WOW Matters The Venterra Experience Sixth Edition
A Better Way of Living http://www.VenterraLiving.com
Table of Contents
Preface by Richard Roos, Chief Operating Officer Acknowledgements by Stephanie Gonzalez, Director of Marketing & Customer Experience
Part One: A Better Way of Living, The Venterra Experience
Why Choose Venterra?
The Most Underused Guarantee
18,571 Residents Say Yes
Keep It Working
We Renew More Than Just Customers
Infinite Referral Rewards
Table of Contents (cont.)
Part Two: A Fun Place to Live. A Fun Place to Work. The Venterra Experience.
Culture by Andrew Stewart, Chairman
Vision and Values
Growth and Opportunity
The Voices of Venterra
Part Three: WOW Matters, The Venterra Experience .
Helping Families Beyond Our Borders
Preface Richard Roos, Chief Operating Officer
What does the Customer Experience mean to Venterra? After six years of passionate commitment to improving our customer experience delivery, I recently found myself contemplating where we started, how we have grown and where we are headed next. We started our journey believing that being a customer experience leader and innovator was an important aspect of being a world-class organization. If we could build a culture that was
passionate about taking care of our customers, it would result in Venterra achieving exceptional operating results for our investors, while allowing Venterra to pay it forward by re-investing in our employees and customers. This re-generating cycle would be the key to ensuring that the success we achieved would be built to last. The stories contained in our 6th edition of the WOW Book help me to believe that we are well on our way. It is emotional for me to read stories that demonstrate how much our employees have embraced Venterraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision. The customer experience stories paint an incredible picture of how employees are positively impacting customer lives through their compassion, dedication and willingness to give back. The new section of the WOW Book dedicated to the employee experience is very gratifying, as it shows that we have been able to simultaneously improve the lives of our employees as we enhance the customer experience. Our customer experience focus is not just a feel good story; it has been a big part of our ability to outperform all public multi-family REITs on NOI growth for the past 3 years. It is great to know that we have been able to achieve exceptional financial results while making a positive difference in the environment we operate in. It has always been important to me to be part of a company that stood for the right things, pursued excellence and worked hard to build something that made a difference in the lives of both its customers and employees. As I reflect on the past year and everything written in this WOW Book, I realize how far we have come towards creating this environment. This success has only been possible by having caring, dedicated and passionate employees who believe in the Venterra vision and bring it to life every day. I feel incredibly privileged and thankful to work with such an amazing group of employees who get up every day focused on making Venterra a better place to live and work. While we have accomplished a great deal, we are far from finished. Being a leader and innovator comes with the challenge of continually raising the bar. Moving forward, we will build on our customer experience commitment, but we will take it to a new level by becoming a leader in customer engagement. We will increase our transparency, reinvent how we communicate and invite our customers to help us build a better living experience. We will look to engage our customers in a way that is not the standard today. I am excited about the future, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead â&#x20AC;&#x201C; onward and upward in 2015!
Acknowledgements Stephanie Gonzalez, Director of Marketing & Customer Experience
To Everyone at Venterra:
Your personal commitment to excellence inspires others. This impetus has empowered the
momentum for success and we’re a better company because of you. Each exchanged idea and every shared opportunity magnifies the mutual respect we have for one another at Venterra and is the foundation of our culture. Words just can’t describe how much you are appreciated, however, maybe over 30,000 words of dedication is a good start—this book is dedicated to you, the heart and soul of Venterra.
Venterra's mission is to acquire and manage multi-family real estate assets in the southern United States that deliver a superior resident living experience. Our residents will experience A Better Way of Living. We will achieve this while maintaining profitable operations, long term appreciation and preservation of capital.
Venterra creates an enduring environment where honesty, integrity, respect, and humility flourish in the never ending pursuit of excellence.
Venterra deploys proprietary technology and leading people management systems to pursue our focus on people, customer service and operating excellence. Our culture of innovation and access to our real-time information drives productivity, focus and a never-ending
pursuit of a “Better Way”. Venterra’s success is rooted in our Core Values—values that define who we are and how we conduct ourselves. It is the bond that ties us together and gives our organization strength.
A Better Way of Living, The Venterra Experience Part 1 will take you on a journey shared in the words of our residents and described by our employees of what it means to experience A Better Way of Living.
“I’m often asked why we wouldn't want to promise the best living experience instead of a better experience. The answer is simple. Everyone says they’re the best. But quite frankly, what I think is the best may not be the best for someone else. Being the best also sounds complete. We’re never complete. ‘Better’ is infinite. We promise a better experience relative to the current experience, and we keep improving it for our customers. Thank you to the ]employees of Venterra for raising the bar at every customer interaction. Success can never be achieved unless someone, like you, has the vision and desire to initiate it.” - Stephanie Gonzalez, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience
Enjoy learning about Venterraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vision by watching the above video. 3
Why Choose Venterra? Residents aren't just looking for an apartment to rent. They are looking for a home that meets or exceeds the standards by which they live. We strive to create a feeling of community from the first impression through the entire living experience.
“The Leasing Experience is my opportunity to make them feel ‘at home’. I build a rapport with the customer that makes them feel secure. I care about them and want them to understand that while we are managing the property, we are not "lording" over them. I love the Leasing Experience because first impressions are EVERYTHING!” - Raquita McCollister, Leasing Consultant, The Pointe
Charity and Whitney made the application process a breeze. Their courtesy and overall professionalism sealed the deal in our choosing Amber Place as our new home! Charity made us feel as if we were actually already part of the community. We ha ven't mo ved in yet but it a lrea dy feels like home! - Ida Gary, toured Amber Place in September 2014 6
Patti has been amazing since day one. My roommate and I were apartment-hunting and came across Cypress Pointe. We ended up being paired with Patti, who gave us a tour around the property and of the apartment model we were going to be moving into. We fell in love IMMEDIATELY. She gave us a run-through of what the monthly would be like, etc. Her customer service was awesome and she was so accommodating to me, Nick , a nd Krysta . Tha nk yo u Pa tti, yo u're a ma zing! - Cathrine Olaes, toured Cypress Pointe in March 2014 West End Lodge is a great community! We're glad we made the decision to live here! - Daniel Carpenter, toured West End Lodge in June 2014 Staff is helpful and customer-centered. Pro perty is community focused with services and social activities. Staff are very informative and communicates effectively through email and text announcements. - Teresa Serrano, toured Amber Place in July 2013 Great place to live. It's clean and the staff is very courteous! Do yourself a favor! - Tanya Farirayi, toured Villas of Bristol Heights in June 2014
5,424 residents said â&#x20AC;&#x153;Management is Professionalâ&#x20AC;?
I wanted to give a special compliment to Latedra Wall. This young lady was not only helpful, but sincerely pleasant. The apartment speaks for itself, but because of her I didn't look anywhere else. She made me feel like I was already at home before I even chose to move in. Ha ving just lo st my husband of 20 years, she had the bright smile that I needed to help make this move easier. So please let her know that she is making a difference in my life with her extraordinary customer service skills. Also know that I could tell that she was very proud of her property and enjoyed working there. Very refreshing! - Cherelynn Pratt, toured The Brownstone in August 2014 This place is the best!
- Ellick Renta Ruiz, toured Villa Lago in May 2014
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Leasing Experience is where our future residents learn all about the community and where the we can paint the picture for the prospect. From the minute the prospect walks in the door, I want them to feel the customer service and sense of community they will receive from the community.â&#x20AC;? - Andrea Poston, Assistant Property Manager, Villa Lago
The staff is friendly, helpful and straightforward. Everything is very clean and well kept. They were very willing and helpful in helping me get settled in on semi short notice. Fantastic service! - Abigail Smith, Toured Regency Park in July 2014 Excellent office and maintenance staff, friendly environment and beautiful scenery! - Carlos Rivera, toured Carlyle Place in June 2014
“In the first 30 days, our new resident will experience Venterra as a whole, from maintenance requests to rent payments to referral concessions. It’s a "full-circle" process that takes a lot of work from all involved and demonstrates Venterra values of Unparalleled Service Excellence and Team First! It’s important we get it right.” - Stephen Burley, Business Support Analyst/Purchaser
Marcus is the reason I am a resident at Apex. He is amazing! The time and attention that he gave me and my mother when we toured made me feel right at home. And yesterday when I had an issue in the cyber cafe (even though he was not familiar with Apple computers), he did not stop until the issue was resolved. Tha nk s a ga in, Ma rcus. Yo u're the best! - LaTia Ford, toured Apex West Midtown in August 2014
My fiancĂŠ and I were moving to Atlanta from out of state and the staff and leasing office at Westminster at Buckhead were extremely helpful, courteous, prompt, friendly, and made this process stress free and very enjoyable! The gated community provides a safe an comfortable living environment and the apartment complex itself is beautiful and spacious! Pool, grilling area, dog park, and it's close to a lot of restaurants and entertainment in Buckhead! Highly recommend! - Anonymous Resident, Westminster Buckhead, ApartmentRatings.com I could not ask for a better group of office staff....the second you step foot in the office you are acknowledged. Everyone is outstanding and my concerns are taken care of asap. Thanks for making my home feel like a home ! You guy's rock.........This is a safe place to call home. - Theresa Bernal, toured The Vinings in June 2013
The Most Underused Guarantee Live It. Love It. Guarantee. Only 2.4% of residents that move in execute our 30 Day Move In Guarantee. Why is it so underused? Our Welcome Home Standard is differentiating and memorable. Behind the scenes, our Total Quality Make Ready process and Service Standards ensure that the first 30 days go as smoothly as possible. We want our new residents to find their new home and their first 30 days with us to be welcoming, peaceful, and perfect; just as expected. Anything less is considered a defect by our standards.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe that the success of TQMR (Total Quality Make Ready) lies in its design. Each step is vital to the outcome of a true, high-quality product that we are delivering to new and returning residents. All good products require great quality control standards. Having a system in place that touches base on every facet of the make-ready process will provide the best quality control. TQMR is the process, but in order to truly provide the best quality control, we must hold ourselves accountable to the process. Every level of the process has an accountability and is expected to be completed to the highest level of detail. Each set of eyes, each walk, each process prepares our final product to reflect our standard of excellence. We provide the best homes in our industry." - Nick Tyser, Maintenance Manager, The Enclave at 1550
I want to start by saying thank you for your assistance in previous requests. This is by far above and beyond the kind of response and service level that I expected when I moved in here. I recommend this place to all my coworkers and so far I believe two have moved in. I will continue to advocate Bradford Pointe as a great place to live. Thanks again! - Sheldon, Bradford Pointe Resident since November 2013 I would like to express my gratitude to the management and team who made our move-in process very enjoyable. From the time we inquired about an apartment until the move-in, everyone has been very friendly and helpful. It has been some time since we have lived in an apartment, so we had lots of questions. Each time, my questions were answered promptly and they were so understanding. I appreciate the kindness of the staff and understanding with my changing move-in dates. I really look forward to living at Estancia because of the friendliness of the staff. Thank you all so much! - Wendy Wilson, Estancia at Morningstar Resident since January 2014 The office here at The Preserve at Old Dowlen made my move-in effortless, co nsidering I w a s moving from 100+ miles away. Everything was on schedule, and they even had the apartment accent walls painted with very little notice. Great job you guys! - Bobby Clay, The Preserve at Old Dowlen Resident since May 2014 14
We recently moved from Chicago and fought traffic the whole way to get here before the office closed to sign our lease and get our keys. We knew we were going to be late and Gianina came back after hours to get us all settled in! Also the welcome package waiting for us was a nice touch! Everyone here has been so friendly. We are excited to be a part of the Hampton's community! - Jonelle Forshee, Hamptons at Woodland Pointe Resident since July 2014 Heidi, Erin and Kevin have been great during our entire move-in. Heidi checked up on us the day we were moving in. Kevin has been very quick to answer all maintenance requests. Erin presented us with a gift basket today when one of our concerns could not be resolved immediately. All in all, I am very happy that we chose the Monticello Oaks community. - Brigette Lepe, Monticello Oaks Resident since May 2014 Coming from a home that had many problems, my family is extremely happy we moved to Calais Park. The sta ff fro m the office and the maintenance team are very helpful and courteous. Definitely are happy with the community we moved to!! - Kristin Piotti, Calais Park Resident since July 2014 Cedar Springs is a lovely community with a great staff. It is one of the most visually appealing complexes in Raleigh. It's 5 minutes away from almost everything, and it's very affordable. My very first apartment has been a great one. - Christopher Rock, Cedar Springs Resident since July 2014
2,364 residents described their new home as â&#x20AC;&#x153;cleanâ&#x20AC;?
College View is a small complex but has plenty to offer. The community is quiet and pet friendly which was exactly what we were looking for. Another nice feature is the swimming pool which is always clean a nd the BBQ grill next to it is a n a dded bo nus. Let me not forget about the great office and maintenance staff. They are wonderful! Any concerns or work orders were addressed quickly w hich ca nno t a lw a ys be sa id w hen living in a pa rtments. Overall, I am very pleased with the decision to move to College View and look forward to living here comfortably for however long that may be. - Monique Arellano, College View Resident since May 2014
“The first 30 days of a resident’s experience are critical. How well I can help them and resolve problems during this time shows them they are truly appreciated as a new resident.” - Sally Flores, Regional Leasing Manager
My move in experience was great. I didn't see anything that needed more attention from my point of view. The staff was very kind as we viewed the apartment. I love the ho use w a rming trea ts what a wonderful thought to welcome the tenants to their new ho me! I feel safe and comfortable here. - Carolyn Coulter, St. Andrews Resident since August 2014 I've lived here for about a month and have loved it so far! The office staff is always professional and helpful, a nd the application process and move-in was quick and smooth. I've a lw a ys felt sa fe here, which is especially important for someone living alone and far from home. I would definitely recommend it to a friend! - Leah Daniels, Signature Ridge Resident since June 2014
When I moved in, Damien showed me around the unit and checked all the lights and water to make sure everything was working. It w a s grea t to ha ve tha t service a nd k no w tha t the staff takes the time to welcome new tenants a nd ma k e sure the unit is rea dy fo r mo ve-in. I have spent a week in my new place and I absolutely love it. - Michele Menard, Tuscany at Lindbergh Resident since August 2014 I have been living here for about two weeks now and am happy with the living environment a nd a rea . If yo u lik e the idea of living in a high-rise building, I would recommend the Enclave. - Stephen Dingler, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since May 2014
True happiness is said to be at home. The Enclave at 1550 certainly makes that statement a reality. I've lived in many different apartment complexes in Sa n Anto nio , but none have mirrored the customer service and friendly demeanor of fellow residents. The mo ment I w a lk ed into The Encla ve several residents warmly introduced themselves, as if to welcome me to the family. I have only been a resident here for one and a half months, but I look forward to the remainder of my stay at this lovely community. - Emmanuel Nsien, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since July 2014
The Mandolin has many updates and is a great place to live. The office staff is very friendly and responds to issues in a timely manner. The lo ca tio n is grea t!
7,312 residents said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Staff is Friendlyâ&#x20AC;?
