The original premise for this article was to build a thesis for applying the Apple mission statement to the multifamily property management business. Well, a read of the Apple mission statement (if you can find a recent one) is not a mission statement at all; it focuses on products and that's about it. No mention of community, values, partners, customers, employees. Noth'in. A further review of company mantras gleams a vision statement that is applicable (read adaptable) to our industry. Whew! Here it is:
"Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and internet offerings."
And another from Apple:
"At Apple, great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job and there's no telling what you could accomplish."
Lets re-write this for the multifamily property management business:
Our company is committed to bringing the best resident experience in our marketplace through customer service, quality product and professionalism.
Now that's a mission statement with a forward looking vision! Let's mix and match and see if there are a few points of intersection.
Customer Service. Apple does this well and property management companies that do this well have less turnover and stronger customer ties.
Emphasis on Design (every letter). Perfected by Apple and only in Class A assets utilized in multifamily. Granted, an apartment home is a varied product unlike the "remote control of your life" that smart phones attempt to represent. Yet we can emphasis design without having to be a Class A property. We can do this through color, decor, re-use ("retro" designing to take advantage of age) and landscaping.
Actions grounded on the equity of the brand. This is a corporate analogy that brings all actions full circle to how your represent your company. Think IBM "big blue". And Apple, of course, with an identity all its own.
Analysis on how the product makes consumers "feel". My guess is Apple employs more than a few psychologist that study, I mean really study, consumer reactions and interaction with Apple products looking at everything from gradient shades to the speed of keystrokes from keyboard to screen. Whereas we are not that far along in multifamily property management, you can use your five senses (four, anyway) to assess the feel for a place. Do our residents feel safe? Are their opinions overall positive? Will they recommend your property to a friend?
All of these items fold into the end-user experience. For Apple, a repeat customer buys their next "latest and greatest" product. In property management your customer loyalty is reflected in high renewal rates and referrals. Thus, while property management and consumer electronics are not the same business they do share a desire to build a brand using core principles that provide positive customer experiences that result is long-standing customer loyalty.
Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 - How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets.
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