May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

There’s no doubt I would be the Peeta of the Hunger Games. I faint whenever I see blood, I have a fear of getting stung by a swarm of bees—let alone tracker jackers—after seeing “My Girl” and I would most definitely try to force a romantic moment with my crush while trapped in a cave together. How could you not?!

I wish I were Katniss, with her awesome hair braid and killer archery skills and 2 percent body fat, but I live in the real world. I’m Peeta.

I’ve been invested in these characters—who I choose to believe are real people—for way too long, but a year before this fictional duo even hit the big screen, Holland Residential employees were competing in their own survival games.

In April 2011, the company created the H Games—a competitive and spirited contest in which the communities were recognized and rewarded for advancements in revenue, ranging from tips of the week to monthly achievements and an overall grand prize. To my knowledge, no bows and arrows were used.

Josh McDonald, Director of Marketing for Holland Partner Group, says the games were created, in part, as a testament to one of Holland Partner Group’s four core values: having fun. 

Additionally, the games provided the perfect opportunity to shift associates’ focus from availability and occupancy to revenue—a necessary adjustment after implementing revenue management in 2010, says Bryan Pierce, Director of Revenue Management for Holland Residential.

In 2013, the competition was extended until the end of the year. Pierce says the games now include “30-Day Sprints,” which measure specific monthly goals of largest revenue growth, in-unit make-ready, best 30-day customer service score (based on the Holland Customer Service Index) and greatest growth in online payment usage. Prizes for these monthly achievements included additional paid time off and pizza parties for the winning onsite staff. 

And, of course, simply surviving.

One lucky community that achieved the largest percentage increase of total net income between 2012 and 2013 also won the grand prize—$500 air travel vouchers for each team member. Missing from the vacation wish list: District 12.

Since the H Games began, Pierce says he’s noticed a significant cultural change in how Holland Residential’s onsite teams discuss their pricing and strategy, and the ways in which it impacts revenue.

“In 2010, it was very much about how their pricing impacted occupancy and now it’s how their pricing impacts their revenue growth,” says Pierce.

Cue Rue’s whistle:

 

For more, check out “Survival of the Richest” in the April issue of units Magazine, which mails April 10.

Lauren Boston is NAA’s Staff Writer and Manager of Public Relations. Unsurprisingly, she writes a lot—most often for units Magazine and as a weekly blogger for APTly Spoken. She enjoys making people laugh, sharing embarrassing childhood stories and being the (self-proclaimed) Voice of the Apartment Industry. She welcomes feedback, unless it’s negative (in which case, please keep it to yourself).