- Stephanie Neidecker, The Mandolin Resident since June 2014
My move in experience a t The Po inte was great. The pro perty management had great customer service, a nd the apartment pro vided to me was beyond what I expected. - Carlos Losada, The Pointe Resident since June 2014 Great move in experience! Friendly staff and very helpful. Apartment was very clean upon move in. Great community! - Kelsey Guimarin, Villa Lago Resident since June 2014 17
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Venterra TQMR standard is a very effective process that allows me to WOW our residents on their first day with us. The TQMR covers every area of our apartment home and is in place so that our residents are moving into a functional, clean and made-ready home. Moving is stressful enough without worrying if the apartment is going to have problems.â&#x20AC;? - Scott Levesque, Maintenance Manager, Houston
So far the best apartment community I've lived in! Grea t lo ca tio n! When I need so mething fixed in my apartment, maintenance responds very quickly. Office staff is very friendly and helpful anytime I have a question. Love, Love, love Bradford Pointe! - Nancy Downing, Bradford Pointe Resident since July 2014 Our experience as a resident of Bristol Heights has been a pleasant one. The management has been very accessible and friendly. We ha ve o nly been here a mo nth but so fa r w e ha ve ha d no issues. I look forward to the rest of our time here! - Vinnie James, Villas of Bristol Heights Resident since August 2014
move-in experience. The crew made it incredibly easy to fo llo w , a nd everyo ne was super nice. They have answered any and all questions we have had. - Christopher Allen, Falcon Square Resident since June 2014
It was a great
I've only lived here for a month, but I love it. The website keeps me informed and everyone is friendly, helpful, and it feels like home. I never hear any noise from neighbors, side or upper. All the grounds and the pool are immaculate. Maintenance is quick to fix things the right way. The staff is friendly fro m the first day I looked to the present day. I love the quietness and take advantage of the screened in porch daily. - Cynthia Evans, Huntcliff Resident since July 2014 After moving in a couple of weeks ago, I must give this property huge props. I worked with Tai during the leasing process, and she could not have been more helpful -- Thank You, Tai! I'm really happy here. The pro perty is w ell-maintained, quiet and peaceful, and it's nice to see kids playing outside (that's always a sign of a safe, friendly environment, in my experience). Maintenance is also great to work with. They went out of their way to help me hook up my dryer. All in all, I give Huntcliff a huge thumbs-up, and I look forward to living here a long time! - Ellen Hendren, Huntcliff Resident since July 2014
2,824 residents referred to their new apartment as
The office staff at Legacy was very welcoming. I love my new apartment. It is very spa cio us. The neighbo rs a re friendly and respectful. I would highly recommend this as a place to call your new home. - Marquesha Waters, Legacy at River Crossing Resident since July 2014 The Community is very welcoming. I love the events tha t ha ppen to let everyo ne meet ea ch other. The staff a re very info rma tive a nd makes the move in stream lined. - Vincent McFarlin, Palm Club Resident since June 2014
Experience a move in so exceptional, we guarantee it.
Any resident that is not completely satisfied with their apartment, for any reason, has the option to move out within their first 30 days, no penalties and no hassle.
Jonathon was working in the leasing office on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend when I stopped by to find out about an apartment. He was very patient and explained the rental options very thoroughly. I really valued the extra time that he spent. He was courteous and engaging, and offered several options for me to choose from. I'm so glad that I chose Enclave and can't wait to move in! - Andy Trevathan Morto, toured The Enclave at 1550 in June 2014 This has been the best complex that I have lived in since moving to Georgia. - Antoine Cooper, Champions Green Resident since July 2014 Apex has everything I have been looking for in a community! My apartment is stylish, the staff is great, and West Midtown is the bomb! - Gray Cannon, Apex West Midtown Resident since July 2014 We moved here from out of state, and we absolutely love our new home here at Riverstone Apartments. From the moment we arrived here, we felt welcomed and we felt like we were home. Thank You to the entire staff here that has given us such a warm welcome! - David Velasco-Lobos, Riverstone Resident since June 2014 Estancia is a nice place to live. The workout room and pool area are great. Everyone I've met is really nice. I have had a very good experience living at Estancia at Morningstar. - Sean Michael Meier, Estancia at Morningstar Resident since May 2014
18,571 Residents Say “Yes” Yes, our residents would recommend a Venterra community to their family and friends. Why? Keep it Simple. Keep it Clean. Keep it Fun. Keep it Working, Make it Exceptional - the formula for providing a great experience that people want to share with others, and our Customer Service Promises. We appreciate our residents and want to thank them for choosing Venterra by providing an environment where they are surrounded by people who care for them and want to improve the quality of their lives. While the following promises are made from the first interaction with Venterra and while in pursuit of the perfect apartment home, they’re proven over and over again during the resident’s stay.
“I love that everything with Venterra is about an experience. We want our employees and residents to have great experiences while with Venterra. It’s a great company. The Leaders truly care about me as an individual. I’m not just a number.” - Candi Garland, Regional Leasing Manager
I enjoy the professionalism of the staff. Management is very eager to assist the tenants with any concerns we may have. I have lived in many communities, and this one is by far the best one I ever lived in. Thank you for making this the best experience I ever had. - Jacquelyn Lawrence, Stonecreek Ranch Resident since August 2014 The office staff is excellent. They are accommodating, friendly, and very responsive. All in all, they show that they are genuinely concerned about providing the best service. - Jae Park, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since June 2013 It's an excellent, friendly and clean environment to live in, a nd I co uld no t be ha ppier with the Enclave Apartments and staff! - Jacqueline Rodriguez, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since July 2014
It's an excellent, friendly and clean environment to live in, a nd I co uld no t be ha ppier with the Enclave Apartments and staff! - Jacqueline Rodriguez, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since July 2014 We have been at The Landmark for one month and it has been so great to us so far. Best, friendliest, professional staff. The maintenance staff is outstanding and quick to respond. The amenities such as the gym and indoor pool, as well as outdoor pools, are so clean a nd a nice enviro nment. Definitely would recommend this community. - Dale Purser, Landmark at Medical Center Resident since July 2014 I appreciate the individual attention that I've received with any of my concerns or issues, and the responsiveness of Venterra to those issues. I'm finding that Venterra lives up to its promises and I hope to see that continue. Thanks and keep up the good work! - Jason Roth, Apex West Midtown Resident since May 2013 Sarah and Kelly in the front office are simply incredible. Issues are handled in a timely and professional manner, and if something goes unresolved for any reason, they do everything they can to remedy the situation. It's rare to have management that goes above and beyond like they do. Tha nk yo u fo r a ll you do!
3,327 residents described their experience as “great”
- James Wils, Cedar Springs Resident since August 2014 The last year has been extremely difficult for me due to the death of my husband of 30 years. Your staff has made this year more bearable even during this last month of unbelievable change and financial hardship. Probating my husband’s estate, lawyer fees, court fees, a compromise of my debit card, has left me in quite a bind. If it were not for the professionalism of this staff, I would not have any options. Allison is a pleasure to talk to and Miranda has been a blessing to me. I thank you for all you do. The Dominion has been home for me. It is well maintained, comfortable and quiet. - Loretta Wolsey, Dominion at Woodlands Resident since July 2013
Residents Were Asked,
“Would You Recommend
“I would recommend this property to anyone that is looking for a home and not just an apartment.” - Ronald “I would recommend the apartments to my family and friends.” - Cassondra
“I sincerely will continue to recommend new tenants to reside in this apartment home community.” - Todd
“I would not hesitate to recommend these apartments to anyone.” - Dorothy
18,571 say Yes “I would recommend it to everyone!” - Paula
“I love the staff here, and I will recommend this community to anyone who needs a new home.” - Brandi
“I absolutely would and already have recommended the property to others.” - Christine 26
Venterra to Your Friends and Family?” “I would totally recommend anyone to move to this Apartment Community!” - Ruby
“We would highly recommend these apartments for anyone looking to move in the North Dallas area.” - Pedro “Very Happy with the community and outstanding customer service. Veronica is very professional and efficient. Would highly recommend this community!” - Vinson
“I would most definitely recommend this property to everyone I know!” - Myriam
“I would recommend this property ANY day!” - Kecia
“I recommend Reflections as home because living here can be called home, making me feeling as a part of a family, I been living here for almost 9 years, yes definitely I recommend reflections at Sweetwater as a home.” - Deysi
“I would recommend this property to family and friends simply due to the wonderful customer service I have received while living here.” - Diane 27
“The customer experience is what it's all about - listening to the resident’s needs, wants, concerns, ideas and ACTING on them, thus giving our residents a voice! Awesome!” - Justin Callahan, Property Manager, Bradford Pointe
Excellent community based complex. Very clean. Neighbors seems friendly and welcoming. Nice overall community and staff very professional and customer service friendly. - Racquel Warren, Silverbrooke Resident since June 2014 This is just my first week here and I must say I am loving it. This place is all I've asked for so far. The staff is very professional and seems to really care, especially Tiffany. She has really made this an easy transition for me. She listened and addressed all of my concerns, she has been prompt in responding to my phone calls and emails, she stands on her word, and I really appreciate her. Tiffany really makes me feel at home. So kudos to the whole team...thanks! - Abuwi Coleman, Reflections on Sweetwater Resident since March 2014
I have lived at the Estancia for about 4 months now. Overall I would have to say this is one of my favorite apartment complexes that I have lived in. Tha t is due ma inly to the effi ciency a nd overall friendliness of the office staff. They have gone above and beyond when it comes to trying to ensure we are happy. I have even recommended the apartments to a friend o f mine in the market for a place to live. My baby enjoys the slide and play area and the fountain area has been a great place to take strolls with him. Thank you for being awesome and making us feel at home and welcome here!
- Misty LeBlanc, Estancia at Morningstar Resident since August 2013 We would like to say thank you to Luis for all his hard work so that we have a home now. We love everything here at Falcon Square and all the staff is amazing and very friendly. The unit is in excellent condition and very well maintained. The grounds are beautiful and we got everything on our wish list: pool, fitness center, washer and dryer, Dog Park, walk-in closet, shower, and garden tub. We couldn't be happier. We plan on being here a long time. Love it! Tha nk yo u. We ra te Fa lco n Squa re A+. - Paul Carney, Falcon Square at Independence Resident since November 2013 Thank you to Olga for everything she does to make this feel like home for us. She has gone above and beyond for us on numerous occasions a nd w e a re so tha nk ful fo r her a nd the rest o f the office and maintenance staff. They are all very sympathetic and responsive to the residents' needs. This is a place I feel happy to call home.
2,346 residents described their experience as â&#x20AC;&#x153;wonderfulâ&#x20AC;?
- Christopher Jenkins, Falcon Square at Independence Resident since August 2013 It is a great community. The staff here is very professional and cares about what you care about in your home. I would recommend this apartment to family and friends. - Gennetta Johnson, Park 9 Resident since July 2014 They are great - the best staff Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever come across. - Scott Tebeau, Sandstone Resident since September 2013
Customer Service Promises Underlying our service promise is commitment of caring. We appreciate our residents and want to thank you for choosing Venterra by providing an environment where you are surrounded by people who care for you and want to improve the quality of your life.
I had a flat tire and I appreciate the maintenance staff helping me put air in my tire. I recognize that is a service you all did not have to provide, but it saved me a lot of time and money. I really appreciate the help. - Arthur Thomas, Champions Green Resident since October 2011 Wow, I must say I have really enjoyed my experience at Westminster at Buckhead, beginning from the search process up through living her for over 2 years. The staff is extremely nice and helpful and always greet you with a smiling face. Westminster is in a great location too, and is within walking distance to the new Shake Shack! I would highly recommend Westminster to any and all! - Anonymous Resident, Westminster at Buckhead, ApartmentRatings.com The current management team is professional and very personable...sometimes I just go in to say hello and they always take time out to make sure my needs are met. Kudos! - Meece Thorne, The Vinings Resident since March 2014 Having a great, caring and prompt office staff is not a question at BALA WOODS. From the manager down to the maintenance crew, these team of professional are absolutely awesome. I feel safe and at home in this place that I have lived and lived to call home. I would recommend and reference this property to anyone looking for a quiet and peaceful neighborhood that is pet friendly and the manager and staff strive daily to make residents comfortable and satisfied. Go Team Kim....and Katie!! - Simon Ogolla, Bala Woods Resident since March 2014
Keep It Working As an industry leader in reliable apartment features and amenities, we promise to “Keep It Working”. This means that not only will service requests be repaired correctly, but they will be addressed in a timely manner. Venterra’s 48 Hour Service Guarantee ensures that we will address maintenance issues within 48 hours… Guaranteed! Our maintenance teams are trained and willing to go the extra mile to take care of our residents.
“I think the biggest opportunity to have a positive impact on the resident experience is during the maintenance experience because it impacts residents’ trust and overall experience living with us.” - Michael Casenave, Operations Analyst
Throughout my stay with Estancia, I have really enjoyed my time. You all are very friendly, supportive and professional. Thank you for responding to our request in a timely and speedy fashion. I admire your commitment to making your residents feel at home and listened to. Tha nk s again for all that you guys do! - Larry Bell, Estancia at Morningstar Resident since October 2012 I am extremely impressed with the maintenance staff here. They co mpleted everything to my satisfaction and in a timely fashion. Thank you so much! - Sonova Balli, Champions Green Resident since January 2014
The Maintenance staff at Foxborough is amazing! Every time we have had to deal with an issue in our apartment, whether it is a burnt out light, broken drawer, or pests, it is resolved quickly. At one point in time we had our toilet break and flood the apartment in the middle of the night; it could have been a crisis, but maintenance reacted quickly and everything was resolved within hours. They are one of the reasons we have stayed at Foxborough, because we know there is reliable maintenance. - Susan Aylor, Foxborough Resident since September 2012
All of the staff here have always done their best. They are knowledgeable, polite and very helpful in anything that I ask about or need. They were very considerate in helping us to plan the work around my schedule. - Linda Christensen, Amber Place Resident since April 2007
I am so thankful that the complete staff here at Calais Park has been so helpful. Any requests have been taken care of in a very timely and professional manner! - Sherri Harrod, Calais Park Resident since May 2014 This is the best service staff I have ever had the privilege of meeting. They k no w my na me a nd ta lk to me lik e I'm a lo ngtime friend. This place has the best management and service staff. Thanks! - Ben Badeaux, Carlyle Place Resident since January 2014
residents said they received the
â&#x20AC;&#x153;best service everâ&#x20AC;?
I noticed my AC was not cooling at about 7 pm and entered a work request with the expectation that the work might then be completed the next day. Much to my surprise Jose came to my door 30 minutes later and had my AC working that evening!!! I was delighted and I thought the responsiveness was above and beyond! To ha ve Jo se immedia tely respo nd w a s phenomenal. I really did not mean to have to make Jose get called out so late in the evening!! He is a lovely man and always, always friendly and helpful! - Barbara Acker, College View Resident since March 2011
“The maintenance experience is where we can show consistency and that we truly care about the resident’s needs, comfort and satisfaction.” - Jennifer McFadden, Regional Manager
The staff members are all unbelievable. I have never lived anywhere like this or met anyone more service oriented than this team. I just ha d my A/C go o ut Thursda y a fter clo sing time. The manager, Shana, came to look at my A/C and then said call emergency maintenance. Rudy the maintenance man had just driven an hour to go home. I thought ‘oh no’ he just got home. But, he drove that hour to come back and had a great attitude while working on my unit. AMAZING. I have never had any apartment community do that. I w a s blo w n a w a y. I ha d a grea t w eek end feeling comfortable and did not stress about the heat. There were other maintenance issues they took care of also and they all had the best attitude about it. I also signed another year lease. No way will I move from here no w unless I w ere a ble to buy a ho use. This is the best apartment community I have ever lived in. All the staff is on top of things and want you to be happy here. I am VERY happy! - Lucia Nell Wheat, Regency Park Resident since October 2012
The staff at Villa Lago is always friendly and helpful. They go the extra mile to listen to your concerns and to complete any maintenance issues quickly and efficiently. It is a grea t pla ce to live. - Debi Mattocks, Villa Lago Resident since January 2008
You have the most professional people working in the office! I have lived in different areas and apartments the past 20 something year, and this is the first apartment that has made my living so comfortable. It feels like home and makes me feel important. - Tersit Tessema, Estancia at Morningstar Resident since December 2013 Somebody (tha t w a s driving up w hen I w a s ta k ing my tra sh out) asked me if I would recommend this as a place to live, and I was able to say, “YES!”. Prior to the management switch I would have said no. I can tell a major difference in the communication, service and management compared to the prior management company. Thanks! - Kavon Simon, Fairways at South Shore Harbor Resident since January 2014 Wow I can’t think of a bad thing to say! I love the staff here. Everyone is awesome and does such a great job! I called about my A/C Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening I received an email stating the job was complete. I got home and had to cut the A/C off it was so cold in there. Great job by Jose! Overall A+! I never had a job completed in the same day in previous apartments I've lived in. Grea t jo b to the w ho le Fo xbo ro ugh team! - Broderick Johnson, Foxborough Resident since March 2013
7,312 residents said, “the staff is friendly”
All of the maintenance staff members are friendly and efficient and care about doing a good job! - Donald Scott, The Landings of Brentwood Resident since March 2011 Thank you to the maintenance staff for responding to my requests so fast. I appreciate being updated on the status of requests and for fixing them with great care. - Ann Burton, Champions Woods Resident since March 2011
Enjoy peace of mind with our 48 Hour Service Response Guarantee that ensures your maintenance needs are responded to within 48 hours of you notifying the office staff. Guaranteed.
