, residents don’t just want amenities, they want ways to connect (ie sense of community being the #1 driver every year). Amenities can be a great avenue to provide opportunities for residents to build connections if they are utilized successfully by the onsite teams. Linda and Sameer both discussed ways that they effectively use their fitness spaces (as well as other common areas) to help promote wellness through staying active and building friendships in the community to work out together or in groups.
Q3: How do you keep a sense of community going during staff turnover/takeovers at a property?
A3: All three of our panelists had some helpful tips for this question. To help maintain a sense of community with residents during onsite team turnover, it’s important to maintain communication. Some suggestions the panelists mentioned were:
- Meet & Greets
- Make it a big deal to introduce new team members through a variety of methods: social media, resident portal, and in-person introductions
- Make sure all team members regularly interact with residents – including learning their names, pets’ names, children’s names, etc
- Personalize your communication – especially regarding work order follow ups
More on Social Media
The # 3 Value Driver, which has continuously been in the Top 5 since 2017, is social media. As Lia mentioned in the webinar, many of the survey value drivers are “givens.” Office responsiveness and maintenance timeliness – renters now expect these. In order to maximize perception of value with your renters, you have to be already providing the “givens” and then work on the top value drivers. One driver that is consistently overlooked or onsite teams are not quite sure how to manage is social media. In fact, only 21% of our webinar attendees guessed that it was a Top 5 value driver. During our webinar, Sameer gave some examples of how his team has used social media at their community. Linda from Lombardo also had some great tips, but we ran out of time to share them. Below are some great ways that Linda’s community, Kirkway Apartments, is using social media:
“We use social media from our initial point of contact with our prospects and continue to use it to stay connected with our residents after move-in.”
- Shred-it events
- Blood drives
- Share local happenings – local business discounts, new businesses in the area, puppy training events, etc
- epIQ Rankings – sharing with residents since they have helped us move up in the rankings
- Community reminders
In addition to the social media tips provided in this webinar, the panelists from our February Outreach Marketing Power Panel shared some great ideas for engaging with the community on social media. We encourage you to watch that webinar as well. Social media is only growing, so it’s important to figure out how to navigate it at your company or community and use it as a value driving tool for the residents in your neighborhood.
Thank you again to the wonderful panelists: Cheryl Carroll with Hankin Apartments, Linda Graham with Lombardo Property Management, and Sameer Shantaram with Paradigm Management.