Smart Apartment Solutions was consulting with a client that was struggling with getting interest and engagement from the residents at their community events. The client said they had tried everything from pool parties to online bingo and that nothing was working and that the residents just didn’t want to be bothered with participating. SO…
When Smart dug a little deeper into the competition it did appear on the surface that they were trying EVERYTHING to keep up with the competitors. We checked through the list of amenities…
-attached garages (check)
-curbside trash pick-up (check)
-fitness center (check)
-resident events—kind of sort of
Continuing to dig deeper, the pool parties and online bingo were tried once and then never tried again. The deeper dive also revealed, the resident events were sparse, inconsistent and the worst part, is that there was no community to share the events and happenings with.
They didn’t have residents that stopped by for coffee or treats for their pets.
When we checked their social media channels were filled with sales pitches and specials and the only followers and likes were by other apartment communities within the same company and their employees.
There was no sense of community, and without it, they were making no headway in retaining their residents year after year.
In comparison with their competitors, the client’s property had all of the same attributes, but what their competitors had that they did not was A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.
So how do you build a sense of community?
Once you have a good foundation (great service, well maintained product) start showing people how it’s great. For example, don’t just say we have great maintenance, because everybody says that….. quantify it—- like talking about longevity on the team, or that they zero out every work order everyday (yep, that unicorn does exist).
And then bring that service into your community events with the same enthusiasm and care, and just because your competitor does Facebook bingo, that doesn’t mean you should.
What do you do to differentiate your community is to ask what they would like to do, and if they don’t respond, then try Bingo, or breakfast on the go and then solicit for insightful feedback; based on those responses, then take action!
Three things the Smarties have learned over the years about building community with events, is that:
1) There must be a value or purpose (Hot and Ready pizzas and a boom box with one disgruntled employee is not a pool party)
2) You must be consistent (even if no one shows up the first few times keep doing it)
3) You can’t assume that one flyer and one social media post is enough promotion for your event or activity. (Over communicate and be consistent)
What are some successes you can share about building your community?