Great customer service! When the problem was reported to the receptionist, she immediately contacted maintenance staff a nd the problem was resolved the same day. The gentlema n w a s kind, quick, and efficient. Bo th the a ir co nditio ning a nd do o r w ere fixed. Tha nk yo u so much! - Andrea Romero, Park 9 Resident since August 2014 What a great change from the previous management company! Very pleased. - Elizabeth Muller, South Shore Lakes Resident since January 2014 The maintenance men at Villa Lago are very professional, friendly and fast at resolving the problem. - Shelly Lawless, Villa Lago Resident since March 2013 I really appreciate the expediency with which the maintenance staff addresses requests. I submitted a request yesterday evening for replacement of light bulbs, and they were fixed when I got home today. When we had a water leak earlier this year, the maintenance staff was extremely quick to respond and address the issue. They also followed up to make sure that we got everything relocated back into the affected area. The excellent maintenance response is one of the reasons I've lived at Chez Moi since 2006, and it's so great to see that the same commitment to this great level of service is continuing. - Linda Johnson, Chez Moi Resident since November 2006 Bala woods has been a great home over the past 4 months. Office staff are very nice and helpful. Maintenance requests always completed quickly. Beautiful interior and exterior. I highly recommend the property. - Candi Bowden, Bala Woods Resident since August 2014
We Renew More Than Just Customers From day one we work to earn our residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; trust and exceed their expectations. Renewing a lease with Venterra means more than just extending a contract. It means renewing the home as well! We conduct an inspection of the residentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home, similar to the inspection that took place prior to moving in. This inspection includes but is not limited to mechanical, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, as well as ensuring all equipment such as smoke detectors are functioning properly.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like going above and beyond at renewal time and really showing them that we still care and appreciate them as our residents.â&#x20AC;? - Kelly Levesque, Assistant Property Manager, St. Andrews
Friday January 24, 2014, there was a bad ice storm in our area. All windows on vehicles were frozen. One of our maintenance men, I only know him by Wesley, came to my door and offered to scrape my car windows for me. This w a s VERY much a pprecia ted a nd unexpected. At the time it was 20 degrees outside. THANKS WESLEY! - Connie Edwards, The Preserve at Old Dowlen Resident since February 2013 I just wanted to give a quick shout out to the amazing office staff. They really are the best apartment staff I've ever seen. Everyo ne in the o ffi ce is a lw a ys po lite a nd friendly a nd w henever I've ha d issues they always take care of me. GREAT customer service. The team really cares about its residents. - Joshua Anchan, Signature Ridge Resident since February 2013 I will absolutely renew. Grea t pla ce to be a nd I ha ven't ha d a rea so n to lea ve. The o ffi ce sta ff is always friendly and always remembers my name. That may be stating the obvious but with the amount of people they see on a daily basis, it would seem difficult but they always greet me with a smile and do the best they can on getting an answer to my question. - Ben Devine, The Ravinia Resident since June 2014 42
I just want to thank Salado Springs for constantly staying on top of maintenance issues. Last week, apparently our dishwasher was leaking into the downstairs neighbor's apartment (we had no idea). Maintenance left us a note saying not to use the dishwasher that a new one had been ordered and will be replaced ASAP. Within three days, we had a brand new dishwasher that works great. Just one of the many reasons we agreed to re-sign our lease. Tha nk yo u fo r ta k ing ca re o f us! - Lauren Sokol, Salado Springs Resident since July 2013 Calais Park is the nicest place I've ever lived! My 2 bedroom loft is spectacular. My friends are green with envy! All of the staff are so friendly and accommodating. Any questions are always greeted first with a smile. They are more than just helpful, they really seem to care. Here is an example: I came by the office today and met with Angie. She remembered a few weeks ago that I had mentioned my daughter was going to New York to visit family. She asked how her trip went and if she got to see snow! (My daughter had never seen it snow before). I told Angie, Yes, the trip was wonderful, and yes it snowed! I thought to myself, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awesome that she remembered her. So very thoughtful. I'm so grateful that I found this place! I feel like family here! - Kenneth Mann, Calais Park Resident since December 2013
residents referred to the staff as a TEAM Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take that!
I want to thank you for making the grounds around here so nice. I have dogs so I walk around a lot and I love the ponds, the fountain, and the ducks (and ducklings). After moving here from owning my own home, I can appreciate the work it requires to maintain. It goes a long way in how it makes me feel about my home here. - Kelli Borel, Calais Park Resident since February 2014 We love the staff. We had other options when choosing housing, and the staff hospitality was the reason we chose Park Manor. They made a new place feel like home and their service is world class, helpful, and rivals any five-star concierge. They are concerned about our wellbeing, show understanding, and share in our joy and achievements. They ha ve beco me pa rt of our family. Thank you for all you do. - Philip Walker, Park Manor Resident since August 2013 43
I was on my way to take my trash out when one of the maintenance staff was coming by in a golf cart. He stopped and took my trash from me - I didn’t even ask! That is AWESOME customer service. - Jacqueline Davila, Signature Ridge Resident since December 2013 I thank the office staff for always being so nice and courteous when my daughter comes through the office after school. Last week she was over the moon to have received a Popsicle. I thank you for being a welcoming face for her and my family. - Maya Martin, Westover Oaks Resident since March 2014 I just want to take a moment and let management know how much I appreciate the time and effort you invest in customer service. Service is one of the reasons I rent rather than own. The office and facilities staff are affable and get service requests done efficiently. Please know I appreciate the community you've built here at The Enclave. - Luke Leppla, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since September 2013
“If the customer has a better day because I gave up a few minutes to spend with them, then I’m doing my job.” - Patty Martin, Assistant Property Manager, Timber Mill
The great customer service displayed by the ENTIRE team here at The Enclave is one of the reasons I've lived here for almost 5 years. They epitomize the high level of service that a busy person appreciates. Thanks again, to the entire team at The Enclave. - Abby Gaber, The Enclave at 1550 Resident since May 2014 We had Gino come in and fix a few items in our unit. He was very thorough and handled all the requests efficiently. I am very appreciative of that, however, he went beyond and had Venterra purchase us new cookware because one of our skillets was bent. Thanks, Gino and Venterra staff! We really do appreciate it. - Tonya Kilgore, Tuscany at Lindbergh Resident since November 2013 Hello, I just would like to say that the maintenance staff in general is really awesome. They are all very helpful and nice, always in a good mood and ready to help. I had a flat tire early in the morning when leaving for work, and even though this is not a maintenance related to the building, they helped me completely with it, thank you so much! - Guilherme Zuaneti Tuscany at Lindbergh Resident since June 2011 I really enjoy living here. The staff is hands down the best there is. The maintenance staff responds quickly to any and all maintenance requests. The office staff are always available to answer and address any questions or concerns you may have they are always courteous and respectful.
- Regina Terrell, Waters Edge Resident since March 2011
1,912 residents said they are “happy”
I recently went through a very difficult situation and had to find a place to live (with my dog!) in very short notice. The staff at West End Lodge - especially Trish - bent over backwards to get me into my new apartment as quickly as possible and always with a smile. She met with me outside her work hours, gave me a number to reach her at all times and I was able to move in only four days after first contacting West End Lodge. The night tha t I w a s a ble to be reunited w ith my do g and in my safe, clean, cozy new apartment is one that I will always be grateful for. Thank you! - Jessica Bodine, West End Lodge Resident since December 2013
Outstanding people, outstanding service, best place to live in Jacksonville. - George Gharda-Ward, Village Walk Resident Since July 2013
“I love our service goals, promises, values, and wow programs. They’re a great reminder of how we want to do business and how driven we are. We all strive to make living at a Venterra community the best experience in the industry.” - Kara Wilkinson, Leasing Consultant, The Landings of Brentwood
I would like to extend my gratitude to not only Sonya, Brandy and Bea who have all worked so diligently with my lease renewal and the approval and scheduling of upgrades and repairs of my home, but also the maintenance staff who respond so promptly and respectfully. Just please know that I truly appreciate your patience and respectfulness. Your kindness has not gone unnoticed. - Megan Hardin, Landmark at Medical Center Resident since August 2011 The office staff always greets me by name, and I like the way they treat my visitors. After my first year of living here, renewing is a no-brainer (a nd they did the pro cess so smo o thly)! - Manuel Gonzalez, The Ravinia Resident since August 2013 The administrative and maintenance staff members are always professional, friendly and courteous. The home experience Westover Oaks continues to provide is beyond outstanding! - Frank Musarra, Westover Resident since April 2013
I just want to say how very blessed I was to come home from work on the eve of my birthday to find I had been WOWed in a marvelous way. No other apartment community would have made sure my birthday was special, lik e Willo w Springs a nd Venterra . Tha nk yo u to a ll the sta ff that helped make my day truly special! - Cherry Tijerina, Willow Springs Resident since September 2013 I just wanted to thank all of the Willow Springs team for the very nice gift basket that was left for me while I was in the hospital. I rea lly a pprecia te the k indness sho w n to me. Tha nk s. - Paul Tollefsen, Willow Springs Resident since December 2013 I've lived at other large apartment complexes, and when I needed a member of maintenance to come fix a non-emergency issue it was at least 2-3 business days. I submitted a request and it was fixed in less than 24 hours. I just wa nted to sa y tha nk yo u fo r the pro mpt service. - Letitia Lee, Wilshire Place Resident since November 2013 We have been having hard times since moving to Texas. We have been paying for two households for almost a year. Renovations to our house is making it difficult to get things done financially. We couldn't afford a plane ticket to get me to PA so Ramon gave me two gift cards to help us out. He is truly an amazing man, and he is very good to my two toddlers which are a handful. Thanks Ramon. - Dawnetta Navarre, Wilshire Place Resident since August 2013 I would like to take a moment to express the awesome and caring office and maintenance staff here at Calais Park. My daughter just went in for emergency surgery, and had a three day stay at the hospital. On my way back to the hospital, after stopping back here to let the dog out, Scotty from Maintenance saw me and asked if everything was ok. I explained that Tori was in the hospital, and he just gave me his number and offered to help. He a nd Jo hn ca me to the a pa rtment a nd took our dog, Lily for walks and to the office for love and treats! Micha, the manager, John, and Scotty stopped by today with a picture of the staff with Lily, a beautiful card for Tori, and a gift certificate. I can never express the gratitude and care that we felt during this hard time. They go above and beyond! - Elizabeth Heaton Calais Park Resident since October 2012 I was on my way to take my trash out when one of the maintenance staff was coming by in a golf cart. He stopped and took my trash from me - I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even ask! That is AWESOME customer service. - Jacqueline Davila, Signature Ridge Resident since December 2013
“We all know what the Venterra Experience is even though it’s difficult to articulate. The best part is having the freedom and encouragement to find a way to say ‘Yes’ to people and make them feel comfortable and at home.” - Barry Taylor Young, Leasing Consultant, The Enclave at 1550
Amazing place, super friendly staff, nicest apartments I've seen by far! The apartment itself is beautiful and maintenance handles everything from a broken refrigerator to a dead light bulb, they even change out the air filters for you. Other than the apartment, you have access to a fishing pond, computer center, gym, amazing pool, laundry center, coffee bar, movie rental, 24 hour maintenance, covered picnic areas and two dog parks. The completely gated community creates a safe environment for residents. I can’t ask for a better apartment at a better price. - Phyllis Ensor, Villa Lago Resident Since June 2014
I'd like to personally thank Ms. Tammy for her outstanding customer service. No matter how big or small an issue I may have she makes it a priority, and I've never walked in the office and not seen a smile on her face. This type of customer service is comforting, pleasant, and extremely professional. I've been a resident for over 4 years. Recently I contemplated moving, however because of the outstanding customer service, I decided to renew my lease. The ma intena nce staff has always done great- never has my work order gone unattended more than a day in my entire stay here. Thank you, Legacy for making my stay easy. - Felicia Zanders, Legacy at River Crossing Resident since September 2009
Infinite Referral Rewards Even goodbye can be a good thing. Parting ways is necessary sometimes; people move for lots of reasons. We recognize that if we capitalize on providing great service, attention, response time, efficiency and encouragement at every interaction while they are with us, our residents will seek out a Venterra community if the opportunity to rent comes their way again. For icing on the cake, we differentiate ourselves by offering referral rewards to our residents indefinitely. Nobody else in our industry makes this offer.
“When the time comes for a resident to move on, I love being able to leave them with a good, lasting impression. With our previous resident referral program, so many of our residents refer their friends and family to us long after moving out.” - Johnna Bacak, Marketing Administrator
“When the time comes for a resident to move on, I love being able to leave them with a good, lasting impression. With our previous resident referral program, so many of our residents refer their friends and family to us long after moving out”. Johnna Bacak, Marketing Administrator
I want to let you know that I appreciate how Kristen took care of my alarm when it went off. At the time I was planning to move out, but her approach made me change my mind. I have been very pleased with the Venterra team. Very friendly, and always taking care of the property. I recently left my wallet in the gym and it was returned by a resident to the office. I was informed and picked up the wallet intact. It is a pleasure to live here. Thanks. - Rodolfo Licea, Tuscany at Lindbergh Resident since December 2013 I got a new job in New Jersey. Loved the apartment - wish it could have moved with us! - Richard Ploof, Calais Park Resident from December 2013 to June 2014 52
I moved because my job relocated to a different place...I would love to live in this community all the time. - Venugopal Red Mukku, Chez Moi Resident from May 2012 to June 2014 I honestly had a great rental experience here, and the staff was always pleasant to talk to. Everything was clean and well kept. - Jennifer Brown, Forest View Resident from May 2013 to May 2014 I absolutely LOVED living at The Ravinia, a nd I will recommend this community to anyone looking! - Keely Williams, The Ravinia Resident from September 2012 to July 2014 The community and management were outstanding. We loved and enjoyed living at Salado Springs. But due to fina ncia l problems, we couldn't renew our lease. - Monica Vellanueva, Salado Springs Resident from May 2013 to June 2014 I am leaving Jacksonville after almost 5 years. The entire time I've been in this city, I have lived at Village Walk. Your management and maintenance staff are wonderful. I would especially like to compliment Richard for his devotion to good work with a friendly attitude. Thank you to all the staff.
