Talk is cheap. Listening—and making changes—is hard.
Bozzuto, which has long worked to develop strong relationships with its residential clients, who number more than 100,000 in its 56,000 apartments, wanted to walk the walk and get tenants to provide more feedback, to increase their satisfaction. To encourage residents to post online reviews, the developer established “Bozzuto Listens,” its own online management reputation platform.
“We wanted [residents] to share concerns, compliments, and suggestions rather than first post complaints on other review sites such as Yelp,” says Jamie Gorski, Bozzuto’s chief marketing officer. “Sometimes, if you get heard, you’re less likely to complain through other social media channels.”
Bozzuto started by sending an e-mail to its more than 200 property managers explaining how to test and use its site. The firm set up training webinars on the company intranet, and with those pieces in place e-mailed tech-savvy residents through blasts, tweets, Facebook messages, and company blog posts. For nontechies, it put up posters. Messages had a friendly, engaging tone. One showed two dogs and the tag line, “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening.”
Feedback was immediate, with more than 1,800 e-mails received. Bozzuto responded by making some positive changes, among the biggest being improving the Wi-Fi strength at certain property locations and working to pare noise levels at future sites.
The campaign cost less than $10,000 to execute, and perhaps the biggest proof it works is that residents continue to post concerns first rather than complaints. “They know they have a way for us to address what bothers them,” Gorski says.