Updated: Oct 23, 2020
A resident who rarely contacts the office isn’t necessarily a good thing. While it can be irritating to have the same resident contact you multiple times a day about the same work order, it could be a blessing in disguise.
#1 Renews and reviews
Residents who contact or interact with the leasing staff are more likely to renew or post a review. Yes, they may submit frequent work orders, but that just gives your team more opportunities to build rapport. Train your staff to view each resident interaction as a chance to secure a renewal and earn commission. When residents call to follow up about maintenance requests, encourage your team to get the work done as soon as possible or at the very least communicate frequent updates. These recurring calls can make or break your reputation. A resident who isn't afraid to speak up in the office, I assure you, isn't afraid to speak up online. Their likeliness to voice their opinion publicly increases each time they reach out and get no clear direction as to why their work order isn't done. By beating your residents to the punch and assuring them you haven't forgotten about them, they feel that you care and are on their side. If you act proactively, treat them with respect and follow up, you're much closer to improving your property's reputation than you think.
#2 Air the dirty laundry
Talkative or "annoying" residents give you a chance to see what's going on around the property. Those who put in frequent work orders usually have nothing to hide, and the ones who visit the leasing office on a regular basis are sure to keep you in the loop if you engage with them. Count it towards the good list. These are usually your most observant residents or at least the most loyal. If you plan to have a neighborhood watch team, these should be the first residents you call. They have no problem informing you of the location, description and license plate of the neighbor who dropped a cigarette bud or of the car who tailgated them to get into the community.
#3 Skeletons in the closet
In contrast, not being pestered by your residents doesn’t always mean things are going great. I'm sure you've had residents who have never submitted work orders before. They apply. They move in. They make their payments online, but you never interact with them until the day they move out. As you go to walk the now vacant apartment, you find the resident had a cat that felt the need to mark its territory with the horrific smell of urine. You learn they had a dog who got a head-start on the carpet replacement, and of course, the resident never took the time to mention the leak that was occurring in their closet that caused an extreme overgrowth of mold (true story), not to mention the many roaches that were living along with them.
More than apartment homes, it's the residents that make up a community. My advice would be learn to appreciate your nagging residents. While you may not always see it in the moment, befriending them and making them happy can go a very long way!