During those long, hot, dog days of summer, buy several current magazines and encase them in plastic covers. Make them available for residents to check out and read at the pool. Advertise this amenity in your community newsletter, under the caption “Poolside Pleasures.” This service saves your residents time and money. They don’t have to worry about bringing reading material to the pool, and you get the chance to chat with them when they stop to check out a magazine. You could also expand this idea by providing water-resistant “Sport Walkman” radios to check out.
Contributed by Jennifer Monahan
RESIDENT RETENTION BOOK
Each month, do something for your residents to show them how much you care (a check-up phone call or visit, a half hour of free maintenance, etc.). Continue this all the way to their renewal date, and keep track of your contacts/gifts in a Resident Retention Book to be sure no one is left out! We have had great results with this!
Contributed by Pamela McNelly
To help keep the smaller persons living at your community involved and out of trouble during the summer months, offer a $25 or so monthly discount on the rent for any summer program your community’s kids are involved in. Of course, parents must provide the proof of enrollment and attendance!
Contributed by Elaine
Convert an empty closet or storage area into a small library for your residents! Begin advertising the idea in your newsletter, and ask residents to donate books and magazines they no longer need or use. You might also visit a local library or used bookstore and pick up some great books and encyclopedias at cheap prices. Our community received more than 2,000 donated books, and has put together a super library that both adults and kids can use for school, work, or pleasure.
Contributed by Jennifer Monahan
THE PERSONAL TOUCH
The next time you go to McDonalds, you may notice that the order microphone has been replaced by a sign reading, “Please proceed to the first window.” At the window, your order is taken by a real person. Why do away with what was once considered a great service innovation? McDonalds did its homework and discovered that most people would much rather speak to a real person than have to talk to “that… machine.” “We’re giving them the personal touch they want,” reported an employee at our local McDonalds, one of the first to do away with the drive-in microphone in favor of a real person. We can learn a lot from this major company’s research if we take the time to ask “Why?”
VACATION SAFETY TIPS
Consider offering special services during the summer holiday season. Some of the ideas you might consider include plant watering, pet-walking/sitting, and newspaper or mail holding. Advertise your summer services on a flyer that includes the following tips for vacation safety:
· Please give us a call or stop by the leasing center to let us know if you’ll be away for an extended period of time.
· Arrange to have someone (a close friend or neighbor, or member of our staff) check your apartment home periodically to feed the pets, water the plants, and generally check for order and security.
· Check all appliances to ensure they are turned off or, preferably, unplugged.
· Check cupboards for unwrapped food.
· Clean the refrigerator before you leave, and give perishables to a friend or neighbor.
· Empty the garbage.
· Arrange to have newspapers and mail held until your return.
· Ensure that all windows are closed and locked, and that all window coverings are closed.
· Consider connecting a timer to lights or a radio to deter potential intruders.
· If you’ll be away on the first of the month, please deliver your rent check to our leasing center before you go.
· Have a safe and happy vacation!