1,749 residents said they
- Betty Lustig, Village Walk Resident since August 2009 Best community I've lived in! - Keely Williams, The Ravinia Resident from September 2012 to July 2014
We loved living at Calais Park. - Daniel Jezeski, Calais Park Lofts Resident from January 2012 to June 2014
want to be differentiating and remembered for the customer experience that we provide. When we acquired The Fairways at South Shore, an unhappy resident approached me. When I told her that I was with Venterra, the new management company, she was ecstatic! She previously lived at one of our communities and knew of Venterra. It felt great that someone knew who we are and knew that they could expect great things going forward.â&#x20AC;? - Shawnacee Coyle, Regional Leasing Manager
Of the many places at which I have rented in the past ten years, the overall experience at Providence eclipses anywhere I've been. I've enjoyed the arbor by the pool, the manicured grounds and the clean, colonial feel of the buildings. But the factors that most attracted me and so satisfied me during my time here is the kindness, availability, and pleasantness of the staff. I tried to find a single word to enca psula te the experience a nd to fully describe the people w ho w o rk a t Providence. I finally decided upon the word: Responsiveness.
When I'm walking casually through the leasing office, Alisha and her staff respond to my presence with a Hello or a wave and pleasant smile. On the few occasions that I've had a maintenance issue or other minor problem, the staff have responded with promptitude, good performance, and clear communications. When I've needed a document printed from the business center the minute the office doors opened, the staff has responded to my need by stopping everything to help me and get me quickly on my way. The quality o f Pro vidence's sta ff really shines in their interactions with people a nd I personally have always benefitted from their assistance and their pleasant company. In a so ciety tha t I believe is lo sing its sense o f co mmunity service, I'm gla d to know that there are a few consistent bastions out there like Providence. I believe that Providence foremost benefits from retaining people who are genuinely kind and who truly care about their interactions with other people. But beyond innate kindness, Providence seems to inculcate a further sense of consideration and community service systemically. Keep at it! Unfo rtuna tely, I must terminate my lease for a job offer in Virginia. Whatever you are doing, please do not stop and do not allow yourselves to forget that consideration and kindness tend to trump all other qualities of a business. - Michael Canestrari, Providence of Northlake Resident since August 2013
of Venterra Communities
Top Rated Only 7% of Apartment Communities Across the US Have Been Granted This Award by ApartmentRatings.com.
WHY? Our people are the reason we consistently deliver the Venterra Experience and why 98% of our communities are Top Rated.
That consistent experience is the result of Highly Engaged employees committed to delivering our vison. 56
are highlighted in the next section. Just look for the
A Fun Place to Live. A Fun Place to Work. The Venterra Experience
Our vision is to create an enduring environment where honesty, integrity, respect and humility flourish in the never ending pursuit of excellence. If there’s one thing we earnestly protect in our organization, it’s our culture. At its roots, it is defined by our Corporate Values, Service Values and our Employer Promises. They define our work environment and provide the foundation from which the organization is built. A culture of transparent decision making and open communications drives engagement by allowing employees to understand company decisions and giving them a voice in shaping the organization’s future. This creates an incredible level of trust between employees and management, which has helped facilitate our success. Customer Service is a cornerstone of our operating culture. We believe that allowing employees to treat customers right will not only make our customers happy, but also result in happy, engaged employees. This focus is driven by our WOW Matters initiative that encourages exceptional customer service moments and provides storytelling moments that are celebrated throughout this book. In our annual survey, 100% of employees agree that “What I do makes a difference in the lives of my customers.”
We go to great lengths to ensure that our culture is embedded and nurtured throughout the organization. In turn, our focus on culture benefits us because our business success is built on our reputation of delivering a consistent experience to our customers. Consistency is key and is a result of Highly Engaged employees committed to delivering our vision.
Our vision is to create an enduring environment where honesty, integrity, respect and humility flourish in the never ending pursuit of excellence.
Venterra outranks our competitors with an overall score of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor.com.
99% of our employees agree, “What I do is important to the overall success of the Company.”
91% of our employees “plan to be working here 5 years from now.”
Andrew Stewart, Chairman I was heading off to University as an 18 year old. When it really mattered, my dad only ever said the carefully chosen, necessary words. So he gave me a mere four words of parting advice: “Remember who you are”. This stuck with me. Wherever I was, whatever I was doing, it tied me back to who I wanted to be, and the values that were important to me. So, what does that have to do with Venterra Culture? At its core, culture is who we are as a company. It’s a shared understanding of how we treat one another, residents, investors, and all other stakeholders. It’s how we communicate and celebrate; it’s what we regard as important and worthy of effort. The introduction above points to some visible features of our culture, but because it is so much part of our daily existence, it’s difficult to give it a comprehensive definition. It will however, always be rooted and consistent with our core values.
So why is our culture so important? Every culture that we live in and work in heavily influences us - more than we even realize. So a strong, consistent culture gives us daily messages, reinforcing and refining who we are as a company and strengthening each of us as individuals to be part of it. Whole nations and empires have risen and fallen on the strength and consistency of their culture. In the same way, the success of our company will similarly depend on it. And as the introduction above suggests, the success of a company is measured not only in growth and financial results, but in the happiness of the people working in it. A strong and healthy culture makes it possible for people to enjoy their work, because they are surrounded daily by others who share with them the same vision of a good society/ workplace. Apart from making the organization strong, it has the power to make us better, happier people. At Venterra we have a great opportunity. We are a young, agile, learning organization. We are well positioned not only to be influenced and shaped by our good culture, but also each to be the ones that change, grow, improve, forge, and refine it. Everyone in the company has the opportunity and responsibility to be part of shaping our culture. Our culture is built one person, one interaction at a time. And every one counts in establishing who we are and who we become. The spread of our culture is not limited to the Venterra team alone. We already know of several companies that are trying to emulate or copy our culture and processes (though this is difficult - management experts agree that culture is the hardest part of an organization to copy). In addition we currently provide a home to approximately 30,000 women, men and children in our communities. Often they are in the midst of significant change and stress in their lives (newly married, new job, newly single, young parents, changes in financial circumstance etc.). We welcome them into a community marked by our culture, we make their home the best it can be, and they live in our communities for a significant period of time. Can you think of a more significant way to have a sustained impact on people’s lives? Because of this “high touch” relationship with our residents, our culture naturally spreads. And in this way, we have the opportunity to make a positive difference in many lives, well beyond our own borders. So our challenge is to continue to forge and refine this Venterra Culture. As a company we have worked hard at establishing it. We want to strengthen it, and spread it. That’s where this year’s edition of the WOW book comes in. I’ve often said that our WOW books are a very important element of our cultural education, because the books tell us the stories of how we do things, what we regard as important and ultimately, who we are.
Our vision is to create an enduring vision environment is to where honesty, integrity, create an enduring respect and humility flourish environment in thewhere never ending pursuit honesty, of excellence. integrity, respect and humility flourish in the never ending pursuit of excellence.
VISION & VALUES 93%
of employees agree, “The Company of employees agree,values itsCompany people.” values its “The people.”
employees of employees agree, agree, “I know “I know top 94% ofmanagement’s top management’s vision for vision the for future.” the future.”
“We strive to be a company that improves the lives of our residents and employees by providing an environment where people want to come to live and work and become better people because of it. As a result, our employees out-care and out-hustle our competitors. We consistently benchmark in the top 10% across numerous metrics within our industry; which you will see evidence of throughout this book.” - Richard Roos, Chief Operating Officer
“It’s great to work in a place that makes taking care of people such a big deal. Our core values are not just for a company, but being a good person encompasses all of those values as well.” - Barry Taylor -Young, Leasing Consultant, The Enclave at 1550 Apartments
“I love the values of Venterra and what they stand for.” - Shawn Stout, Leasing Consultant, The Villas of Bristol Heights
“All the Core Values are wonderful, and I try to incorporate them in my daily activities with residents and coworkers. Honesty and Integrity coupled with Team First sums it up.” - Patty Martin, Assistant Property Manager, Timber Mill
“The Never Ending Pursuit of Excellence core value has really changed me in a positive way. Behind this core value, I have had the confidence and little extra boost to really change my life overall, such as going back to school, taking an A/C class as an assistant manager and learning all that I can! I always love to think how I can help my team and make Venterra better by learning everything I can to help my residents and my co-workers.” - Mollie Witt, Property Manager, College View Apartments
CORE VALUES Venterra’s success is rooted in our Core Values— values that define who we are and how we conduct ourselves. It is the band that ties us together and gives our organization strength.
The most vital document to realizing our vision is our Core Values. These 7 values and the statements that accompany them, define our organization and have done so from the day the company was founded. Our CEO, John Foresi, has often said, “If you don’t hold these values that’s fine; but you can’t work for Venterra.”
SERVICE VALUES As part of our pursuit of our Service Vision, we are committed to our Service Values and realize that achieving Customer Service Excellence depends on our ability to consistently deliver these values in every customer interaction.
Our Customer Service Values serve to guide us through our resident interactions.
EMPLOYER / EMPLOYEE PROMISE To give structure to our leadership tone, we created our Employer Promise, which frames the work environment that senior management is committed to delivering and the standard to which our leaders are held accountable.
We saw this effort validated when the employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; spontaneous response to the Employer Promise was to create the Employee Promise, which defines the employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responsibilities to create a positive work environment.
GROWTH & OPPORTUNITY
of employees agree that Venterra promotes from within.
3,184 courses completed in 2014
of regional and corporate positions are being held by people who have been promoted through the organization.
Our commitment to professional and personal growth is rooted in our philosophy of “striving to promote from within.” We love rewarding our people with the opportunity to take the next step in their careers. To ensure they are ready we’ve delivered over 15,000 hours of training over 2014. Supporting our internal training efforts, we provide an educational reimbursement program for professional development. This includes paid time off for certifications, attending conferences, taking courses, or pursuing a post-secondary education. Another key element of our training is the “Mentor Program”, which pairs experienced employees with new employees to set them up for long-term success. Providing ongoing, advanced training and education programs and options to Venterra employees better equips them for advancement, to represent the Venterra culture and offer a top notch experience to our residents.
“Being a true testament of Venterra’s promise, ‘we will strive to promote from within’, I can speak from experience that Venterra is a company dedicated to growth and providing opportunities for its employees. I love that my position allows me to help make an impact on our employees’ development so they too have the opportunity to be promoted when a position arises.” - Mary Green, Senior Training Manager
Amanda Franklin, Leasing Consultant, West End Lodge
“I believe that Venterra is an exceptional company. For anyone that has drive and willing to give their best effort, Venterra offers so much opportunity to grow professionally and personally.”
Luis Gutierrez, Assistant Property Manager, Falcon Square at Independence
Ary Salas, Property Manager, Foxborough
“I've been given the opportunity to have different positions and move up to become a property manager. I love coming to work because we have a great work environment. “
“I am coming up on my two-year anniversary and was approved for Venterra’s Education Reimbursement so I can obtain my CAM (Certified Apartment Manager) designation. In such short time, I have been promoted from Leasing Agent to Assistant Manager and now Venterra wants to invest in me more so I may reach my career goals. I have worked for companies much longer and didn’t accomplish half as much as I have so far here. I’m so proud to be working for a company that will invest so much into their employees. “
Jeralyn Canares, Senior Leasing Consultant “I love my new position with the company. It was such a pleasant surprise when they offered me the Senior Leasing position, which I was totally ecstatic about! I love the expanse of possibilities that this company has opened for me. I am truly grateful, and I strive every day to actively contribute to the advancement of this company through my actions. “
Crystal Sanchez, Senior Property Manager, Zang Triangle
Jessica Nofsinger, Training Manager “Venterra’s Educational Reimbursement program helped me achieve my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Ethics, which then helped me achieve a recent promotion! Education is typically a personal goal so it’s not hard to think it’s something you’d have to do on your own. The fact that Venterra recognizes the value of education and helps pay for it is such a wonderful benefit of working here. I definitely encourage everyone to take advantage of it as soon and as often as they can!”
“Venterra's focus is for us to be successful in our role! We always have a Mentor we can reach out to. I’m a Mentor and love to help! I love being the one with the honor of welcoming our new Venterra employees. I want them to relax, have fun and learn in a safe environment! It is so much fun to see get excited and take it back to their properties and become successful!”
of reviewing employees approve of our CEO, John Foresi. - Glassdoor.com.
92% of employees agreed, ”I have confidence in the leadership of the organization.”
Our senior leaders are vital to the direction, tone, and values of our organization. Recognizing this, we have cultivated an environment that maximizes the opportunities for leaders of all levels to interact with and understand the leadership expectations of our senior leadership team. Investing in our people, inclusive decision-making approaches, transparent communications, and commitment to having strong leaders have been essential to creating an environment where people love coming to work and producing exceptional results. Our employees really believe in the direction of the company, trust management, and make exceptional sacrifices everyday.
“The benefit of being candid with each other about our ideas, needs and possible improvements is priceless. I love that we change when we need to. Change is never easy but important for growth.” -Patty Martin, Assistant Property Manager, Timber Mill
“I am inspired to achieve my goals and lead my team to success with great pride. I have the utmost respect for our Leadership and their dedication to Venterra and the teams they lead. I am honored to have been under their leadership.” -Amy Pollak, Property Manager, Raintree Apartments
“There is no other company I would want to work for. I have been very blessed to have learned from the best and am thankful to Venterra for taking a chance with me having had no previous experience. “ -Sarah Arzola, Property Manager, The Enclave at 1550 Apartments 75
“Venterra’s unique nametags give employees the opportunity to express what we are most passionate about.” -Violine P. Mares-Marc,
Leasing Consultant Falcon Square at Independence
of employees agree, “the company celebrates success.”
agree, “I am recognized for 89% ofmyemployees contributions.”
One of our Employer Promises is to “Make time to have fun and celebrate success!”. All work and no play is…well, NO FUN! We work hard, but we make time to have fun & celebrate Individual, Team, and Company success. The biggest event on our calendar is our Annual Awards Celebration, “Kick Off”. We close our properties for the day and gather together from across the country to celebrate exceptional performance. Without a doubt, the most impactful recognition takes place day-to-day and in the trenches. Simple acts of acknowledgement and recognition that are given in person, by phone or by email positively affect morale and encourage employees to reach further and dig deeper not only for themselves but our residents as well. Outstanding customer experience stories are shared on our internal WOW forum where peers can show their support by LIKEing their favorite acts of WOW and contribute to monetary awards of up to $300 per story. A sampling of this year’s stories are shared in Part III of this book. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have.
“Recently I was thinking about whether I do enough to recognize people throughout the organization for the great things they are doing in the trenches (my conclusion was a quick “no”). I was fortunate to recently hear a couple of examples of really cool things people did, and decided to take a few minutes to call them and thank them for their contributions. The calls were rewarding for me.” - Richard Roos, Chief Operating Officer
The Florida Apartment Association Golden Key Award Winner—6 Times Running—for Luxury Community of the Year . - Falcon Square at Independence 79
“Having fun at work leads to a great company culture. It recharges our batteries and it allows us to be human. We make it a point to have fun at our annual Family Fun Day, our Team Building Events, our Annual Kick Off Celebrations, at work creating WOW Moments, outside of work showcasing our Better Living Goals, etc. The list goes on and it has continued to grow. “ Maitina Morrissey, Senior Regional Manager
Justin Callahan, Property Manager, Bradford Pointe Sheri Judy, Property Manager, Palm Club “I'm glad Venterra gave me a chance to show what I can do and I have received such positive feedback from Richard Roos, residents, my Regional Manager and other managers. Coming from where I worked for 9 years, I might be the happiest employee Venterra has.”
“What's astonishing to me is that I've heard from John Foresi and Richard Roos on several occasions. There aren't many companies where this would be possible at all - to hear from a CEO or COO? That's unheard of.”
