by Deb DeRouen
It’s no secret that maintaining a pristine curb appeal greatly influences a community’s reputation and digital curb appeal. After all, residents will express both their pleasure and displeasure in online reviews, and those reviews carry enough weight to either attract or repel prospects. Having a clean and beautiful apartment community not only expands the potential resident pool, but it also retains residents for longer periods of time.
Satisfied residents are more likely to sign renewals, leave positive reviews and refer prospects to a community. These components strengthen a community’s online reputation and enhance the overall brand. But if a community is unkempt, residents will look elsewhere and detail their frustrations in a negative review. Some of the most common curb appeal complaints include trash and unscooped pet waste.
According to data gathered from the latest Multifamily Pet Policies and Amenities Survey conducted by PetScreening and J. Turner Research, a staggering 84% of respondents cited that their No. 1 pet-related concern is pet waste. Those types of findings reiterate just how much of an impact something like unscooped pet waste can have on overall resident satisfaction.
From associates and residents to visitors and prospects, it means a lot to each and every person who steps foot on a property to find it appealing and in a well-kept condition. But with an ever-growing number of residents and pets, keeping up curb appeal can often be a challenge for operators.
Typically onsite associates and maintenance teams are the ones who are tasked with community clean up if a third-party vendor isn’t already helping. If onsite teams are responsible, this creates a domino effect. They become inundated with cleaning up the community and have less time left to take care of leasing, maintenance requests and tend to resident needs. Over time, residents will take notice and their level of satisfaction dwindles.
Operators have been utilizing technology and third-party vendors to enhance curb appeal efforts and create cleaner, more appealing communities. But the key to long-term success is taking a proactive approach. For example, some companies are leveraging DNA testing of pets to mitigate unscooped pet waste, hold pet owners accountable and foster a culture of responsible pet ownership. Of the more than 7,000 communities currently using DNA testing services, many have reported a 95% decrease in the amount of pet waste found onsite.
The renters of today are just as environmentally conscious as they are digitally savvy. They care about their homes and appreciate living in clean communities, and they will let the world know if they are happy or disappointed with a community and all the reasons why. By improving and maintaining curb appeal, operators are not only accommodating and satisfying residents, but they’re also improving their digital curb appeal and reputation, which can make or break a prospect’s decision.
Although there are multiple factors to enhancing resident satisfaction, increasing renewal rates and attracting new residents, keeping a clean community should not be overlooked. Curb appeal is just one cog in the machine, but it’s a significant driving force of a positive living experience and building a better online presence.