By: Shad Bookout
Two hundred twenty five million kilometers. That is the average distance that Mars is from Earth. Needless to say, that is a really, really long way away. It is an incredibly hard place to get to – and an even more difficult place to be if you decided to stay. These facts are the center point of the just released movie “The Martian”, starring Matt Damon. But this can also so serve as an analogy to describe the way that many of our apartment residents feel when dealing with their apartment community and its staff.
It Is a Hard Place to Get To
In a world where we pride ourselves on the speed and ease in which we are all interconnected, why do we make it difficult for our future residents to discover why they should move into our apartment communities? Our phones ring and we do not pick them up. Emails are sent and no follow-up is returned. Potential residents look at print ads that make all apartments look the same, with the same amenities – and the same ever-increasing rent rates. They visit web sites that are not mobile-friendly (their preferred device). The application process is long, the lease signing is long and, by the time move-in day finally arrives, they are already exhausted before they have touched a single box or piece of furniture. If Mars is a hard place to get to, this apartment community sure belongs on the list.
It Is a Hard Place to Stay
Of course once they move in, things do not improve and in some cases they get worse. Maintenance requests may get dealt with in a timely manner at most communities but that is the majority of interaction you have with your community. An occasional resident event – which was announced with a flyer on the door – may occur, but for the most part, once a resident moves in, the next time they hear from the office is nine months later as renewal time approaches. For many residents, it is easy to feel isolated and unimportant. They may think that now that they are locked into a lease, that you no longer care enough to provide great service. Calls to the office still go unanswered. Emails still receive no follow-up. They never know when a package delivery arrives in the office (assuming you accept packages rather than leaving them to the elements or possible theft). No messages about events make it to your eyes or your ears. It is though you were stranded on another planet with no one to help you except yourself.
The above could never describe your community and how your residents feel…or could it?
With communication being a primary focus of an apartment residents’ disgruntlement, it may be time for you to examine other methods to get your message to them. The days of flyers and phone calls have long passed. Email and text now rule the planet. That is why the messaging portal within PackageLog® allows for customer email and text messaging on the fly. Many systems that can help you with resident communication are cumbersome and expensive. But PackageLog® customers save big on the easy-to-use, cloud-based system. Plus they get the added bonus of being able to manage and track inbound packages intended for residents. That makes two great reasons that your residents will feel part of the community and not as though they were stranded on a faraway distant planet.