Client: Adam, Sussex Coalition
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Client's Challenge: Collecting input from nearly a hundred building tenants.
Solution: Unison.io, a private group communication tool.
What started off as a relatively minor security concern for the management team of a 100-unit residential building, blossomed into a massive opportunity to engage tenants in advocacy with a large building management company. Unison.io proved instrumental in achieving that goal.
How did you get started with Unison.io?
I’m the on-site building manager of a 100-tenant apartment building in Montreal. About a year ago, tenants began noticing suspicious activity taking place outside the building. Looking for a way to generate ideas for how we can improve building security and find opportunities to improve tenants’ experience, I put up a bulletin board in the building lobby to collect input from residents. I quickly received a flood of ideas, concerns, and announcements from residents who had typically remained silent, but when I escalated these notes to the property management company, I was told to take the bulletin board down.
I didn’t want to silence tenants, so I started an email chain to continue gathering feedback. But that quickly spiraled out of control, with people sharing too much information in reply-all emails, or emailing me directly instead of including other residents on building-wide concerns. At this point, I knew I needed a better solution. After a quick online search, I found exactly what I needed in Unison.io.
What made Unison.io the right solution for you?
I didn’t want to use social media because of privacy concerns, and we needed a place where every voice can be heard and a clear historical record of all communication is available.
People are getting involved even more than I anticipated! People are really eager to share their concerns. Tenants see the chain of communication and know they aren’t alone in experiencing an issue. The building management company can see that concerns aren’t isolated, but are shared by multiple tenants. With Unison.io I have a real record of concerns to share with the building management company to keep them accountable.
What Unison.io features are you finding most valuable?
There’s an active feed of tenant comments which I convert into quick polls. The ability to quickly create a poll and see how many people are affected by a particular issue is a great way to prioritize what we tackle first and what I choose to escalate to the property management company.
The ability to see how many people read an Announcement has proven to be especially valuable, as is the ability to follow up with those who haven’t responded with just a couple of clicks.
Unison.io allows me to add attachments and pictures to Announcements, Preview before sending, and ensure that all of my communication with tenants is beautifully formatted and simple to produce.
What’s been the biggest benefit of using Unison.io?
We post everything! This allows me to easily gauge how widespread an issue is, and get actionable ideas for ways to improve residents’ quality of life.
My ultimate goal is to foster an engaged, active tenant coalition that can keep a large property management company accountable. I’m excited to share my success using Unison.io with other on-site building managers in the community, and am proud of the grassroots organizing that Unison.io is facilitating.