Two words to describe now… Whirlwind learning!!!
I don’t know about you, but the last two months have been a fast pace learning on the fly. In the beginning weeks, we had to adapt to the changes and new rules.
Positive results started to increase. Management companies had to act quickly to contain the matters within the properties and keep their residents safe.
Rental offices stopped with tours and face to face.
Now we are somewhere in between acceptance and looking forward to the next changes. I find it hard to believe this is our current situation. In the middle of everything, management has to still keep engagement and retention high.
How do we get to the other side of this?
Building a relationship is key!! Your residents have to trust the communication, intentions, and actions from management. The staff has to continue focusing on the growth and impact within the structure.
Businesses all over the world are having to find new ways to engage their customers. It is no secret that online presence has been the glue in this COVID19 pandemic. Various business articles talk about how they have adjusted and pivoted. We found this great article at Sifted by Robbie Hearn called How To Build A Great Online Community During the COVID 19 Pandemic. (https://sifted.eu/articles/build-online-community-covid-19/). He stated, “Communities can become a lifeline for businesses during tough times. But, to build a thriving community, you must follow these five rules.” Robbie discusses the four key components.
The breakdown has awesome points from an overall business perspective. I thought it would be great to discuss how this applies to the residential property management side. Every business has different stances on these key four components. Let’s take a look at it in our industry.
Be clear on your community purpose
“Community purpose is how you integrate the community with your brand. Don’t assume this is obvious or that just because all your customers are stuck at home they’ll jump at the chance to get online and discuss your products.”
Nailed it on the head!!! Quarantine and social distancing doesn’t ensure residents will take time to log into your event. Why are you hosting events? Is it one more thing to cross off your list? If so, the residents will be able to sense it. Intentionality helps with planning an event. Hosting a kids storytime for the parents shows compassion in properties with a large family population. Your new online community can be your biggest tool and asset for referrals.
Give the community a clear owner
“Community ownership is how you integrate the community with your operating model to generate value. A nominated community owner ensures this happens by connecting the activity of the community to the processes of the organization.”
It is common for social media marketing to be outsourced. That was great pre-COVID 19. In current times, the residents want to see into your community. They want to peek into what’s happening in the community. Relatability equals connectivity. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It needs to be authentic.
Don’t skimp on a community manager
“Community management is how you integrate the community with your customer experience. One of the most common reasons for community failure, in my experience, is the organization’s failure to understand the importance of this role and resource adequately for it.”
Cutbacks are inevitable with high unemployment rates, unpaid rent, and increased expenses. Partner with local businesses to still execute high-quality events. You may be saying “How do we even start?” or “Where to find the time?” LuxeGiving has been helping properties since 2012 with this very matter. We understand your plight. We want to help bring your ideas to life without you having to make 25 calls and end up frustrated.
With platform, less is more
“Platform features do not deliver a thriving community.”
This is the perfect example of the gap between the community and the residents. Fancy platforms can only do one part in connection. Don’t get me wrong. The workloads are insane in rental offices. The to-do lists are don’t seem to end. Planning the last-minute events is not the goal. I totally understand. The best solution is to take time to host a virtual happy hour and ask “what can we do to support you?” You will be surprised by the answers. You may get a few crazy, far fetched responses. Overall, you can get genuine feedback from your customers.
If your online community has struggled with the transition from face to face to virtual, sign up for our Creating Community in Crisis FREE download. Every month, we host a video conference to brainstorm on current issues in the event space and ideas to take back to your community.
What has been your experience with growing an online community? We look to hear from you.