to react quickly and positively; responding readily and with interest or enthusiasm
Creating a culture of responsiveness is a whole lot more than a catch phrase that sounds really great on a mission statement. It’s a mindset, a concerted effort, a state of mind – and properties that operate without it will undoubtedly see more unhappy residents and lower retention rates.
And what most impacts your ability to be responsive? Why, the speed and ease with which you are able to communicate with residents, and they with you.
Think about how resident expectations are changing – you’ll get an answer to them in a couple of hours? More like two minutes! They need to request maintenance and you have an online portal? Forget that, they’re using their cell phone to communicate with – well, everyone -- and you’d better have a way they can submit a request via mobile or keep fielding those irate phone calls.
According to 2016 Mailchimp benchmark data, email open rates average between 13% and 30%, depending upon the industry. Not good, especially if you need to get an urgent message to your residents (think Harvey or Irma, or a broken water main or similar emergency). SatisFacts’ 2017 online renter study tells us that email and phones are the number 1 and 2 preferred methods of communication, followed closely by fast-growing text messaging. Multifamily is struggling with how to capitalize effectively on mobile communication, and this will have a greater and greater impact on responsiveness.
An industry friend and former President of SatisFacts, Doug Miller, said it best a few years back. “We can typically predict what a resident satisfaction score can be just by looking at e-mail penetration and communication efforts,” says Miller. “Real simply, if you cannot communicate, you cannot provide service. When resident satisfaction goes up, renewals go with it, and turnover down, and we find clients improving their turnover rate up to 17 percent against the national average when they take these kinds of results and commit to a culture of responsiveness.” Wow.
What to do? Well, if you’re reading this blog, you are likely a Mobile Doorman customer; which means you have a huge edge. Your property app allows you to message your residents quickly and easily, and on the smart phone that is on or near them almost 100% of the time. Our data reveals that messages sent via the app are read more quickly, and by a much higher percentage of residents than traditional email. While it varies by property, open rates can be as high as 86% (kicking email’s proverbial . . . you know). Residents can easily send you a message, too; or submit a maintenance request (and provide an instant rating), see upcoming events, get a package notification, pay their rent, get quick answers to basic property information and a multitude of other functions. All of which makes for a happier, stress-free, responsive apartment living experience.
And if you’re not a Mobile Doorman customer . . . well, you need to give us a call or send us an email! Our answer rate is 100%.