Building a sense of community as a property manager can be one of the most difficult challenges the manager faces, particularly when it comes to building relationships with each individual resident. Believe it or not building and having a relationship with your residents can be greatly beneficial not only for your community but to build the trust between the management team and the residents. If you are new in being a property manager here is a list of strategies that may help you build a great community that your residents live in.
#1 TALK TO THEM!
I know this sounds funny to say, because it is self-explanatory, but I have known some managers in the past that did not do this. It is especially important to talk as much as possible to your residents whether it be a friendly hello or asking them how their day was. This type of communication can open the door to get to know each resident for who they are. Make sure that you as a property manager are having friendly and informal conversations with your residents, do not make all your conversations be centered around policy violations or collection or rent. If you communicate often with residents, they will be more comfortable coming to you with any issues or concerns that may arise.
#2 BE AVAILABLE
If you wish to establish a strong and positive relationship with your residents, then you must be willing to invest some personal time in them. Do not let this consume your life, but it is important to really make a strong and visible effort to get to know them, particularly in the first part of the year of them being in your community. When you are in your community walk around and talk to those that are outside, if you are in your office, keep the office doors open as much as possible. This will make your residents feel much more comfortable, and you should see a big difference in the overall community.
#3 ENCOURAGE RESIDENTS TO GET ENVOLVED
In this day in time social media is a rather large part of everyday life. Your community most likely has some sort of page set up. In properties that I have managed Facebook has been a great way to keep your residents up to date on anything that is going on throughout your community. Encourage each resident to take a few minutes out of their day to follow your community page. This can be helpful in building the community because they can virtually meet neighbors throughout the community and engage in talking and building relationships amongst themselves.
There is no set limit on strategies to build your community. Being kind and genuine with any resident that crosses your path can be a great way to jump start the growth of the wonderful community that you wish for. Just keep in mind that word of mouth goes a long way and if you set the perfect example with your residents , the community that you manage will be one that is highly recommended in your area.