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Retention

New to the Building? ActiveBuilding can help

Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2014

Did you just move in to an amazing apartment building in town?  Did the property manger ask you to sign up for ActiveBuilding, and you were like “What is ActiveBuilding?  What is it going to do for me?” What ActiveBuilding can do for a new resident like yourself is help you connect with the rest of the apartment community.  There are plenty of helpful features that are designed to help you make the most of your new building, and it is easy and straightforward to use for residents.

You can use the Community Activity feed to find out what’s going on in your area, check out that couch that the unit down the hall is selling that would be perfect for your new living room, or send messages to other residents who are also big hockey fans like you to meet up for the next game.  This will look very familiar to folks who are used to “liking” posts and is an easy way to get involved with the people in your building.

Residents can fill out information about themselves in their ActiveBuilding profile, and meet other residents in the building that have similar interests.  You can use the community event calendar to see what activities are going on, or schedule your own.  It’s never been more convenient to get that board game night going.

Shop online a bunch?  ActiveBuilding helps you keep track of your purchases by providing a simple and safe way for your property managers to handle and account for packages.  See when the management staff receives packages, and sign for it with your finger on a touchscreen when you go to pick it up.  This information is all archived and stored in case you need to look it up later and beats using a paper slip.

ActiveBuilding also lets you pay your rent online, hurray!  No more writing checks and dropping them off or mailing them in.  Your payment history is stored for later reference safely and securely.  You can also file maintenance requests for building staff to get something fixed, reserve communal amenities like rooms and lounges, and much more. It’s simple to get started with ActiveBuilding and is definitely worth signing up for!

Introducing Interest Groups, Powered by ActiveBuilding

Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

We are happy to announce that we have developed a new module for our Community Portals! Interest Groups are something that has been in the works for quite some time and it makes us very proud to be able to release them to all our Community Portals! With our Interest Groups we envision all the different people, with different hobbies and things that drive them, to interact as a community. As residents join groups and make new friends they will begin planning community events and trips that all started on the Community Portal that you provide!

For example; I am a huge baseball fan and as the season meanders through the summer and fall I can now utilize my Community Portal to talk to all the other baseball lovers that live in the same community as I do. We could put together viewing parties of our favorite teams and figure out what pubs and restaurants in the area are playing the games. With each friend that I make through the portal the less likely I am to move out when my lease is up. In fact, the idea of moving somewhere that doesn’t have this already established online networking tool isn’t something I even want to think about!

As each resident joins the Portal for the first time they are prompted to check the boxes for the things they are interested in. (Pictured below)

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From there they will be put into the corresponding group for that interest. As a manager you will be able to see how many people are in each group. (Pictured below)

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We encourage you to get the residents talking to others in the groups by hosting events or even just posting in a couple groups that you find interesting. The word will get around that you and your team are active on the site!

Get to know your residents using Interest Groups! You never know where it will lead.

Annaliese is June 2013’s Property of the Month!

Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

A great on-site team can have a huge impact on your residents’ experience as well as your property’s retention rate; something that we are all aware of and strive for.  This month’s property of the month really impressed us here at ActiveBuilding with how they have proved this notion and made their Community Portal a valuable source of information.  Please congratulate The Annaliese for being selected as ActiveBuilding’s Property of the Month for June 2013!

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In two short months the on-site team at The Annaliese has almost doubled their resident registration rate, as well as significantly increased their communications with residents.  In addition to drastically boosting their residents’ participation, one thing that stuck out to us is the variety of information that they share with residents, ranging from amenity closures, local construction, community events, weather updates, and energy saving tips.  The team has also utilized the polls feature, gathering feedback from residents about planned changes to the property—we think that this is a particularly fantastic way to ensure that residents’ opinions and voices are heard.  Kudos to you!

Amongst all of the great communication within The Annaliese’s community portal what has impressed us the most is the clear impact that the onsite team has had on resident relations.  This connection in their community portal clearly expands beyond that to face-to-face interactions with residents. We love that there are onsite teams as passionate as we are with keeping residents up-to-date and informed about what is happening at their property and in their neighborhood and embracing technology to do so.

Again, congratulations to the Annaliese for being June 2013’s Property of the Month! With a little dedication to residents and upkeep of the portal any of our clients could be July’s!

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Love your Customers

Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Today, through the Twitterverse, I came across a Tweet that I can’t get off my mind:

“‘The best customer is the one you already have.’ WHO WOULDA THUNK IT? @SatisfactsJen whomped us upside the head with $ & common sense #RWUC” – Tweeted by @TamelaCoval

Now, if you don’t Tweet, most of that probably went over your head with all the @’s and #’s.  But no matter what your Social Media expertise is, I think we can all understand the first part: The best customer is the one you already have.

No matter what industry you’re in this quote rings true.  And for those of us in the multifamily industry, where “retention” is the buzzword of the millennium, this quote should be tattooed to the inside of our eyeballs.

Ok, maybe that is a little extreme, but too often we’re focused on obtaining new clients or residents, and we forget about the awesome people using our products or living in our buildings.  So how do we avoid this treacherous mistake?

  1. Let each customer know they are valuable.  I’m currently staying in my apartment on a “month-to-month” basis as I evaluate my options, considering the cost of rent increases versus the non-monetary cost of moving.  When I turned in this month’s rent check, my landlord mentioned that she hoped I would be staying, “but has no problem filling these apartments year round.”  Her compliment quickly went sour in my mind, and I walked away feeling like I was just another tenant and keeping me would help her avoid the extra cost of resident turnover.  If you do have a quality resident/customer whose business you don’t want to lose, make sure they understand that – in your eyes – they are more than just dollar signs.

 

  1. Be proactive and develop retention tools before you see a customer is on their way out the door.  How much time do you spend being reactive every day?  Whether you’re a vendor or part of a property’s onsite team, we all spend at least 50% of our time reacting to customer service issues.  Troubleshooting a technology issue for a client, appeasing a frustrated resident, trying to convince a client or resident not to leave.  By the end of the day we barely have enough energy to make sure our other customers are happy.  It’s important to set goals – weekly, quarterly, yearly – surrounding proactive retention, from hosting resident events to providing benefits for your customers through social media.

 

  1. Integrate your customer service and sales teams.  Especially in smaller companies / properties, there is already quite a bit of overlap amongst customer service agents and sales / leasing agents.  However, no matter the size, there need to be processes in place to ensure that once a sale is made, the customer service team keeps those customers for your business.  Your sales team can charm the pants off of potential customers, but if your level of service can’t keep customers, eventually your leads are going to hear about it – especially since these days opinions and experiences get posted on the internet for the world to see.

How do you remind yourself (or your employees) on a daily basis that the best customer is the one you already have?