Sheri Killingsworth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Lincoln, was kind enough to share her thoughts recently on how this industry giant goes about creating a sense of community with residents. A 17-year veteran of the company, Sheri began on site, working her way through the ranks into the corporate office.
According to Sheri, to talk about anything Lincoln you have to start where they do when it comes to residents: “Where comfort meets convenience you find home.”
“Here at Lincoln, we talk about the three key places; work, home, and the third place. That’s the place that isn’t home or work, a place where you feel welcome and at ease. It’s a place where you can have a change of environment to get some work done, hang out with friends, or be around other people…and not be so alone,” says Killingsworth. “We want our residents to be able to activate our amenity areas and program it as if it’s their own space.” As you might expect, Lincoln also engages residents in a robust calendar of events “customized to each community and based on who the residents are.” From Stroller Saturdays for new moms, to Wine-down Wednesdays for those needing a mid-week break, getting residents to come together and connect is part of the Lincoln way.
It’s obvious that culture plays an enormous role both within Lincoln and with their residents. “Our culture truly follows our tagline, we are a company for people and about people,” Killingsworth offered, “Everything we do, down to our core values, is about doing the right things by our people. Our business is apartments but our passion is for people. We want our employees to know that they are the stars of the show. That makes people feel good, and when people are happy, they are loyal and create friendships, and that creates longevity.” This extends on site as well, where “from the moment someone moves in, the staff is trained to call him a neighbor not a resident,” says Sheri, “and it’s all about creating a friendly and approachable environment. We want residents to feel at home, be happy and want to stay, and make connections with us and with each other. The goal is that our residents will move only when necessitated by a life change, not because they’re dissatisfied in any way.”
How does Lincoln instill the friendly and approachable ethic in their employees? “In several ways,” explains Killingsworth, “starting with a training curriculum that has been redesigned, evolving into a more relationship-focused class. We speak to our associates in a language they understand – shorter, more condensed courses that help create the right mentality and environment. We also survey our residents utilizing the 5 touch-point methodology (lead conversion, move-in, maintenance, pre-renewal and move-out).” She adds that, “Employees respond to every single survey, good or bad. We want employees and residents to know that we’re listening.”
Lincoln also leverages technology to help residents connect. “We employ text and email to support our various initiatives, such as the ’50 Acts of Kindness’ campaign to celebrate our 50th anniversary, or our ‘Welcome to the Neighborhood’ campaigns. And of course we use Mobile Doorman, Modern Message, Entrata and other new technologies to help us connect” says Killingsworth. When asked about the importance of mobile, she refers to it as “the remote control for your life,” adding that “it’s the best way to reach residents, but it’s important not to abuse it. An app is ideal because it’s easy and right there on their phone. There are so many ways to use mobile now to communicate with our residents; from a marketing perspective, we focus on mobile first.”
In closing, Sheri points out that Lincoln’s success with employees and residents stem from leadership “living out our values and being a role model for great work-life balance. It’s the focus on people, the importance of training and core values and balance that create this culture of longevity and community.”
Lincoln Property Company is headquartered in Dallas, TX and ranks as the nation’s second largest property manager with over 170,000 units under management, and a presence in over 200 cities providing national leadership, local expertise and community focus.
Wow, the remote control of life! That’s how we here at Mobile Doorman feel about mobile too, and we are proud to be an LPC partner in helping to create community and connect with residents. Our customized community apps are just one ‘click’ away.