Team Effort

Brainstorming as a team provides added value through a range of perspectives and insights—and the tactic can benefit management of your communities, as well.
Editorial Director Suzann D. Silverman
Editorial Director Suzann D. Silverman

I’m a big believer in teamwork. When people put their heads together and brainstorm, one idea leads to another, and the next thing you know you’ve all come up with something you never would’ve thought of on your own. There’s also the added value gained by a range of perspectives, to say nothing of the new insights even less-experienced colleagues may contribute and the buy-in gained by including more people. It’s a good way to improve on existing initiatives as well as to develop new possibilities for expansion.

This strategy also works outside the office. Take apartment marketing. Happy residents make for greater advocates. That requires two steps: keeping them content through effective property management, and encouraging them to help you spread the word about how great it is to live in your community.

First the property management: Of course you know how to run a community better than your renters. After all, it’s what you do for a living. But residents spend much more time there than even an on-site management team, and since they’re actively using the facilities—whether that means experiencing the water pressure in a shower, competing for the washing machines or getting time in the gym—they have a hands-on knowledge of what works well and what drives them crazy. They may also be able to contribute ideas from their own, different business and life experiences. So encouraging feedback, and even including them in brainstorming sessions, can help ensure you’re meeting—and exceeding—their needs. 

Once you’ve gained that buy-in, harness the power of their positivity. Actively! Don’t just rely on your residents to express their joy about life in your community (because who knows if they’ll do it on their own!)—make some specific requests. Ask them to post reviews on your social media pages. Include testimonials in your advertisements. Get permission to display photos of real, live residents using the amenities at your property. Maybe they can even provide references during self-guided tours. Genuine enthusiasm is visible and appealing. And it’s also infectious—while current residents are helping you attract new ones, their feeling of satisfaction will increase.

Both processes are ongoing, although you may want to weight one effort over the other at different times in your business cycle, as IvyLee Rosario discusses in “How Marketing and Operations Impact NOI.” You will need to constantly reevaluate and rebalance your strategies.

How have you involved your residents in your management and marketing efforts? I’d love to hear how it’s worked for you!