Yvonne Monica Hondros, Acquisitions Coordinator “Nearly every day I receive multiple emails from fellow staff members at all levels, expressing their appreciation for what I bring to Venterra. Just knowing I'm able to make a difference is a WOW moment in my eyes! “ 80
Diana Weaver, Leasing Consultant, Raintree “I made a 100 on my first shop. I'm very new with the company. Once I found out that I made a Top Shop, my Regional Leasing Manager Shawnacee treated me to lunch to
Stephen Daalling, Maintenance Manager, St. Andrews “Joey, the Director of all Venterra Maintenance, just called me this week to personally give me a compliment. “
Candi Garland, Regional Leasing Manager
“I love that everything with Venterra is about experience. We want our employees to have a great experience as well as our residents. It is great to work for a company that you truly feel cares about you as an individual and you aren't just a number. One time the company hit the Platinum Level with our Benchmarking Results and my direct boss sent me flowers for doing such a great job training. “ 81
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THE VOICES OF VENTERRA
800 33% 92% 84
Over 800 ideas shared over 2014.
of improvement submissions lead to a process change.
of reviewing employees said they would recommend Venterra for employment to friends and family. - Glassdoor.com
Strong communications are embedded in our Core Values. We want to be a company in which our people have a voice in decisions and understand how those decisions relate to organizational strategy. Structured Team Huddles, our Good Stuff (COO blog) and Continuous Improvement Committee all exist to ensure that communications reach every person in the company. Our Why Do We Do That and Just Ask Maintenance forums exist to answer any question within 3 days.
Our Better Way forum is our most coveted forum as it successfully gives our employees of all levels a platform to voice their concerns and ideas on how to make Venterra…… well, you know……. Better. The Better Way inspired the vision for providing A Better Way of Living to our residents and soon after that, Better Living for our residents emerged. This initiative enables our employees to define ways of living better, setting and achieving their goals, and sharing them. Gathering ideas and working together to continuously improve is what makes Venterra one of the best companies in our industry and beyond as evidenced by recently being named one of Achiever’s 50 Most Engaged Workplaces.
“It’s nice to know Venterra is open to hearing better ways on all items pertaining to the industry. The fact that we do have a voice is something you don't find often at other companies! “ -Erin Dobias, Property Manager, Monticello Oaks
Crystal Bradford, Assistant Property Manager, Raintree Apartments “I love The Better Way because it gives the employees that work onsite the opportunity to submit their ideas on how to improve a process, make something easier, or change procedures. I personally have submitted about four Better Way ideas, and I have been recognized for one of them. Venterra actually listened to my idea and compensated me for it when they implemented it. That was amazing to me.“ Richard Berkimer, Regional Maintenance Manager
“While sharing experiences, trading tips, and openly discussing the finer points of the Make Ready process, I learned as much as anyone in our meetings.”
Brenda Grasha, Property Manager, Timber Mill and Forest View “What can I say about the Better Way, except it has been the best. I have seen so many changes due to ideas from employees. It is awesome that a company will listen to their employees and implement changes based on their ideas. “ 86
Dexter Rendon, Property Manager, Village Walk “I love the opportunity to have members from different properties and different positions discuss and work through common issues and ideas.”
Stephanie Burns, Property Manager, Estancia at Morningstar
“I love being able to voice my ideas to help better the company. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when your ideas are rolled out! “
Kristi Gillespie, Portfolio Collections Manager “Venterra is a place where you can be excited to come to work. You have a voice, an opinion that matters. Venterra creates a culture where we feel like we are a part of something bigger, a family who has the same goal in mind—working to make our industry a better one!“
Leigh Sublett, Online Marketing Manager “Venterra offers so many opportunities to make a suggestion, give a recommendation and offer an opinion that I feel like I have the ability to truly make a difference. This is one of the reasons why I love working for Venterra.”
Sheri Judy, Property Manager, Palm Club “I loved being rewarded this year for TWO of my ideas. It impresses me that we have a Voice in the company, and that we can make a difference.“
Eastin Isaac, Recruiting/Brand Specialist
“Everyone wants to know that they can impact the world around them, and for most people their workplace is a big part of this world. The desire to work in an organization where you have a voice is something that I’ve heard reiterated by candidate after candidate interested in joining our team, so it’s no wonder that this is a big focus of ours. From the Better Way program, to our Just Ask Maintenance initiative, to our core value of ‘candor and openness’ we’re always trying to find ways to help our employees open our eyes to improved ways of operating. Getting real time feedback straight from our onsite teams helps ensure that we’re hip to the latest and greatest so we can make appropriate changes as quickly as possible.“
“I love working for Venterra because of the atmosphere and the fact that we get a voice! Having fun is part of our culture and that makes this company amazing to work for. We get to be creative and really share our ideas, especially through Better Way. There are so many companies out there that do not even want to hear your ideas on improving the company, and here we encourage that all day long! I especially love that as a Regional Leasing Manager I get to be one of the people that really supports and encourages their ideas.” Shawnacee Coyle, Regional Leasing Manager
Mollie Witt, Property Manager, College View Apartments
“I love being able to know that if I have an idea it is really considered by upper management, and I absolutely love the fact that it is celebrated. I have never known another company to really care about being the best for everyone (customers and employees), and I am so proud to be part of this Team!“ 89
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There were over 400 Better Living commitments made over 2014.
Over 2000 encouraging comments and status updates.
We encourage our employees to live better and to make a difference in their personal lives and/or the communities we live in. We believe that being great at work is affected by how we feel about ourselves, our health, and the overall balance we have in life, whether it’s living healthier, investing more in our families, achieving financial goals, or contributing more to the community. We believe that being a world class employer means taking a vested interest in our employees and their long-term future. We want employees to work towards achieving their full potential both professionally and personally so that they may truly experience the benefits of Better Living. Participating means defining our goals on our Better Living forum where we track our progress and support each other on the journey to success, and celebrate milestones along the way.
“Our Be tte r Living incentive based program was designed to encourage Venterra employees to take steps in their personal lives to live happier and healthier. Whether it’s through fitness, spending more time with family, learning something new or giving back to the community, our team members commit to goals that improve their lives and receive financial rewards in turn. Goals are supported by peers, progress is tracked and landmarks are celebrated. It’s inspiring to see dreams and aspirations become a reality!” - Bridget Sherrod, Director of Training and Employee Development
“Better Living is a platform we all can utilize to commit to goals, mark our progress, and receive support from peers. Getting to know each other on a different level has been fun, and sparked conversations about shared interests that I may not have known about otherwise.” - Lissa May, Senior Regional Manager 93
“The Better Living initiative is making me think of ways to better my life both at home and at work. It is great that a company will support their employees in improvements that have nothing to do with work. Happiness outside work only seems to increase contentment on the job.“ Brenda Grasha, Property Manager, Timber Mill and Forest View
“The idea of Better Living was introduced at our annual Leadership Conference in February 2014. Since then I have quit smoking, lost 50lbs, and I am 8 months away from graduating from college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Business. It’s important to know that the people we work with care about the way we feel and our overall health.” - Adriana Galacia, Property Manager, Shadowbrooke and Silverbrooke
Since 2008, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve supported Susan G. Komen for the Cure through our community events and fundraisers and through our annual participation in the Race for the Cure.
To date weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve raised nearly $160,000 towards the goal of helping end breast cancer forever!
Residents referred to management as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Teamâ&#x20AC;?.
Employees and their families attended Family Fun Day in 2014.
Team First is one of our Core Values and deeply embedded into our culture. We make team success a priority. We will make personal sacrifices to ensure the team succeeds. Team is at the very heart of our culture and our customer experience. Being part of a team at Venterra means much more than working together. Our teams Family Fun Day at help one another and inspire each other to push beyond their expectations. They are operatVenterra is an opportunity for ing as a family. As such, we gather all of us to truly understand the annually to visit with each life that exists beyond the faces of other’s close friends and our co-workers. And behind the family.
best WOW moment or act of kindness for a resident or for a peer is an entire team of people working together to make it happen and create memories that will last a lifetime.
"There is definitely a TEAM atmosphere that pervades throughout Venterra." - Regional Maintenance Manager, Glassdoor.com “I got to experience my first Family Fun Day not too long ago. I thought it was great to get to know other Venterra family members from different communities. Also, it was very nice to introduce my family to Venterra as well. “ - Diana Weaver, Leasing Consultant, Raintree Apartments “I am always Wowed by my Team members. Just two days ago I had my APM meeting at Riverstone which is about an hour drive (all highway) from Estancia. When I arrived, I noticed my front tire was really low, almost completely flat. I mentioned it to Erin and the next thing I knew her husband Matt was changing my tire. He didn't want me to drive home and have a blowout. “ - Melanie Thompson, Assistant Property Manager, Estancia at Morningstar 97
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We never forget to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Say Thanksâ&#x20AC;? to our employees who drive our success. We show appreciation with Family Fun Day! 643 Employees, friends and family members attended one of our 6 Family Fun Days in 2014.
WOW Matters, The Venterra Experience Part of what makes our communities so great to live in is our management teams and their dedication to serving our prospects and residents.
In 2009 we began our WOW
Matters initiative to shine a light on all of the good acts of customer service that they were doing for our customers. Since that time, they have not lost momentum or steam but rather embraced this initiative and fueled it into being a culture that transforms the lives of our customers. Part 3 of our book highlights some of these great WOW moments.
100% of employees agree that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I make a difference in the lives of my customers.â&#x20AC;?
Since WOW Matters began in 2009, we have created more than 9,000 WOW moments for our residents.
“We are passionate about customer experience. Empowering employees to treat customers right is great for our customers, but also results in happy, engaged employees. Our WOW Matters initiative encourages exceptional customer experience stories that are celebrated in our WOW Book annually.” - Stephanie Gonzalez, Director of Marketing & Customer Experience
“Venterra is the first company I have worked for that allows us to really make a difference in our residents' lives. We have the power to make decisions on our own, and that in itself is a huge factor. Add to that the WOW budget, and we can really go above and beyond to let them know how much we really do care.” - Kelly Levesque, Assistant Property Manager, St. Andrews
â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be able to help neighbors during a difficult time, or even just to brighten their day and let them know someone cares has meant so much. I truly believe this is making a difference and showing our neighbors that we care! - Jessica Harrison, Assistant Property Manager, Bradford Pointe â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reading the WOW stories written by our employees is very rewarding and humbling. Each act of service whether great or small is performed with such great fervor and empowers us to pay if forward. I love reading the feedback from our residents as evidence of these great WOW moments. - Robin Finney, Content Specialist
Shawn pulled out $100 worth of gift cards that he had won just hours before at Kickoff, our annual awards ceremony, and told the family to enjoy a few meals on us.
FEATURED WOW STORY Shawn Hunter, Tuscany at Lindbergh, Atlanta, GA
Maintenance Manager Who WOWs Our Resident and His Team After our region’s kickoff, Shawn and I stopped by the property to finish up a few tasks. Just after leaving, I received a call that a fire alarm was going off. I let Shawn know, and we both turned around and went back to the property, where we were met by the fire department. We were told that there had been a small kitchen fire, so we hurried to check on the residents and assess the situation. Upon entering the apartment, we were met by a shaken mother of two teenaged daughters. The mother had been working late, and while her daughters were cooking their dinner, it caught fire. The damage was minimal, but the kitchen wouldn’t be put back together until Monday, after the residents’ insurance had a chance to assess it. Shawn asked if the family had gotten to eat yet, and, when he found out they didn’t, he told them he had something for them in his truck when they were ready to leave. When we got outside, Shawn pulled out $100 worth of gift cards that he had won just hours before at kickoff, our annual awards ceremony, and told the family to enjoy a few meals on us until their kitchen was operational. The residents and I were amazed that Shawn did this from his own pocket, not even using the WOW budget. I knew then that I was mentored by a wonderful manager and human being.
Jessica Godinez, Kristi Roberts, College View Apartments, La Porte, TX New Resident We have a new family here at College View. We noticed that the mom and little boy played outside all the time, and found out that the dad works out of town a lot. We wanted to do something to help them out, so we decided to WOW them with a kite, coloring books, toy cars, football, and bubbles. They were so happy when we gave them the gift and thanked us over and over. The little boy flew his kite just a few minutes later!
Kristen Smarinsky, Estancia at Morningstar, The Colony, TX No Language Barriers at Estancia! I would like to give recognition and Kristen recently leased to a family who moved to Estancia from out of the country. They spoke limited English, so they had a friend help them through the application process. When they received an electric balance from us shortly after moving in, they were confused. We had received a notification that their account had not been set up. As their translator friend was out of the country, Kristen used iTranslate to help explain what was going on. The electric company had a problem with the Social Security number provided. Over the next several days, Kristen called the electric company multiple times on the residentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; behalf, even setting up a Cantonese translator. She also helped them get their questions answered with phone calls to the Social Security office. Finally, the issue was resolved. Kristen gave the residents a big thumbs up, letting them know that e verything was set. Although many would have given up, Kristen showed dedication in resolving the issue, and the residents thanked her with a special dish from China.
Elvis Watson, The Mandolin, Houston, TX Goals! A resident who moved in recently, Ms. Yolanda, had set goals for herself to lose weight, but fell off track since our fitness equipment was not working. Elvis decided to purchase her a YMCA three-month membership, so that she could continue to work toward her goals even before we received our new equipment.
appreciation to maintenance manager Mr. Shawn Hunter for responding to a fire in our unit in such a timely manner. Not only did Mr. Hunter respond promptly, he also kindly gave up gift cards he had received earlier that day at a company award ceremony, so that my daughters and I could have a nice dinner after such a stressful day. In addition to his kindness, he provided us with assurance that everything would be taken care of and that there would be no worries. I'm a single mother and have been residing in the complex for three years now. I have always had great experiences with the staff, but Mr. Hunter went above and beyond to ensure that we were comfortable and worry-free, exceeding any other experience. With kindest regards and thanks. - Stephanie Meister, Tuscany at Lindbergh Resident since April 2011
Wesley Carroll, Estancia at Morningstar, The Colony, TX Wesley to the Rescue! This morning, many of our residents found that their cars were covered in ice, a rarity in southeast Texas. They had to let their cars run for a long time to melt the ice, and still had to take time to scrape it off their windshields. Wesley showed that he goes the extra mile for our residents, and spent his morning cleaning the ice off seventeen vehicles so that our residents could get to work sooner.
Rawlins Wiggins, Debra Anderson, Amber Place, Warner Robins, GA Fresh-cut Flowers Ms. Gayle had always loved freshly cut flowers and made a point to have them all over her apartment. She recently was admitted to the hospital with bronchitis, so we thought she would enjoy a beautiful arrangement while she was there. We picked out the brightest flowers the florist offered and had them delivered to her yesterday. We also planned to have another fresh bouquet ready and waiting in her apartment for her to enjoy when she gets discharged.
Cristina Canales, The Mandolin Apartments, Houston, TX Apartment Warming Gift Mrs. Vela thought that she had rented a first floor apartment, and didn’t realize she actually had a second floor one until it was time to move in. Unfortunately, we didn’t have one available here or at one of our sister properties, so she had to find a home elsewhere. Cristina wanted Mrs. Vela to know that even though Venterra could not accommodate her, we still wanted her to enjoy her new home. Cristina decided to give her a gift card to Pier 1 Imports to help furnish her apartment.
Tashina Page, Reflections on Sweetwater, Lawrenceville, GA Expecting and Fully Prepared Miss Robinson moved to Atlanta from New Orleans for college. While in school, she found out that she was pregnant, and moved into our property a few weeks before giving birth. We knew that since she was a full-time student and single mom who lived far from family, she was having a hard time getting everything she needed. We wanted to show her that we cared, so we went to Babies R Us and bought many of the new baby essentials: diapers, wipes, towels, socks, towels, and more. She was elated to have the items she needed for her little princess and told her family back in New Orleans all about her amazing staff here at Reflections on Sweetwater.
