Conversations With a Professional: Strategies Multifamily Can LEARN From the Hospitality Industry

Webinar Key Takeaways on Implementing Hospitality Management Strategies Into the Multifamily Industry


Thor Olson


July 18, 2023

During our recent webinar on adopting luxury hotel strategies into the multifamily industry, our resident hospitality expert, Nick Mathewson, shared a wealth of valuable insights. The discussion underscored the significance of humanizing on-site teams to residents, the impact of personalized handwritten notes for new residents, the importance of an effective recruitment process to cultivate a culture of service, and the utilization of the LEARN method to effectively handle negative sentiment. Let's take a closer look at these key takeaways so you can start elevating the resident experience.

Welcome committee: 

The move-in process sets the stage for future resident satisfaction. Creating a welcoming atmosphere plays a significant role in resident engagement. Nick emphasized the value of providing humanizing information about staff to new residents. Create a digital or tangible info sheet with fun personal info, such as pets and hobbies, that introduces new residents to the entire on-site team. Ensuring staff members make appearances and engage with others will contribute to a more inclusive environment. Most importantly, residents who feel connected with on-site teams are more likely to stay in their community.

Handwritten Notes and Commonly Forgotten Items: 

In addition to providing info about your on-site team, taking a couple minutes to handwrite a note to your new resident welcoming them to the community will go a long way. If they’re joining your community from another state or country, offer suggestions for restaurants, activities or mechanics nearby. To really go the extra mile, leave a small welcome gift including commonly forgotten items like bathroom necessities.  Ensuring that these items are readily available during move-in alleviates stress and contributes to a positive move in experience. Leaving a handwritten note demonstrates a commitment to helping your resident feel valued in their new community, and is the first opportunity to inject personalized service into the resident journey.

Recruitment and Cultivating a Culture of Service: 

The webinar addressed the challenge of instilling a culture of service from the recruitment process onward. One approach is to interview for friendliness by asking candidates about the “last time they did something nice for someone for no reason.” This helps gauge their natural inclination towards kindness and empathy. Hiring friendly people is fantastic, but not always an option. The best way to cultivate a culture of service without the luxury of hiring solely friendly people is to reinforce a focus on having thoughtful interactions between your team and residents frequently. It can be difficult to maintain a friendly demeanor in stressful situations, but keeping it at the forefront of your team’s thoughts is impactful.

The LEARN Method:

When discussing the best ways to deal with upset or unsatisfied residents Nick introduced the LEARN method as a framework for dealing with negative sentiment. LEARN stands for Listen, Empathize, Apologize, Resolve, and Notify.  By actively listening to the resident’s concerns, empathizing with their situation, apologizing for any inconvenience caused, working towards a resolution, and ensuring proper communication, multifamily professionals can turn a negative experience into a positive one. This approach also highlights the importance of helping residents who have encountered minor issues with the same degree of thoughtfulness as others, as resolving these problems efficiently can lead to heightened resident satisfaction. Following up after resolution is often forgotten but is arguably the most important step. Good follow up demonstrates a commitment to service and ensures a positive conclusion to a potentially negative experience. 

This webinar provided valuable insights into staff engagement, personalized interactions, building a culture of service, and conflict resolution. By implementing the lessons outlined in these key takeaways, management teams can create a more welcoming environment, enhance resident satisfaction, and foster a customer-centric approach throughout their organization. Embracing these strategies will not only benefit your residents, but also contribute to improved customer experiences and overall organizational success. 

Want to hear more of Nick's insights? Check out our full webinar!

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