What Renters Want with Jessica Fiur: New Facebook Emojis and Getting Resident Feedback

Facebook improved its "like" button, giving people more options to show their feelings. Is it time for multifamily to do the same?

By Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

jfiur thumbnailFacebook has changed the “Like” button. Well, you can still like things, but now you can also pick one of five other emojis, “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad” and “angry.”

What a time to be alive!

This makes a lot of sense. After all, a “like” is not appropriate on every Facebook post. And if Mark Zuckerberg thinks we need it, who are we plebes to complain. I’ll personally still probably use the like button, but the only “emoji” I really use is the colon and the right parenthesis to make a happy face. Well, that, and of course this one 💩, because that is hilarious. But it’s nice to have options.

Which got me thinking about ways to get apartment feedback from your residents. After all, there are probably only a few ways that residents can communicate their feelings right now, maybe by posting on the community Facebook page, or by complaining to you the property manager (or maybe to the doorman, although I’m not sure how effective that one is). But for those methods, you might only get negative feedback. (Haters gonna hate.) And, while it’s useful to hear negative feedback, because then you can make changes to improve the situation, it’s also nice to hear what you’re doing right. Of course, you’ll never get 100 percent feedback, but if you give people more options, you might hear from a wider variety of residents than you might typically hear from.

Here are some ideas.facebook emojis

Send residents surveys. You can email them surveys, or you can go the old-fashioned route and put paper copies in their mail boxes or under their doors. If you do it by paper, allow them to answer anonymously if they so choose, so there is no fear of retaliation. (Like if they say their toilets are never fixed, they don’t have to be afraid of getting the maintenance guy in trouble and having him come even more infrequently out of spite.) Also let them know where they can drop the completed surveys off so there is no confusion. It also might be useful to give an incentive, such as a Starbucks gift card, to those who complete the survey (or to the first 10 people to complete it if you think you’re going to get a ton of coffee addicts answering. Like me. Gimme gimme).

Host a town hall meeting. Set a time and a date for residents to all gather in a common area so you can hear their feedback in person. This is nice because you can also see if there’s a consensus about issues, and you can get a lively discussion going. Just make sure to provide snacks. Snacks are crucial.

Have a Twitter chat. How hip of you! You can let everyone know the date and time, and give them the event hashtag, and then you can receive their feedback through social media. This has a similar feel to a town hall meeting, but residents can participate in the comfort of their own apartments. And, without pants. #nojudgments.

Make a suggestion box. It’s old school, but it just might work. This way residents can give you feedback or suggestions on their own time, also anonymously if they want. Simple, yet effective.  : )

Have you tried any of these methods at your community, and have you had any success? What are some other ways to get feedback from your residents? And what do you think of the new Facebook emojis? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline.