“Our relationship with our residents starts on day one,” says Bernard Streeper, Senior Vice President for Northern Alberta. “The second they look up a suite or call us for more information, that’s the start.”
That relationship is at the centre of everything the Avenue Living Communities teams do, from the leadership team to the maintenance specialists. Led by three regional Senior Vice Presidents (SVPs), the teams manage approximately 10,000 doors in communities across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Dividing the workload by regions allows leadership to have deeper knowledge of their markets and a more direct relationship with their teams and residents than would be possible with more centralized oversight.
Live and In-Person
On-site visits are key to developing that deeper knowledge and connection. The SVPs all make sure they can visit individual markets and buildings to see, in person, the successes and challenges their teams face. The challenges that arise in Saskatoon, for example, are not the same as those in Edmonton; and the challenges in Brooks may be different yet again.
“Being on-site is a great way to get to know residents. I guarantee you that if one resident shares their views with you, they’re not the only one who has those views,” says David Porter, SVP for Southern Alberta. The leaders also find it’s a great way to stay connected with and support their teams. “I like to say I’m really a facilitator,” says Bernard. “I really work for my team. I hear their challenges and help them get to the answer.”
The ability to visit in person also gives the SVPs a connection to networks in their broader communities, and the ability to establish relationships with vendors and trades they might not be able to from a distance. “We’re able to be more resourceful,” says Bernard. “I guarantee you there are things I hear about through my network that I wouldn’t hear about otherwise.”
“Whenever I visit a building, I look at it through the eyes of a resident,” says Graham Edge, SVP for Saskatchewan and Manitoba. “I look at the curb appeal. What would I think if I were coming home to this building? Is it safe and secure? Would I want my daughter living here?”
The residents’ first impressions are top of mind when SVPs inspect a newly renovated suite or common area, too, but the experience goes beyond that. “The property management business is not really about property,” says Bernard. “It’s about people.”
Senior vice presidents work closely with each other — they meet with our Chief Operations Officer, Louise Elsey, every day, where they discuss their challenges and successes and share insights they’ve gleaned from their own unique experiences. “I have never met a better team or a more collaborative team than this one,” says Graham. “I’ve never seen a team that shares information the way that this team does. It’s amazing.”
“We all pull the rope from the same side,” says Bernard, of the collective effort it takes to ensure Avenue Living residents have the best experience possible. “We share the same goals and we’re driven by the same values,” agrees David.
That collaboration extends from the leadership through the entire team. Regional Vice Presidents also connect regularly to share information and ideas, and then teams in individual markets collaborate the same way. Keeping the lines of communication open encourages continual improvement, and the team structure sets clear expectations for accountability and keeps everyone dedicated to the same goals and values.
Those values, which put our duty of care to our residents and employees at the centre of everything we do, means the entire team is dedicated to a shared goal. And beyond those teams, the entire company works to support them. “We have great relationships with every functional group in the company,” says David. “There’s not a single person here who doesn’t recognize the importance of our residents.”
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.