Another Timely and Actionable Report:
May COVID-19 Resident Sentiment Survey – Issue 2
The second in our series of COVID-19 Resident Sentiment Reports has been released in partnership with Kingsley Associates (a Grace Hill company), and Apartments.com, this time comprising nearly 15,000 respondents and covering a wide spectrum of demographics and property types across the nation.
Tracking the impact of the pandemic on renters and the property management industry, Issue 1 provided a snapshot of how the pandemic was affecting renters ahead of May 1st. Issue 2 returns to renters ahead of June 1st, and reveals a set of actions property management companies can take to elevate resident satisfaction, which is a key factor for retaining and attracting residents.
The Significance of Communication
Without a doubt, there is a clear relationship in the report between soliciting feedback from residents, and how likely those residents will be to then recommend their community to others. Having the right tools in place to listen to residents can also make a notable difference in their feelings of safety, and therefore comfort levels around reopening.
Why Policies Matter
Along with requesting feedback, having sound policies in place has an impact. Data from the survey illustrated that residents who believed their property management employees had COVID-19 policies in place were more likely to feel confident in their community. Clearly understanding reopening policies also raised confidence in those practices, and overall feelings of being cared for.
Train for Confidence
Solid policies aren’t effective on their own, however. There’s a distinct relationship in the report between having effectively communicated policies, and staff who are well trained in them. Our current data shines a light on how and why residents may recommend their community to others if they feel staff is well-trained.
Getting Ahead of a Busy Leasing Season
A significant percentage of current residents indicated they may be moving in the coming months, without previous plans to do so prior to the pandemic. Their answers showed why they may be looking to move, how community reputation matters even more than ever, and what factors dramatically influenced a rise or fall in Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures the willingness of residents to recommend their community to others.
Even with a solid reputation, how do you secure potential new residents successfully? In-person apartment tours are challenging if not impossible under social distancing and sanitation requirements. But flexing toward a more virtual leasing experience will involve more than slick video skills. As with your reopening measures, the report underscores how success in virtual leasing will involve clarity, consistency, and competency.
Unstable Economic Conditions
The report finds uncertainty over rent collection and the economy is persisting. It uncovers those states most impacted over the past two months. Looks at the effect of stimulus payments by the Federal Government. Compares April and May rent payment. By taking into account these other financial data points, the report provides guidance for forecasting June rent.
Overall, the COVID-19 Resident Sentiment Report – Issue 2 will not only provide property managers with high-quality data that can immediately direct their next steps, but actions to put in place to ensure success today, and for months to come.