Zuly Lozano, Champions Green Apartments, Alpharetta, GA Pardon our Progress! During a construction project that added a retaining wall around one of our buildings, the contractors accidentally cut a telephone line, which then caused a service disruption for ten of our residents. Unfortunately, we were at the mercy of AT&T to dispatch a repair technician, which meant that the residents didn’t have service until the next day. Dietra, a resident who lost service, was especially upset, since she worked from home and couldn’t make all of her hours. To make it up to her, we offered her a $100 gift card and to pay her Internet bill for the month. When she expressed her concern that she wouldn’t be able to pay rent on time (due to the lost work hours), Zuly gladly let her know that we waived her late fee for the inconvenience. When she found out, Dietra actually teared up and gave Zuly a big hug!
Leslie Green, Kristina Shaw, Ashley Wheeler, Jason O’Brien, Michael Currie, Trish Thierry, Steve Whitfield, Kathleen Cox, The Preserve at Old Dowlen, Beaumont, TX Irreplaceable Linda moved to The Preserve after she retired, so that she could be closer to her father. We were surprised when we didn’t see her at our omelet breakfast last weekend, since Linda usually would go to our events to chat with friends and neighbors. Later, during the event, we received a call that Linda’s father had passed away. We were all saddened to hear of this, and wanted to do something to comfort her. Linda could often be seen tending her plants, so, to express how sorry we were for her loss, we bought her a lovely plant to add to her collection. Even though she was still grieving, Linda was touched and pleased with the greenery.
Jessica Abney, Rebecca Hale, Tammie Wilder, Legacy at River Crossing, Macon, GA From Snail Mail to All is Well Mr. Bryson, who recently moved here, came into the office this afternoon because he was upset that he had not received any of his mail yet. He had confirmation of his address change, but the mail had not caught up to him. This was a big problem for him, since he had been waiting on his paycheck with his forwarded mail. We explained the usual timeframe for a change of address here, and let him know that he should receive his mail any day. He thanked me, but was still disappointed, because today was also his birthday, and he didn’t have the funds to celebrate without his paycheck. We didn’t want Mr. Bryson to have to sit at home on his birthday, so we got him a gift card for a local restaurant so he could enjoy dinner out with his family. He was very excited and credited us with making his birthday a happy one after all.
Celedonia Garcia, Juan Hernandez, Jose Razo, Mindy Blankenship, Stonecreek Ranch, Austin, TX Help to Carry the Load Deborah, one of our residents, has loved to work on projects and go on adventures to find old things to take apart and repair. Unfortunately, she had been having trouble with her knee, so she was having a hard time getting around. This made getting her new finds difficult, especially if she had more than one load. We realized we had the perfect solution for her! We purchased a collapsible wagon for her, so that it could be easily stored in her car and apartment when not in use.
Cristina Canales, The Mandolin Apartments, Houston, TX Schlitterbahn Birthday Katherine and Charles recently had their identities stolen around the same time that the school district in New Mexico where they worked lowered everyone’s pay. They decided to get a fresh start with a move to Texas, but their sons had birthdays during the move and they didn’t have time to celebrate them. As a welcome to Texas and a birthday gift, Cristina though it would be fun for their family to celebrate at Schlitterbahn so they could enjoy their belated birthdays.
Elvis Watson, The Mandolin Apartments, Houston, TX World Cup 2014! The Mandolin had been upgrading the cable and internet connections and boxes, which caused Mr. Christopher’s cable to have glitches and cut out. He was frustrated to miss out on the intense World Cup games, so Elvis thoughtfully gave Mr. Christopher a gift card to go out and enjoy watching the games. He was glad that he wouldn’t have to miss out anymore! 107
The Staff at Tuscany at Lindbergh, Atlanta, GA Home Cookin’ A wonderful, newly married couple, Josh and Karey, frequently stop in to speak to the office staff or to pick up the many wedding gifts they were receiving. We had already planned to give them a wedding gift, but as we watched package after package arrive from their gift registry, we wanted to do something more creative than a set of dishes. Josh and Karey had told us of a wine tour in north Georgia where they had sampled and purchased wine. They also mentioned that they had received a lot of great cookware and they loved to use it to cook gourmet meals for each other. After a lot of thought and deliberation, we decided to give them a couples cooking class, where they could learn some new recipes and find out what wines would complement their dishes. When we gave them their
surprise gift, they were surprised and overwhelmed at our generosity.
Ima Forgus, Taryne Godfrey, Regency Park Apartments, Longview, TX Towed Her to Tears! Ms. Hill, one of our newer residents, had a tough time financially since she moved into our community. One morning, when she stopped in the office, we chatted for a bit and she said that she had taken the day off from work to get her truck fixed. The next day, she stopped in again to drop something off, and said that a friend had not kept their promise to help her the day before. She was upset and at a loss of what to do since she had to miss another day of work. She knew of a shop that wasn’t far away, but had no way to get her truck there to get it fixed. I called our tow truck company and had her truck towed to the shop, and then the owner of the shop drove her back to
our community. Later that afternoon, Ms. Hill came back into the office and said that the owner of the shop had called to let her know that the truck was ready and she didn’t have a balance–he fixed her truck for free! She still needed a ride to the shop, so Ima “Jean” offered to take her. Tears began to roll down Ms. Hill’s face when I told her we could help her out. It made our day to be able to help in such a big way!
Ary Salas, Foxborough Apartments, Irving, TX Working Out Daily Pays Off! Bertha, one of our residents, had been working hard to lose weight. She had been trying for over a year with little results, so she decided to work even more diligently toward her goals. We
had seen a big difference in her, and noticed that she was in the fitness center every day. Her hard work inspired me, and I wanted to do something to encourage her. I noticed that she liked to use the jump rope and punching bag, so I thought I would purchase Bertha her own set of pink punching gloves and a jump rope. I also got her a gift card to Lady Foot Locker so she could choose a new pair of tennis shoes. Bertha was very surprised and thankful for the gesture.
Elvis noticed that she was struggling with getting everything lined up and ready to go. She was unable to get the movers to pack all of her belongings, and couldn’t afford to have them drive everything from Houston to El Paso.
FEATURED WOW STORY Elvis Watson, The Mandolin, Houston, TX
Let the Professionals Handle This Move After five years at The Mandolin, Ms. Kuns had to move back to her hometown of El Paso due to some unforeseen circumstances. She didn’t have any family or friends in Houston that could help with the move, and Elvis noticed that she was struggling with getting everything lined up and ready to go. She was unable to get the movers to pack all of her belongings, and couldn’t afford to have them drive everything from Houston to El Paso. Elvis felt that he needed to help her get back to her family as soon as possible, so he took her to the airport so she could fly home while he drove her moving truck from Houston to El Paso. He was very excited to help Ms. Kuns one last time and to make her moving experience from The Mandolin much smoother.
Jonathan Moreno, Sarah Arzola, The Enclave at 1550 Apartments, San Antonio, TX Welcome Home! Rose recently moved into The Enclave after breaking up with her significant other of nine years. It was a good change, but was hard for her, so we did our best to make her feel welcome when she toured the building.. We decided to get Rose a $50 spa gift card so she could enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation during this difficult transition. She was in tears as she hugged us, and said that she had never felt such warmth and affection from someone she had only met a few hours earlier.
Lainey Holland, Stacey Shropshire, Melissa Gatheridge, Addra Chappell, The Landings of Brentwood, Brentwood, TN Work it Out! After a pair of residents had moved in to their apartment, they were very unhappy with several things about it. We were able to find them a newly upgraded apartment, which was even in a better location for them, and we transferred them over. They were pleased with the new apartment, but we still wanted to go above and beyond for them. To thank them for the extra moving they had to do and for all of their patience with the situation, we gave them a spa gift card for $200 so they could enjoy a little relaxation on us.
Charity Dowdy, Amber Place Apartments, Warner Robins, GA Go Gamecocks! Recently, we pressure washed the buildings but accidentally overlooked a resident’s outdoor rug. The resident brought her rug into the office, and stated that while her rug used to be a bright crimson, it was now a dull orange. She was a huge South Carolina fan, and she was not happy with a rug in Clemson colors. Charity decided to go out the next day and bought a new crimson rug. The resident was more than happy to accept!
Celedonia Garcia, Juan Hernandez, Mindy Blankenship, Stonecreek Ranch, Austin, TX “Car” Scratch Fever Joshua, a resident at Stonecreek Ranch, stopped into the office and let Cele know that it looked like another resident had made a number of scratches on his car, possibly from carrying bags which then rubbed against his vehicle. Even though he was frustrated by the incident, he was understanding that these things happen when parking in a parking lot. We felt awful about this happening, so we decided to brighten his day. We purchased him a gift certificate to a local car detailing company for a complete detail to buff out the scratches. Joshua was speechless when he received his gift, and we were excited that we could WOW him!
Ashley Johnston, Forest View, Spring, TX Blooming Bright Eyes Ms. Mary had been living at Forest View for several years.. She was recently ill, and had been in and out of the hospital several times. Ashley noticed that this was wearing on Ms. Mary, and wanted to do something to lift her spirits. To celebrate Ms. Mary’s 90th birthday, Ashley ordered a beautiful bouquet of flowers in Ms. Mary’s favorite colors, and gave her a card that told of how much she means to us all. Ms. Mary was overwhelmed by the thoughtful gesture and the light returned to her eyes.
Michelle Meigs, Park Manor Apartments, Newnan, GA Wedding Bells Here at Park Manor, we had certainly seen our share of June weddings this month. Two sweet young couples both got married, and since they live in the same building, we definitely didn’t want to leave one out if we gave the other couple a wedding gift. We figured that we couldn’t go wrong with gift cards, so we bought each couple a gift card to Target to help get anything left on their registries. We wished the newlyweds the best of luck! 111
Michelle Meigs, Tansy Miller, Laura Scott, Donald Shelnutt, Park Manor Apartments, Newnan, GA Goose What? One of our residents has talked about how wonderful it would be to have a gooseneck faucet since he moved in a few months ago. He would always remind me how our standard kitchen faucet is too low to fit a large pot under it, which made it inconvenient for his wife to cook. One day, I decided to surprise him, so I sent Terrell to Home Depot to purchase a new gooseneck faucet, which we can simply uninstall if the resident were to move. I hoped that the new faucet would make their lives easier, and that they would think of us with a smile every time they fill up a stock pot with water.
Tracy Wall, Sally Flores, Carlyle Place Apartments, San Antonio, TX Don’t Forget to Eat! We have had a law student, Michael, living here for over three years while he attended law school. Some of his neighbors were in the office, and they mentioned that Michael was so stressed about his upcoming bar exam that he rarely left his apartment, even to eat. Sally and I decided to have a pizza sent to him the day before his bar exams began, with a note that wished him good luck. Michael came by after his exams to tell us that he loved the gesture and couldn’t thank us enough.
Ashley Johnston, Forest View Apartments, The Woodlands, TX Achoo! We noticed that when Ms. Sandra came in to put in a service request one day, she must have sneezed twenty times. When we mentioned it to her, she told us that she would always wake up sneezing. Ashley empathized with her, and said that something that helps her own allergies is an air purifier. Unfortunately, Ms. Sandra told us she couldn’t afford one because her fixed income didn’t allow for it. Ashley decided to help her out, and searched online to find the best-rated one. Sandra was so excited to receive it. She made sure to let us know that it made a big difference for her.
Jesus Rico, Foxborough Apartments, Irving, TX Sent Package Through UPS! Bret, one of our residents, called the office and asked Jesse if he had received a UPS package. When Jesse replied that it had come, Bret explained that it had shipped to the wrong address, as he was away for a month. He also said that it was his new Visa card, and that he really needed it. Jesse immediately thought to forward it, so he got Bret’s current address, then sent it overnight through UPS. Bret received it the next day, and called to thank us. He was amazed that we would take the time to do this for him!
Jennifer Battiest, Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX Landmark’s Unofficial Mascot Andrew and Megan, along with their dog, Nick, became close to our maintenance team, since their apartment was located close to the maintenance building. Nick especially was a favorite with everyone. When we found out that they would have to move, we knew we would all miss them. We decided to WOW their family (they were also expecting their first baby!) with a $100 Target gift card and doggie treats for Nick.
Kristi Roberts, The Park at Waterford Harbor, Kemah, TX No Job One of our residents lost her job two months ago. She came into the office frequently to submit her résumé and to fill out job applications. One day, she cried as she told me that she had to go to the food banks for food, and all that they gave her was blueberries, milk, bread, and mango. I knew that it would brighten her day to have something other than smoothies for every meal, so I helped her get some real food! She was thrilled and couldn’t stop telling me how wonderful Venterra was to do this for a resident.
Beatrix Mueller, The Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX So Fresh and So Clean! One day, when Angela came in to pay her rent, she mentioned that she needed new towels since her nephew had ruined her old ones with scissors. She showed us photos and we could see that he did a thorough job! Bea decided to get her some new Vera Wang towels and a fragrance stick diffuser to replace the old ones. Angela loved them and said she’ll be sure to put her new towels in a safer place!
Ashley Johnston, Amarildo Latapie, Miguel Carballo, Forest View Apartments, The Woodlands, TX Welcome Home Cecilia moved to Forest View from Florida, but due to financial reasons, had to leave behind all of her belongings, except for clothes and family photos. In spite of this, she was excited to be here and enthusiastic about starting her two full-time jobs. Her positive attitude inspired everyone in the office, so Ashley asked if we could do something to make her apartment feel more like home. We had two club chairs and a rug that had been listed on Craigslist, so Amarildo and Miguel carried them up and arranged them in her living room. We also bought her a patio table with chairs so she would have a place to relax after working both of her jobs. Cecilia was overwhelmed by the gesture and said she would tell everyone about how great it was at Forest View.
Mindy Blankenship, Stonecreek Ranch, Austin, TX That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles Hermelinda, a sweet resident of ours, unexpectedly lost her job recently and was having a trouble finding a reason to wake up and feel positive while on the job hunt. She came by the office and told us that knowing that she could stop by and get a cup of coffee and a cookie was the only thing that motivated her to get up and start her day. Luckily, Hermelinda found a great j ob as a hostess at a new restaurant down the street, which allowed her to walk to work since she didn’t have a car. To congratulate her, I ordered Tiff’s Treats, a service that delivers milk and freshly baked cookies to your door, since I knew how much she loved cookies. She called the office in tears, and told us that she didn’t know we could be any better than she had already thought we were! We were so happy to celebrate her new job with her!
The Maintenance Team at Salado Springs, San Antonio, TX Special Delivery! A young couple living here had been struggling financially after a car accident and medical bills set them back. They had to sell most of their belongings to keep up with rent, and only had a TV and DVD player in their living room, while they slept on the floor with pillows and blankets. After we saw their need, we decided to surprise them with a TV stand, a couch that could be used as a bed, and an end table. The maintenance team moved everything in when it arrived and put the furniture together. The residents were both overj oyed, and tearfully thanked us for our thoughtfulness.
Kristen Earle, Tuscany at Lindbergh, Atlanta, GA Overpaid My Rent! A resident called the office the other day, and frantically explained that he had accidentally overpaid his rent by $200. He had recently fallen on hard times which left him struggling to make ends meet, and he needed the money for gas and groceries to get him through the month. I assured him that I would find a solution. Our support team agreed to refund the money by check, but it would probably take a week to get back to him. I called the resident and explained the situation, and told him that in the meantime, I would get him a gift card to help him make it through the week. He was very grateful, and when he came in to pick up his gift card, he gave me a big hug and thanked me for my customer service.
