Sometimes relationships with residents can be a bit tumultuous. Perhaps a simple mistake on move-in day caused tension and mistrust that you simply can’t shake, or maybe you had to give a resident that unfortunate call about a noise complaint. Either way, you may feel like a resident isn’t happy with you or your team, but that doesn’t mean things always have to be this way. Keep reading to discover ways to mend relationships with residents.
Go Into Conversations With a Fresh Perspective
If you go into every interaction with a negative outlook due to past experiences, you are more likely to cause the resident to feel the tension. Put the past behind you and interact with the residents as if it is your first time meeting them. Just because someone already leased with you doesn’t mean you should stop trying to win them over. Treat every resident as if they are a prospect and approach them with the same enthusiasm and understanding. If you set the example by putting the past behind you, residents will follow suit.
Sometimes dancing around an awkward situation can make it even worse. If you had to call a resident about a noise complaint and then act differently the next time they come into the office, you might make them feel uncomfortable even though the situation has already been addressed. If there is an elephant in the room, simply address it; this can be as simple as saying something like, “Thank you for being so understanding about the noise complaint and being considerate of your neighbors.” Once you discuss it, it may become more natural and even encourage the resident to open up to you in the future.
If a resident feels like you don’t care, do what you can to prove them otherwise. Ask them questions and get to know them. You can even ask questions about their opinion on the community or things you or the team could be doing better. Once they feel comfortable and heard, they will feel that their voice matters and develop a better relationship.
At the end of the day, you are managing a community, so it’s your job to foster that sense of community and togetherness. Don’t forget the importance of developing individual relationships and mending those that may feel somewhat damaged. Have any questions? Share them with us in the comments below.