The KPI You Never Considered: A Thriving Resident Experience


Denise Kinsley

– VOL. 18

On a recent autumn evening in Kansas City, the Mid City neighborhood was aglow with colored lights. The team at Mac Properties gathered in celebration of Diwali, the South Asian “festival of lights” alongside local residents, UMKC students, and young professionals—some who were far from home and yearning for a familiar holiday. For the owner-operators who attended, it was not only a fun night filled with entertainment and Indian cuisine, but also an opportunity to gain a whole new perspective to the needs of their residents.

“As we look out into 2023, I hope we can keep providing that small piece of home to our neighbors and anyone in Kansas City looking for that bright spot in the darkness,” says Mac Properties Marketing Manager, Alice Collins.

The celebration took place at The Arcade, a local community and coworking space operated by Mac + Venn and drew over 150 attendees. With the opportunity for one-on-one connection in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, Mac gained “first-hand knowledge of what residents in their community really care about, and how they want to come together,” says Arie Blau, Venn Neighborhood Lead. As the world’s leading end-to-end platform that helps owner-operators modernize their resident experience to maximize NOI, Venn is uniquely positioned to create just these kinds of opportunities and interactions.

“Residents that are active on our platform have shared that they feel more comfortable approaching the property owner for support and with ideas for neighborhood improvement, and better understand the right channels to use for that support,” says Arie.

For industry leaders, it’s critical to recognize that celebrations like the Diwali event require different KPIs than the traditional measurements used by portfolio managers and operators. When Arie and team built their KPIs for the Diwali event, it came down to three pillars: attendance, engagement and satisfaction. Together with the team and partner Mac Properties, Arie was able to determine the event a success because they served over 100 residents, local students, their families, and Mac properties employees. Engagement was favorable because, as she describes, “residents felt empowered by the Mac + Venn platform to help plan and promote the event.” Ultimately, the team was flooded “with photos and posts to the app expressing gratitude to the Mac + Venn team for the experience. Residents say they want to plan more celebrations together.” The measurable mark of satisfaction.

“Residents that are active on our platform have shared that they feel more comfortable approaching the property owner for support and with ideas for neighborhood improvement, and better understand the right channels to use for that support,” says Arie.

For Competitive Edge, It’s All About the Experience

The emphasis on human experience has long been overlooked by the real estate industry, even as it gains importance in a myriad of industries and the general population, weary after years in isolation, becomes more aware of the importance of community for health and wellness. Savvy owner-operators in the real estate sector are waking up to this fact: residents want extraordinary experiences in their communities. The Experience Era has shifted expectations in all areas of our lives, including and perhaps even more importantly where we call home. The new, top-priority KPI is an all-around feel-good resident experience. 

The Venn 2022 Resident Experience Report, involving research from over 1,500 renters in cities across the country, shows that more than 80% of renters want to live in a neighborhood with a thriving local business community. And about three-quarters reported that it’s important for them to be able to grow their network of connections and socialize with their neighbors. Further, and very insightful for owner-operators, 67% of renters said they’d be more likely to choose an apartment building that offered services to help them connect to their neighborhood over a building that did not. 

Further, when asked about their decision-making when it comes to renewing a lease, renters did not rank smart-home technology, improved common spaces with fast WiFi, and general curb appeal among top priorities. Instead, 78% of people were likely to renew if they felt a satisfying connection to their surrounding neighborhood. Statistics like these shed light on how an owner-operator can drive value beyond the four walls of an apartment.

How to build a thriving community that motivates residents to stay

A thriving community happens when residents, local businesses, and owner-operators work together toward a common goal: to strengthen the local economy and realize more shared opportunities. Let’s say a resident, who also happens to be an artist, is ready to show off their collection of work. What is their first move? Most likely they will seek opportunities locally. Venn’s unique on- and offline platform makes it easier for them to connect with a cafe owner, for example, who wants to bring more traffic to their space with an art exhibition. Or fellow neighbors who are also art enthusiasts. In many of our cities, Venn Experts have also helped resident artists launch events where they can intersect with the community. 

It’s all about helping residents and business owners connect, organize, and promote the event. For owner-operators, it’s an opportunity to gain valuable learnings about their target audience, which in turn identifies untapped revenue streams. In communities served by Venn, these insights into what residents desire from their experience have led to the development of revenue streams in the form of subscription packages that make life a little easier for residents, and improves efficiencies for operations, like utility packages or subscription deliveries. 

On average, US renters spend hundreds of dollars per month on these types of services. When owner-operators provide in-demand paid services to their residents, they improve efficiencies for all, while improving the resident experience–and boosting the value of their portfolio. With Venn’s help, it doesn’t require new technology or additional investment for property managers. It’s all simply a value add.

Ready to start your journey today? Venn can help. Reach out to us for a personalized recommendation