Michelle Meigs, Laura Scott, Park Manor, Newnan, GA My Carpetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Clean! Neida recently renewed her lease with us, and for her renewal gift, selected a free carpet cleaning. Somehow, there was some confusion about the date. Neida had already moved her furniture in preparation for the cleaning, so it would have been understandable for her to be upset, but she was very nice about the whole mix-up. In order to thank her for her understanding and to apologize, we treated her family to dinner and gave her a pair of reading glasses, since she is always losing hers. She was very touched and appreciative of the gesture.
Melissa Cordaway, Westover Oaks Apartments, San Antonio, TX Deployed and Heartbroken Our Air Force resident was serving overseas when he and his longtime girlfriend went through a difficult breakup, and she moved out while he was still deployed. Melissa, our leasing agent, was emailing and talking to him through the ordeal. She could tell that he was upset and depressed, and did her best to make the transition easier on him. She kept him in the loop on his belongings, checked his apartment for damage, and took photos of the furniture and items left behind so he knew that all of his things were still there. When the resident returned home, we had a package waiting for him to pick up when he came for his mail. We bought him a basket of snacks, military items, and gift cards for his favorite restaurants. He was shocked and at a loss for words to express what he felt. We loved showing him that we care and were there for him during his difficult time.
He decided he should learn how to sign, so he purchased a tutorial and practiced at home after work.
FEATURED WOW STORY Cody Schumann, St. Andrews Apartments, Pearland, TX
Going Above and Beyond, Even on His Own Time! Cody grew frustrated at the fact that he had to rely on interpreters to relay everything he needed to say to a couple of hearing impaired residents, and then for two different hearing impaired prospects that came in for tours. He decided he should learn how to sign, so he purchased a tutorial and practiced at home after work. He quickly made progress, and the last time that someone came in, Cody was able to introduce himself and have a short conversation in sign language. Our resident was blown away!
Frances Yanez, German Neira, Ivan Koynarski, Kathi Price, Stephanie Fernandez, Inocencia Gonzalez, Champions Green Apartments, Alpharetta, GA We’re Honored to Help Stacey and her young daughter moved to Champions Green in 2011 to get away from North Dakota’s harsh winters. In late June, the office received a call from Stacey’s brother, Chad, who told us that when Stacey went back to North Dakota to help him settle their mother’s estate, Stacey passed away. Chad came to Georgia for a few days to move Stacey’s and her daughter’s belongings out of their apartment. He came into the leasing office, and we asked him if there was anything we could do for him. He mentioned that the electric wasn’t on, and asked if we could turn it on for him, which we did immediately. He told us that some of Stacey’s friends would be coming over the next couple of days to help load a truck with her things. When we asked where he was staying, he said that a friend had offered an inflatable mattress for him to use in the apartment. This was painful for us to consider, so we decided to offer to pay for a hotel room for Chad for the next two nights. He was speechless when we made the offer, and nearly broke down as he repeated several times how thankful he was. We were glad to have an opportunity to show him what Venterra is all about!
Lainey Holland, Scotty Haffner, Jason Lynch, The Landings of Brentwood, Brentwood, TN Burnin’ Up! One of the couples living here was having trouble with their washer and dryer. The dryer’s high heat was burning their clothes, and they had to throw away several pieces. They let us know what was happening, and brought in a burnt item to show us. The man’s mother was visiting them, and some of her clothes had burned as well. We replaced their washer and dryer, but wanted to do more for them. We found out where his mother and his wife liked to shop, and bought them each a gift card to their favorite stores so they could replace the damaged items. They were so grateful that we went above and beyond simply solving the issue for them.
Jessica Harrison, Bradford Pointe Apartments, Austin, TX Leaky Sink When one of our residents was moving in over the weekend, her bathroom sink started leaking. The water ruined her hair dryer and only roll of toilet paper. She wasn’t terribly upset, but commented that these things always seemed to happen when moving somewhere. I immediately ran to our storage room and grabbed a roll of toilet paper for her. On Monday morning, we went to Walmart and replaced her hair dryer and bought a new package of toilet paper. She was blown away!
Bettie Lyerly, David Williams, The Ravinia Apartments, Spring, TX New Baby Homecoming One of the couples living here recently had a baby. In order to have everything perfect for the homecoming, they had their nursery decorated and cleaned their apartment from top to bottom, even the carpets. There were some complications while they were still in the hospital, and the new parents felt like they were on an emotional roller coaster waiting for the okay to bring their newborn home. When they finally got back to the apartment, they found water everywhere. Their kitchen sink had backed up and flooded the kitchen, entry, and living room. The office was already closed, but luckily when they called, Bettie was still on the property. She saw that the new parents were exhausted, so she offered to put them up in a hotel for the night. While the family was sleeping in their hotel room, Oscar came to the rescue and fixed the sink. We cleaned the carpet first thing the following morning, and when the family arrived home, they found a gift bag full of new baby clothes that we had left for them. This was the homecoming they had dreamed about!
Donald Shelnutt, Terrell Miller, Park Manor, Newnan, GA Park Manor’s Bike Shop Boys When some of our bike-riding young residents need service on their bicycles, they know that they can call on Terrell and Troy, our maintenance team, to fix chains, pump tires, and help with whatever else the kids need. Last week, when one boy, Quincy, stopped by to say hello to “Mr. Tawell,” Terrell saw that he was riding on the rim. Terrell was so excited to help! He went to Walmart to pick up the supplies to get Quincy rolling again, and Quincy’s bike was quickly outfitted with a new tube and ready to go.
Scotty Haffner, The Landings of Brentwood, Brentwood, TN Linda’s Bucket List While Scotty worked on a work order for a resident, they started chatting. The resident told him that ever since her husband had died, she had been working hard to cross items off her bucket list. She mentioned that the next item on the list was riding a motorcycle, and a friend had said she could ride on the back of his. Scotty was so moved by her story that he came into the office and asked Lainey if we could give her a gift card to Harley Davidson for some gear to enjoy her ride. He hand-delivered the gift card, and Ms. Linda was so excited that she called the office many times to thank us.
LeAnn Cordes, Salado Springs, San Antonio, TX Help is on Us! One of our residents had hoped to pick up her keys the evening before her move-in, so she could get an early start on her unloading. We were unexpectedly short-staffed, so it did not work out for us to get her started early. She was concerned about taking too much time off of work, and was sad to find out that she wouldn’t be able to start the evening before. She also let us know that she had already scheduled a U-Haul to come out, and now would have to rearrange her schedule. We apologized to her, and told her we would pick up the U-Haul tab after she made her necessary adjustments. The resident was overjoyed!
Alison Cummings, Amber Place, Warner Robins, GA Keurig for Kelly Kelly, one of our residents, would come through the office several times a day for her morning coffee and afternoon Crossfit workoutsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;two of her favorite things! We wanted to show her how happy we were for her engagement and upcoming nuptials she had spoken of, so we looked up her registries online to see what gifts she needed. When we saw that a Keurig was listed, we knew that would be the perfect gift for this coffee lover! When we took it to her apartment, she was surprised that we got her favorite item on the registry!
I asked a personal chef friend to help out, and he not only went to Kamila’s family’s home to cook a gourmet meal for them, but also left healthy, prepackaged meals for her parents to eat while her mom was recovering.
FEATURED WOW STORY Amber Porter, The Villas of Bristol Heights, Austin, TX
Kourageous Kamila Whenever Kamila came into the office, I’d always ask about what was going on in her life. I noticed how selfless she was when she told me about the people she provided in-home healthcare for, and then spent weeknights caring for her 95-year-old grandfather. I always felt inspired after speaking with her. About a month ago, I noticed that Kamila was looking a little tired. When I asked if everything was okay, she told me that her mother just found out that she had lung cancer and needed to have a lung removed. I knew I wanted to WOW this amazing resident, but it was a few weeks before I decided how. I asked a personal chef friend to help out, and he not only went to Kamila’s family’s home to cook a gourmet meal for them, but also left healthy, prepackaged meals for her parents to eat while her mom was recovering. Kamila was touched that I took the time to really listen and wanted to do something to help. I could only hope that if I ever found myself in a similar situation, I could be as brave as her! 120
Sonya Page, Cypress Pointe Apartments, Orange Park, FL True Root of the Problem We had a recent move-in who was unhappy with the way we cleaned her windows prior to moving in. I sent the cleaners back to re-do them, but she still called to complain. I sent the cleaners a third time, and instructed them to use Q-tips in the hard to reach corners. Three weeks went by and I didn’t hear from the resident, when finally she responded to one of my emails and said that she was still unhappy. I wondered if it could actually be something other than the windows that was the problem, since hers were the cleanest on the property, so I asked her about how she was doing and how her move went. I found out that her husband was still in Washington, trying to sell her house, and she hadn’t seen him since she moved in. Her frustration with the windows stemmed from the fact that she missed him a great deal and he wasn’t able to help her with these things in person. She did say that he was moving down the following week, so I purchased gift cards for dinner and a movie so they could enjoy a date night. They were so happy that we thought of them and cared about how their personal life affected their move. It took some digging to get to the root of the problem, but we’re glad it was solved!
Tammie Wilder, Legacy at River Crossing, Macon, GA Résumé Extraordinaire Last week, we had a resident by the name of Theda come into our business center several times over two days. After noticing that she looked frustrated, Tammie went to see if she could help her. Theda was upset because she wasn’t very computer savvy, so she was having difficulty formatting her résumé properly for an upcoming job fair. Tammie immediately pulled up a chair to assist her. She helped Theda correct the issues, to format it herself, and even aided her with rearranging the layout and fixing grammatical errors. Thanks to Tammie’s great help, Theda was able to attend the job fair with a flawless résumé and even landed a few interviews!
Nancy Hare, Waters Edge Apartments, Austin, TX Stolen Weekend–NOT! Last night, I was taking trash to the dumpster when a resident stopped me. She was visibly upset, and she explained that her weekend was ruined. She had been getting ready to go out of town for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and someone stole one of her shopping bags of new clothes that she had purchased for the weekend as she was putting things in her car. After I spoke with her, I decided to go to Target and get her some clothes for her trip, to replace the stolen ones. When I brought them back to her apartment, she was shocked. She couldn’t believe that I would do that for her, and after a few tears and hugs, she happily left for her trip. I was glad I could WOW her and make her weekend a good one after all!
De’Andrea Smith, Regency Park Apartments, Longview, TX Happy Move In! De’Andrea leased and helped Mr. and Mrs. Ingles into their first home together. They stopped into the office yesterday and asked if they could heat up some food in our microwave, since they didn’t have one. De thought it would be great if we could WOW them with a new microwave, so we did! Mr. and Mrs. Ingles are now the owners of a nice black microwave that matches the appliances in their kitchen. They were so happy!
Brandi Wilkes, Mayra De Hoyos, The Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX Miss Fashionista! Sabriel, a young girl here, could usually be found with her family in our indoor pool. The little fashionista would always wear cute swimsuits. When she and her family stopped in to the office after a swim, she showed me a hole in her suit from wearing it so often. Mayra and I decided that it was time to go shopping! We bought Sabriel two swimsuits, two pairs of flip flops, sunglasses, a beach towel, and a dress to go over her swimsuit. She was so excited and we were glad to help her stay in style!
Frank Damian, Christina Gomola, Silverbrooke, Stafford, TX A Genuine WOW One resident, a single mother of a three-year-old boy, recently came to us to ask if she could have her locks changed. She cried hysterically as she told us that many items, including family jewelry, had been stolen from her apartment by someone she had given a key to. We were very upset In order to ease her financial burden of replacing the stolen items and changing her locks, we gave her a $150 gift card to Target. She was very grateful, and immediately turned to give Frank and me an emotional hug.
Jessica Abney, Legacy at River Crossing, Macon, GA A Delivery Dilemma One of our residents, Ashley, was anxiously awaiting the arrival of an expected package. She called the office so frequently to check on the delivery status that I was eager for her package as well! One day, she called the leasing office, and I could tell that she was upset. The sender had relayed to her that the package was returned, as the carrier was told that she was no longer at her mailing address. I was surprised to hear this, since I had asked the office staff to let me know as soon as her package arrived so I could call her with the good news. However the miscommunication happened, I wanted to make it right with her, even if we werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t at fault. When we spoke, Ashley mentioned the store where her package was from and the dollar amount of her order. After our conversation, I sent our leasing consultant, Dillon, to purchase a gift card for Ashley, to replace the one that went missing. I also included a handwritten card that apologized for the delay. When Ashley came in to pick up the gift card, she sheepishly apologized for her previous phone call. As it turned out, the package had been delivered to the wrong address. She was stunned when we presented her with the gift card and initially refused to accept it, since she had wrongly accused us of having her package returned. I told Ashley that I had suspected it had been a different issue, but ultimately, we were glad for the opportunity to make her day and turn her frustrating situation into a positive one. She was thrilled that her apartment community cared so much about her returned package!
Ary Salas, Foxborough Apartments, Irving, TX Trip to Sea World! One of our residents, Luis, recently won a trip to San Antonio from his work. The trip paid for a stay at the Marriott at RiverCenter, but Luis was still unsure if he could go, since it was a last minute trip and his family was short on money. When he said that it was his kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; biggest dream to see Shamu at Sea World, I offered to pay for their entrance tickets. I wanted them to take advantage of their trip since they had never been out of Dallas. Luis was thrilled and called his wife right away to tell her. The family had a great time, and they were even able to meet Shamu! It felt great to be able to contribute to their fun family vacation.
When he discovered the resident had not eaten that day, he walked to the Subway to get the resident a sandwich.
FEATURED WOW STORY Aaron Jones, Champions Green, Alpharetta, GA
Got Heart? After some recent snow and ice shut down Atlanta, Aaron Jones proved he wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let it stop him from coming to the rescue of several of our residents. First, a resident happened to stop and chat with Aaron as she was leaving to pick up her child from school. She mentioned that she was afraid, since she had never driven in snow, so, to her relief, Aaron offered to accompany her to the school and back. When they got back, Aaron noticed several residents waiting outside for their children to arrive by bus from local schools. He opened the clubhouse so they would have a warm place to stay, and left it open until the last bus came at 8:30 p.m. When he finally closed the clubhouse, Aaron then checked on a homebound resident. When he discovered the resident had not eaten that day, he walked to the Subway to get the resident a sandwich. Aaron really showed our residents that Venterra cares about their safety and well-being.
Betsy Flores, Erica Clary, Crystal Sanchez, Riverstone Apartments, Fort Worth, TX Birthday Wishes and a Happy Move-In Our newest resident, Tim, had a rough experience with his moving company when he moved into Riverstone. They didn’t get all of his belongings here on time and many of the items were damaged. He came into the office and talked with us about his high stress level, and said that he needed a margarita. Since his birthday was right around the corner, we decided to buy him a $50 gift card to Chili’s so he can celebrate his birthday with that margarita!
Olga Kosterina, Falcon Square at Independence Apartments, Orlando, FL Save the Day! Due to some recent heavy rains, the landscape drains outside of our resident’s apartment clogged, which caused the water levels to rise and enter her apartment. After we spent a couple of days extracting the water from her unit, drying the carpet with blowers, and running dehumidifiers, the resident noticed that her dresser had water damage. Although this is something that renter’s insurance would take care of, our manager, Olga, decided to offer to replace it. The resident knew that the situation was out of the property’s control, and was pleasantly surprised that we would make the first move and offer to make it right. What a great way to save the day!
