A growing body of research shows that an engaged workforce may be the key to a better resident experience. According to ManagInc’s new study, engaged and satisfied employees are more likely to provide superior service, leading to improved resident satisfaction and less resident turnover. The research cited, greater engagement and reduced employee and resident turnover have clear and significant impacts on the bottom line.
When Nichole Oswald stepped in as Director of Hyde Park Property Management in Chicago, her first goal was to have a highly engaged team focused on the resident experience.
“Today’s renters have higher expectations for customer service. They’re more empowered than ever to share their frustration online. A bad review on Google or Facebook can cause irreversible damage to your online reputation and impact your bottom line,” said Nichole.
Additionally, given the high cost of replacing an existing renter, Nichole realized the benefits of focusing on the resident experience, one interaction at a time. In order to accomplish her goal, she needed her team to have a stake in the resident experience with clear ownership and accountability.
Prioritize the Resident Experience
“When your managing nearly 4,000 residents it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks and lose focus of the resident experience,” said Nichole. “I needed my team to reprioritize customer service and follow through on resident issues.”
With a goal of increased employee engagement and resident satisfaction in mind, Nichole set out to improve Hyde Park’s Resident Relations strategy. She wanted to measure the team’s resident interactions with customer satisfaction surveys and use the data as a key driver for compensation and rewards.
She planned to refocus her team on the resident experience, increase accountability, monitor resident sentiment, empower her team with ownership and recognize her team’s success.
Nichole found she needed several digital tools to execute her goals. But using multiple platforms caused disjointed communication, poor organization and missed deadlines.
In fact, a study revealed workers who use multiple apps waste up to an hour each day on app switching alone.
After lost productivity toggling between apps, Nichole began searching for one tool to accomplish her needs and discovered Aptly. With Aptly, Nichole and her team can track all resident, prospect and team communication, turn conversations into tasks that get completed and measure resident happiness all in one place.
Increase Transparency and Accountability
“If we don’t have happy employees, we don’t have happy residents. And if we don’t have happy residents, we don’t have happy investors,” said Nichole.
Once Hyde Park implemented Aptly, team transparency increased by using a shared inbox. With a shared inbox in Aptly, you can assign conversations to teammates to know exactly who’s following up.
Nichole also began tracking employee response times, ensuring her team provided fast, responsive service. Using a shared inbox increased the department’s transparency leading to a spike in employee accountability and ownership. Nichole didn’t have to worry about things slipping through the cracks anymore.
Since Aptly integrates with Hyde Park’s property management software, the team can access lease, property and contact information right from their inbox. Employees have all the context they need to give an informed and prompt response.
Monitor Resident Sentiment
The team began monitoring resident sentiment by measuring every conversation with customer satisfaction surveys in Aptly. Soon after, they began to see more and more positive survey responses.
“Prior to launching with Aptly there was no way to measure resident sentiment,” said Nichole. “Since implementation I’ve seen a boost in employee engagement and resident satisfaction. In fact, we’ve increased resident happiness by 14% in the first 90 days of using Aptly.”
Instead of reacting to negative social media reviews, the team proactively stopped bad reviews before they happened. In Aptly, customer satisfaction surveys help mitigate risk by providing a safe place for residents to vent.
Nichole uses this valuable resident feedback to drill down on areas that need improvement and laser focus training efforts. She also uses these powerful metrics to keep her team engaged and drive compensation.
With the ability to monitor real-time resident feedback in Aptly, Hyde Park can proactively respond to residents, identify training opportunities and spot trends to improve the overall customer experience.
Empower Employees with Ownership and Incentives
“My ultimate goal was to empower the team to resolve issues themselves,” said Nichole. “Team members are allowed to give away concessions up to a certain dollar amount and take the ‘can I talk to a manager’ calls.”
To improve employee engagement, Nichole began delegating responsibilities and using incentives like gift cards, extra PTO, and lunch dollars.
As Nichole continued to monitor survey data, she found increasing ownership and providing incentives had a positive impact on resident happiness. The newly empowered team was able to provide prompt and personalized service improving the overall customer experience.
Recognize Employee Success
Nichole wanted to reward her employees with more than compensation. She wanted to give accolades and recognize success as well.
She began hosting one on one meetings where she used survey data as a key driver for employee compensation and rewards.
“If someone has positive feedback from survey responses, I give them kudos and recognition,” explained Nichole. “But on the flip side, if someone receives a lot of negative survey feedback, I correct the behavior with additional training or find a better fit for our company.”
By increasing employee engagement and accountability with Aptly, Nichole transformed the Resident Relations department at Hyde Park and improved overall resident happiness. With newfound empowerment, the team has a stake in the resident experience and is committed to providing excellent customer service. As the team grows, they’re confident Aptly will continue to support their focus on the resident experience.