• Dennis Cogbill

Technology-Less Innovation that Drives Resident Satisfaction

When we think of innovation in the apartment industry, we tend to focus on technology.

And there’s certainly no doubt that things like software, mobile apps, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence can be used to significantly improve the resident experience.

But technology isn’t the only way for apartment operators to innovate. Enhancing the lives of residents is about more than apps and Wi-Fi.

Forward-thinking owners and operators have realized that innovative improvements in a property’s non-technological services and features can pay big dividends when it comes to resident satisfaction, loyalty and renewals.

Below are some ways that apartment operators can distinguish themselves from the competition without relying on a piece of technology:

Concierge and lifestyle services. Today’s residents are extremely busy. Between their demanding jobs and other responsibilities, they often have precious little energy or time to take care of everyday chores and tasks.

When a community offers concierge and lifestyle services – dry cleaning, dog-walking, housecleaning, clothes folding and plant watering, to name just a few – it allows residents to easily handle their day-to-day responsibilities. These services enable renters to use their downtime to relax and unwind. In the process, these offerings can create real resident loyalty and satisfaction.

Exercise and wellness classes. Many apartment communities have a fitness center filled with cardio machines and strength-training equipment that allow residents to work out on their own.

But operators can distinguish themselves by offering onsite, instructor-led classes in yoga, Zumba dancing, meditation, tai chi, stress reduction and healthy cooking. Classes like these not only offer residents valuable ways to improve their well-being, but they also give them a chance to spend time together, get to know one another and bond.

Appealing social areas. Speaking of bonding, multifamily operators can drive high levels of resident satisfaction by incorporating cutting-edge common areas into their communities. Think coworking spaces, meditation gardens, flexible fitness rooms and more that can be used to monetize common areas. Features like these let renters build a real sense of community with each other and unwind from the stresses and strains of modern life, while generating additional revenue.

Innovative properties also are implementing community gardens, which allow residents to grow their own food, enjoy the outdoors and improve their sense of wellness by connecting with nature.

A wide array of classes and events. Obviously, communities don’t have to limit their onsite classes and events to ones focused on health and wellness. Use common areas to host painting classes, movie or game nights, performances by comedians or musicians, and weekly TED Talk-style lectures by innovators and creative thinkers.

Want to learn more about how apartment operators can create resident satisfaction and loyalty without relying on technology? Then you should register for MICA 2020 today!

This year’s conference will feature the “Great Human Experiences without Technology” session on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 4:15 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. Presenters will share ideas for soft amenities that address residents' desires for health, engagement and a sense of community without the use of silicon chips.

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