Building Relationships and Communities Through the Avenue Living Resident Experience

Building Relationships and Communities Through the Avenue Living Resident Experience

“Everything we do from an operations standpoint, we do to make sure our residents feel safe and comfortable in their homes,” says Kelly Mahajan, Vice President of Operations for Avenue Living Communities.

We often talk about how Duty of Care is one of the fundamental pillars of our business. Avenue Living has been built on providing quality homes for people across western Canada, and we’re keenly aware of what a significant responsibility that is. Our duty to our residents covers the physical environment we provide as well as all the services we offer to support them, from finding the suite that matches their needs to ensuring our response to any concern is timely and efficient.

Looking at the Big Picture

The resident experience is about so much more than what an individual suite is like. It encompasses our operations, our service, and the community we foster within each property.

“Really, it’s about understanding all of our touchpoints, and knowing what that experience is like for our residents,” says Kelly. “It’s about creating that welcoming community, that comfortable place to live with neighbours they know and staff they’re familiar with.”

Creating that experience encompasses everything from how we present a professional image through signage, staff uniforms, and communications to our approach to service and maintenance.

“We really want a consistent level of excellence in everything we do,” says Kelly. That includes how we handle resident concerns. “It’s about taking appropriate and timely action, and really empathizing with the resident. We really work to understand what the resident is dealing with, communicating clearly with the resident about their experience, and following through with an effective plan of action.”

Part of creating that experience means being proactive. We have a rigorous quality assurance program that involves regular assessments of all our properties to make sure everything is in working order. “

We also have a pledge to address any resident concerns within 72 hours. We manage to consistently beat this, with an actual average of 47.5 hours, thanks to our dedicated team of maintenance staff who execute maintenance requests to ensure our residents are comfortable and secure. And while not every request can be resolved that quickly (for example, the job may require parts delivery that takes longer than three days), we’re committed to ensuring we’re openly communicating with residents and addressing their concerns throughout the experience. We also follow up with them post-job, to make sure they’re satisfied with the work.

The Call Centre is available to residents around the clock, every day of the year, via phone, email and chat. But we’re working on ways to simplify things even further for them. “In the future, we’d really like to give residents more options for how they engage with information from us,” says Kelly. That may include tools such as a resident portal, which will provide a central place to access news and updates, as well as to contact Avenue Living with their concerns. “We want to simplify things from the resident’s perspective.”

Our residents are a diverse group, each with their own needs and preferences. As a result, we use a diverse set of communication tools to make sure we reach everyone. That includes print material, e-mail, and even text messages. We know that how we communicate with residents — right from the mode to the words and images we use — sets the tone for our relationship. So we take care to get it right.

Capex for Comfort

We make our decisions about capital expenditures carefully and strategically. Obviously as investors we want to add the most value to our assets and ensure they last as long as possible. But a key component of adding value is ensuring our residents feel safe, comfortable, and at home in our properties.

Our capital expenditures often focus on things that make a building more comfortable or safer for residents — for example, re-roofing, replacing flooring, or installing new boilers. These improvements mean the temperatures of their homes are more comfortable, and the durable finishes are cleaner and brighter. But we invest in other spaces, too. In Edmonton’s Delton Townhomes, for example, we’re making improvements to the outdoor space to give families a space to gather and play. In King’s Alley in Calgary, we’re renovating the community room to give residents a welcoming place to safely gather.

Continuous Improvement

We know that no matter how high our standards are, and how often we meet them, there’s always an opportunity to do better. We’re actively working on ways to improve our resident experience with short-term programs, like our new Resident Inquiry Program, which helps ensure Regional Portfolio Managers are aware of any inquiries that may come in outside of their working hours. But no matter how our residents communicate with us, or we with them, our priority is the same: making sure that when they live in one of our properties, they’re living in a place they can call home.


This commentary and the information contained herein are for educational and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities or related financial instruments. This article may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should refer to information contained on our website at www.avenuelivingam.com for additional information regarding forward-looking statements and certain risks associated with them.

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