Why Resident Experience Matters
Stress and mental health issues are nothing new in Property Management. Even before COVID, the numbers were not in Real Estate’s favor. 56% of real estate employees feel stressed either often or always, 46% experienced stress and anxiety symptoms (often or always) and 23% stated they have no time at all to enjoy interests outside of their work. This data comes from The Revive Project’s study made back in 2019-2019, so again, these are pre-pandemic numbers. Corporate property management teams spend thousands of dollars on initiatives that drive resident experience; so how much investment should go into staff experience? Companies need to pay attention and start measuring staff satisfaction as much as they’re measuring resident satisfaction.
It’s impossible for a stressed, anxious, and let’s be honest, understaffed site team to deliver even an OK resident experience. There simply is no resident experience without staff experience.
We need to do better by site teams, there’s no question about that. But, how? Gift cards, yearly virtual events, and monthly pizza parties are just not enough. Staff wellbeing is a serious topic and it should be treated with serious thoughtfulness. The next list is a mix of easy, quick impact solutions and long-term initiatives. A healthy dosage of both should provide your employees a safe space to grow and perform as best as possible.
Create a Wellness Program
A health or wellness program can include fitness classes, outdoor activities, and therapy sessions. Provide resources and support that promote self-care of people’s minds and bodies. A great example is Bozzuto, an NMHC top 50 company, who have implemented a ‘Wellness at Bozzuto‘ program with great success.
Community Service Activities
Partner up with a non-profit and organize a day where staff can volunteer for a special project. Doing good deeds for your community makes you feel fulfilled and happy.
An amazing way to provide a safe space for people to collaborate, communicate and help each other is by organizing resource groups. Avalon Bay has a PAC (Parents and Caregivers) Group, Bozzuto has a Women@Bozzuto Group. The idea here is to let people run with it and make it their own. Make time to listen to the group’s leaders so that you better understand their challenges and struggles, and can better support them.
Set up a Dedicated Team
Just as you have a dedicated Marketing and Finance team, you need a team (or at least one person) dedicated to your employee’s experience. Chief People Officer is a term you’re starting to hear more and more of and with good reason, this person is basically in charge of the experience of everyone in your company. Cardinal Group hired a People Officer a couple of years ago; this is a company that has won 6X a Great Place to Work and has a 4.4 Glassdoor rating.
Staff experience and wellbeing is the driver behind all good things that a company has going for them. It affects retention, attraction, performance, and ultimately ROI. As a company that works so closely with site teams, we know how much support they need, hopefully, this article helps as many people as possible to take a step in the right direction.