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Getting Residents to Mix and Mingle: Why You Should Care

Apartment communities

Apartment communities that help their residents connect with their neighbors are doing a social good—and making a smart business decision. 

A stream of recent research shows that the human brain is wired to connect to other human beings—it craves social contact. A professor of psychology at UCLA found that social connections are as important a human need as food, water and shelter.

So, it follows that apartment residents who connect with their neighbors—who find true community in their apartment communities—will have an increased sense of well-being and will be more likely to renew their leases.

In fact, for the first time since SatisFacts has been tracking apartment lease renewal drivers, “neighbors” made the top five reasons why residents chose to renew their lease—and it also made the top five reasons why they did not want to renew their lease.

“We are at this tipping point where a community of neighbors can either be your greatest asset in an apartment community or it can be your greatest liability,” says Jennifer Piccotti, chief operating officer at ManagInc, a corporate social responsibility consulting and planning platform for the multifamily industry. “Understanding what can tip the balance one way or the other is probably one of the most valuable things that a community team can know right now in today’s market.”

Piccotti—joined by Kiley Haught, senior vice president of client relations at CAREs by Apartment Life; Beth Tuttle, national vice president of marketing at LMC; and Nathan Brainard, regional marketing director at Pinnacle Property Management—will take a deep dive into this topic at the NAA Education Conference & Expo, June 21-24, in Atlanta.

“There is so much research that has come out over the last handful of years about how your connectedness and your quality relationships breed good health and longer living,” Haught says. “We are going to be unpacking that information and then talking about how it correlates into healthy, happy residents in your community. When you have happy residents that you’ve cultivated through community events and by fostering connectedness, you are creating good business value.”

Tuttle and Brainard will discuss some of the specific activities their communities have offered to foster a greater sense of resident belonging. They will cover what types of community events have worked to connect neighbors—and what types haven’t.

“You will be able to find out exactly what they did and what the results were in terms of retention and higher rent,” Piccotti says.

“Finding the Cure for Community: (Why) Won't You Be My Neighbor?” will be a breakout session on Wednesday, June 21, at the 2017 NAA Education Conference & Expo