Change The Narrative
Working in this industry sometimes we forget what things can be like from a consumer standpoint. When’s the last time you stopped to see things from a residents perspective without getting defensive of your precious community? The other day I was chatting with my friend…we’ll call her Jess. Jess was ranting about how her apartment community just got taken over by a new management group and they are awful! When she told me who it was that took over, my first instinct was to agree with her, but instead, I asked her to explain more about what had been going on at her community.
All the issues she had were small but the biggest problem that got her the most heated was that the coffee machine in the lobby was broken! These exact words came out of her mouth “As soon as (said mgmt company) took over our coffee machine has been broken.” Keep in mind this was day 1 of the machine being down as if new management didn’t have larger priorities than a broken coffee machine….but it’s coffee, it’s what makes people happy and gets them through the day, so you can see her frustration. Now clearly everyone who works in our industry understands that there is definitely no correlation with the coffee machine breaking because a new company took over, but in the eyes of a resident it looks like some new management rolled in and said: “Nope, caffeine is bad for you, no more coffee!”
The next day (day 2 of the coffee crisis) I saw that my friend posted on her Instagram stories that she was driving to Starbucks to get her caffeine fix since her community’s coffee machine was out of service. I was very proud of her for not completely bashing the new company that took over on social media, but I knew the backlash would be coming soon if these residents didn’t get their favorite amenity fixed soon.
On day 3 I proceeded with my normal routine of checking Instagram before starting my day and I was very surprised at what I saw. Jess’s Instagram stories showed her in the lobby of her community while a barista (a man dressed in a Starbucks apron) made her a drink. She was raving about how her community hired a barista to make custom coffee’s and lattes in the lounge until the machine was fixed and what a great place it was to live…..yes this is the same Jess who hated living here under the “new management” 2 days prior.
Can I get a slow clap for how quickly and not to mention how clever this new management company was to combat this issue?
I wanted to share this story as we continue to grow and acquire more communities every month. Try to take a step back and keep in mind the resident’s point of view and that change can be scary. Also, keep in mind for the first few months; everything that goes wrong will more than likely be blamed on the management change, but the great thing is you have the power to overcome those challenges. Even more important is, you have the ability to change people’s perspectives by thinking outside the box and overcoming obstacles that will always be in our path.
How will you change the narrative?