I attended a Bisnow industry event a few weeks ago in Houston. If you’ve never attended a Bisnow event, I highly recommend it. The themes are topical, the discussions are lively and I always learn something! The events usually live up to Bisnow’s slogan: (Almost) Never Boring. One of the panel discussions at the Houston session was on how difficult it is for property managers to measure the effectiveness of their tenant engagement strategies. I think most property managers agree that it’s important to invest in a tenant engagement strategy, and tactics like building events, tenant newsletters and social media are an effective way to engage tenants and help build community at your properties. But how do you know if your tenant engagement tactics are working? And how do you quantify the ROI on your tenant engagement strategy?
At eServus, we have a hand in engaging our property manager clients’ tenants in a number of ways, from offering discounted entertainment services through our online concierge service to organizing tenant events, building surveys and tenant newsletters through our Tenant Engagement Services. We provide a report to our property manager clients each month that summarizes the number of tenants that we’ve interacted with on the property managers’ behalf, including:
- Social media engagements (Follows, likes, comments, clicks, etc.)
- Interactions at lobby events
- New eServus member accounts (tenants need to create an account to use our online concierge service)
- Email communication response rates (open and click-through rates)
While this provides our property manager clients with an idea of how many tenants eServus is engaging, there’s no overall metric that combines the myriad of touch points that property managers use every day to connect with their occupants. And this was the lament of many of the panelists at the Houston Bisnow event: We work hard to engage with our tenants, but it’s difficult to measure engagement or quantify the value.
We know that happy tenants renew leases … an often-quoted Kingsley Associates statistic is that satisfied tenants are more than three times as likely to renew their leases as dissatisfied ones. But how do you make the connection between tenant engagement and tenant satisfaction? One way to measure tenant satisfaction is the good ol’ tried-and-true tenant survey, which, if done regularly, can measure increases in tenant satisfaction over time. The missing ingredient, therefore, is measuring tenant engagement, and correlating engagement with satisfaction. eServus will be working closely with our property manager clients to see if we can bridge this gap in the future.
How do you measure tenant engagement? I’d love to hear about some of the techniques that property managers use to quantify this important metric, so please leave a comment.