What is the best thing about your apartment community? Your swimming pool? The nifty tennis court? Your roach-free status? (Well done on that last one, by the way.) These amenities are fantastic and might draw in some great residents, but the best thing about your community probably has nothing to do with the tiny on-site gym. It’s the people who live there, and the way you treat them.
Business owners everywhere can tell you that people are the greatest asset a company can have. The better employees you have, the better work is done, and the more enjoyable the overall environment. When you attract the right employees, you have a lower turnover rate and save on training costs. Everyone wins! The same is true in an apartment community. When you attract great residents and keep them by treating them well, everyone in your complex benefits.
So, how do you do that? Allow me to present…
THE 6 COMMANDMENTS OF HAPPY RESIDENTS
- Thou shalt attract good residents. Your roach-free status comes in handy for this one. Know what you have to offer, and know how to market it to the kind of people you want.
- Thou shalt be smart. You know what to look out for when it comes to dodgy residents. Don’t skip the screening steps. Require application fees and references. It might seem easier to skip a few steps now, relying on first impressions and gut feelings, but you can save yourself hours of headaches later by taking your time during the application process.
- Thou shalt be professional at all times. You don’t need to be your residents’ friend, but you do need to be someone they can trust. Respond promptly to questions, and treat residents with respect. The ol’ Golden Rule applies here. If you aren’t being professional with your residents, they will respond in kind.
- Thou shalt maintain thy building. Maintenance problems are huge issues for residents, and the way you respond to them will speak volumes. Do your best to keep your buildings in ship shape, and when the inevitable emergency happens, fix it as soon as you can.
- Thou shalt communicate with thy resident. If you want to keep your resident you want to be as communicative as possible. Is rent going to increase this year? Meet with them to tell them why. Is a loud construction crew going to be working on the property? Perhaps you should consider giving your resident a heads up (and a set of ear plugs).
- Thou shalt go the extra mile. There are many housing options available, particularly for the types of residents you want to attract. Make yours stand out. Is there an upgrade that your residents would appreciate? Perhaps you could check with local businesses and negotiate deals for people who live in your complex. Why not write thank you cards or give gifts to long-time renters? Even little things make a difference.
Follow these guidelines, and you will be that much closer to having a community filled with the kind of people who will make it thrive. And you’ll continue to keep your place happy, successful, and free of all roaches—including those of the human variety.