Whitney Ryan, Amber Place Apartments, Warner Robins, GA Missing the Basics A lady and her son recently moved here on very short notice, before her military husband (stationed in Hawaii) could join them. The only belongings they brought were the ones they could fly with, and the rest of their things were being shipped. The more we talked, the more I could see what an inconvenience it was to be without the basic home essentials. She didn’t have pots, pans, or a microwave, so she stopped by the office to heat something up in ours. She mentioned that she hadn’t lived anywhere without a microwave, so I knew what I could do to WOW her! Melinda and I went to Walmart and bought her a microwave, laundry basket, and a few other necessities, since there was still a month to go before her belongings were scheduled to arrive. She was surprised and said she was glad to have such good customer service. Feeding her son will be much easier now!
Hope Clark, Sherita Daniels, Apex West Midtown Apartments, Atlanta, GA Food Soothes the Soul One of our residents had her car broken into, which was especially unfortunate timing, since she was already well past her due date. She was very emotional and told us that she felt miserable and nothing seemed to be going right for her. She then said that she just wanted to forget about everything and go eat the biggest, greasiest burger she could find. Fortunately, we are right next door to a restaurant that had a new burger on the menu that fit her description. I told her and her husband to go next door on us. They were in disbelief that I meant it, so I walked them over and told the manager that lunch was on me. The residents have come in several times and thanked us over and over again.
Sonya Page, Cypress Pointe Apartments, Orange Park, FL Will You Help Me Get a Sponsor? Our resident, Jasmine, was a full-time student working toward her bachelor’s degree and also spent her free time educating under-privileged children. She was planning on a trip to New York with some other college students to volunteer at an elementary school and was trying to raise money for her expenses. Jasmine stopped in to ask about places she could ask for donations, so I gave her some resources to check out. She came back in a few days later to thank me for my help, and mentioned that she was still a little shy of her goal. Luckily, I had a card already prepared with a gift card inside stating that we would also assist her for her New York trip. She was thrilled! It felt great to know that we were contributing to a bigger picture.
Brandi Wilkes, Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX Every Boy’s Dream Gwen and her son, Tristain, would frequently stop in the office to say hi to the staff. One day, Gwen stopped in to pick up packages and mentioned that Tristain’s birthday was coming up, so there would be more arriving soon. Tristain has told me many times that he loved superheroes and wanted to be one when he grew up. I thought that instead of waiting until he’s an adult, he should start now! I knew the perfect birthday gift for him. I bought him some action figures, a Hulk mask and fists, and a Captain America mask and shield. He was so excited when he came to get them that he started playing with it all right in the office! Chrystal Strong, Waterford at Mandarin, Jacksonville, FL Service, Sacrifice, Dinner, & a Movie As a military wife, Chrystal paid special attention when she noticed a “Welcome Home” banner hanging from one of our buildings and discovered that one of our residents, Nathan, was returning from overseas. To thank him for his service and to celebrate his return, Chrystal purchased gift cards for dinner and a movie for Nathan and his wife, Susan. They were surprised and thankful when Chrystal gave them the cards, and left the leasing office with smiles on their faces! Sally Flores, Carlyle Place, San Antonio, TX Can I Make it Better? One of our newest residents came was having a difficult time with her move. The furniture she had delivered was too bulky for her apartment, her cable didn’t work out, and it seemed that there was one problem after another. While she was in our office talking about these issues, we asked her about some of her favorite places back home in Louisiana. She smiled as she told us of her love of shopping and Mexican food. This inspired us to give her gift cards to her favorite store and a local Mexican restaurant, along with some fiesta gear. We hoped this will help her to love San Antonio!
Carmen Waliudden, Frank Damian, Jennifer Lubarsky, Silverbrooke Apartments, Stafford, TX Let the Luck of the Irish be with Ye! Here at Silverbrooke, we had a couple married over thirty years that had never been able to go on their honeymoon. After years of saving, they finally left for the trip of their dreams, spending two weeks in Ireland and Scotland. To show our happiness for them, we bought them a digital camera to capture all their fun travel memories. They were overjoyed! They even promised to take pictures while in their Scottish kilts!
Brandon Perkins, Lainey Holland, The Landings of Brentwood, Brentwood, TN Backpack to School A single mother and her son moved into our community last month. Brandon saw how hard the mom worked to provide for her son and wanted to do something nice for them. He found out what school the boy will be attending, and decided to buy the school supplies for this year. Lainey got the back-to-school list for his grade, bought the school supplies, and packed up everything in a new backpack. When Brandon delivered the backpack full of supplies and matching lunchbox to their door, they were completely surprised!
The Team at Signature Ridge, San Antonio, TX Take Me Out to the Ball Game Lisa and her son, Nicholas, recently came into the office to find out about renewing their lease. While chatting with Lisa, we learned that Nicholas had just joined the St. Mary’s Rattlers as a freshman “walk on”. Lisa was so proud of her son and his accomplishments, as were we. We decided to WOW Nicholas with $150 to put towards all of his college back to school and baseball expenses. They were both so happy!
Lavona Thomas, Sandstone Apartments, Pasadena, TX Leaving for College Ms. Latarshe had been working very hard to prepare for her 18 year old daughter's departure for college. She came into the office and explained that money was really tight and that she was going to have to sell her son's PlayStation in order to buy some college items for her daughter. She was very sad about this decision, but knew that it was the only option she had. The Sandstone team decided to jump in and help out. They replaced her son's PlayStation and presented her daughter with a $250 gift card to get the other things needed for school.
Gloria Garza, Mayra Aviles, Nathalie Guillory, Ramon Gonzalez, Wilshire Place Apartments, Houston, TX Back to School Giveaway Wilshire Place wanted to WOW our young residents for the new school year. We knew that it can be expensive to raise a child in America, and many of our residents have struggled to cover the essentials. School supplies were a necessary part of a successful school year, and we wanted our students to do their best. To take some financial weight off our parents, we made school supply bags, based on elementary, middle, and high school levels. Our residents were lined up to receive the bags when we handed them out, and truly appreciated the gesture. We were happy to provide assistance for the next school year!
Vanessa Aragon, French Place, San Antonio, TX New Home, New School One of our prospects was renting her very first apartment. She was also starting her first year of college and a little anxious about all of the changes happening as well as expenses she had. We decided to surprise her with a gift card to Barnes & Nobles to use toward school books and accessories as well as a gift card to Starbucks for all of the late nights of studying.
Ary Salas, Foxborough, Irving, TX Kids Movie Night We recently had a back to school movie night in our clubhouse. The kids watched Monsters University and had lots of goodies -- popcorn, cookies, ice
cream, and drinks! We also had a raffle for gift cards so that their parents could buy school supplies. The kids and parents especially, were so excited.
I don’t know why her day was so stressful, but I was glad to end her day on a happy note and told her to pay it forward someday.
FEATURED WOW STORY Sheri Judy, Palm Club Apartments, Brunswick, GA
Paying it Forward My husband and I went out to one of our favorite steakhouses for a glass of wine and an appetizer, when I noticed one of my residents, Claire, was sitting across the bar from us. She was with a colleague, both dressed in scrubs after a long day’s work in the emergency room. I gave her a wave and asked how she was doing. She responded that it had been a very long day and she was trying to unwind. I quietly asked the bartender if Claire and her friend had eaten dinner, and he told me that they had dinner, a few drinks, and dessert. I told him to let me pay the tab, but not to tell them. As soon as the bartender told Claire her bill was taken care of, she immediately figured out that I had paid it. She kept asking, “Did you really just do that?” I don’t know why her day was so stressful, but I was glad to end her day on a happy note and told her to pay it forward someday. 130
Mayra Aviles, Wilshire Place Apartments, Houston, TX Happy Wife, Happy Life! A new move-in seemed to be facing roadblocks everywhere she turned, thanks to some miscommunication and confusion with what bills were due when. She had been out of town when her husband leased the apartment, and with things not going her way, she was getting very frustrated. We knew that her birthday was coming up, and we thought that part of the issues may have come from the possibility that they would have to spend money on the high cost of moving instead of celebrating her birthday. Of course, we definitely didn’t want to make life harder for her, so we sat down and discussed her complaints. We were able to come up with solutions together for what could be fixed immediately. We also didn’t want the couple to choose between the things they needed for their home and celebrating her birthday, so we gave them a gift card to help them out and sent them to dinner.
LeAnn Cordes, Salado Springs Apartments, San Antonio, TX A Time to Chill One of our residents was struggling with her hypersensitivity to sound, especially since she heard her upstairs neighbor’s footsteps and every move the dog made. We made multiple attempts to help the situation, and even replaced the upstairs neighbor’s carpet and added thicker padding. We also determined that the culprit was the upstairs neighbor’s boyfriend and spoke to him, which corrected the problem. In addition to solving the difficult situation, we wanted to show that we truly empathized with her issue, so we purchased a night out for the resident and her husband so they could relax and enjoy their new peace and quiet.
Araceli Hernandez, Sandstone Apartments, Pasadena, TX Blu-Ray DVD Player! Our resident, Kimberlin, came in to ask if we rented out DVD players. We apologized as we told her that we didn’t, but only rented out movies. She had hoped for a DVD player, since she didn’t have one of her own. I knew this was a great opportunity to WOW her! I bought a brand new Blu-ray DVD player and HDMI cable, so she could access movies online and take advantage of our free movie rentals.
Andrew Poston, Kimberly Knearem, Margarita Figueroa, Villa Lago Apartments, Fort Worth, TX Welcome to Your New Home! A new resident, Teresa, recently moved to Texas from out-of-state. She had moved from a large home and didn't know many people in the area, so it was easy to see that she was anxious about the big changes in her life. She told us that it would take some time before she was used to apartment living. We wanted to show our Texan hospitality, so we gave her a gift bag that included a map of Fort Worth's hot spots, a gas card, a restaurant gift card, and a movie theatre gift card for an evening of relaxing. She gratefully thanked us for being so thoughtful of her and taking the time to put her gift together for her.
Bianca Randolph, Sandstone Apartments, Pasadena, TX Let’s Drink a MONSTER! Leah, one of our residents, has loved Monster energy drinks, specifically the Absolutely Zero kind. Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to find them at our local store, so she turned to shopping for them online. Every month, she would place a large order for her drinks on Amazon, so that they would last her for several weeks. I wanted to surprise Leah, and I knew the perfect way to do it: I told her that her order was on us this month!
Crystal Sanchez, Erica Clary, Riverstone Apartments, Fort Worth, TX Did Anyone Turn in My Nook? One of our residents came in and asked if someone had turned in her Nook e-reader. She had accidentally left it in the fitness center after she worked out, and was hoping that someone had dropped it off. Unfortunately, no one turned it in, so she said she would have to buy a new one. Erica and I knew right away that we would be the ones to buy it! And we did!. The resident was so happy and thankful!
Vanessa Aragon, Salado Springs, San Antonio, TX A Night Out on the Town An applicant who was moving from another city was a little bummed when he came in to apply, as he didn’t know anyone in San Antonio. While we chatted, he mentioned that he loved listening to live music. I immediately thought of a way to WOW him! There is a Stoneworks just down the road from the property that has a live band on weekends so people can hang out and listen to the music. When he moved in, I gave him a gift card to Stoneworks, along with the specials on band night, so he could enjoy the band and make new friends. He was so excited and said he couldn’t wait for the weekend!
Gracie Martinez, Latedra Wall, The Brownstone, Bedford, TX Well-Deserved Pedicure One of our residents was recently in the office and complimented our leasing agent’s nails. She explained that she had been living on a very tight budget, due to medical issues and debt, and couldn’t remember the last time that she had extra money for a manicure or pedicure. We wanted to brighten her day, so we bought her a gift card to a nail salon in the neighborhood. She was appreciative of the gesture and was touched that we remembered the conversation.
Amy Pollak, Diana Weaver, Shannon Stokes, Raintree Apartments, Baytown, TX Welcome to Texas! A family recently moved here (Texas) from Alabama for a new job, and we thought it would be fun to give them a big Texas welcome by creating a scavenger hunt around town to familiarize them with the area. We got the women cute wine glasses, beer koozies for the men, and tumbler cups with straws for the kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;all Texasthemed, of course. We also got them tickets to a local water park. They loved the idea and were thrilled with their new Texas gifts!
Her shoes were worn so thin that there were holes in the front. I decided that a new pair of shoes for her date was in order! We went shopping with Monika so she could get some new shoes on us.
FEATURED WOW STORY Lavona Thomas, Sandstone Apartments, Pasadena, TX
Walkin' in Style When one of our residents, Monika, came into use our office phone, I noticed that she was all dressed up. I told her she looked really nice, and I asked if she was headed out for a special occasion. She told me that her boyfriend was going to meet her mother for the first time and she was hoping that it would go well. I could tell that she was nervous. She glanced at her shoes several times and then looked at me and said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know they look bad; I wear them to work everyday.â&#x20AC;? Her shoes were worn so thin that there were holes in the front. I knew that Monika was a hard worker so I wanted to do something to make a difference. I decided that a new pair of shoes for her date was in order! We went shopping with Monika so she could get some new shoes on us. Now she can walk in style! 134
Bridget Proctor, Fabiola Celado, TaiRae Richey, Huntcliff Apartments, League City, TX Home is Where the (Huntcliff) Heart is! Nicole, and her Labrador dog, Bud, moved here two years ago. They were loved by their neighbors, and we were all sad to find out they were moving back home to Rhode Island. We knew it would be a long drive for them, and we wanted them to have a little bit of their Texas home to take with them, so we did a little shopping before they left. Nicole was always working out, so when we loaded up a tote bag with necessary road trip items, we included healthy snacks with the bottles of Fiji water, Red Bull, a neck pillow, gift cards for gas and food stops, a couple of Texas trinkets, and a few sweets as well. We also knew that she had lost her jump rope at the gym recently, so we replaced that for her. Of course, we couldn’t forget about Bud, so we got him some toys and three different bags of treats for him to snack on. Hopefully this made the drive back to Rhode Island a little easier for them, and they knew how much we missed them!
Jessica Abney, Legacy at River Crossing, Macon, GA A Move-In Touchdown! Stephen just moved here from Alabama to accept a head coach position at one of our high schools. He was very excited, since this was his first head coaching job after college. While he reviewed his lease paperwork, he mentioned he was on a tight budget, just living off his savings until his first paycheck came in. He joked that he was glad we had a free DVD library, since he wouldn’t be able to afford cable or internet yet. He had already called our cable company to inquire about service, and the upfront costs were just too much. I knew I didn’t want him to have to go all summer without cable or internet, so I called the cable company and said that we would pay the upfront costs. Stephen was stunned that we offered, and couldn’t believe we would do that for a resident. He was also appreciative that he wouldn’t have to spend the summer in complete boredom. Touchdown Legacy!
Shannon Lewis, The Villas of Bristol Heights, Austin, TX Reserved Parking Woes I was excited when Bristol Heights began the reserved parking program and was sure that my residents would love it. On the first day that I put out the announcement, I had a resident, Katie, call to reserve her spot. There’s a prime space between two buildings that she wanted to grab before anyone else did, especially because she is a single woman who frequently works late. She was happy to get a parking space reserved for her, even if she had to pay $30 a month for it. For the first couple of weeks, almost every time she came home, she found that someone was in her spot, even though it was marked. I really wanted to show her our appreciation for her patience while we worked out the kinks in this new program, so, after some investigating, I found out that she loved coffee. I went to Starbucks and bought her a coffee mug that she could decorate herself, a large tumbler, a package of refreshers, and a gift card. When I delivered them, she was thrilled! We talked for 30 minutes about how much she loves living here and has recommended it to others as well. She was also thankful to Marvin for how he handled her call, even though it wasn’t technically an emergency.
Beau Carroll, Forest View Apartments, The Woodlands, TX Venture Out One of our residents had been having a tough year, so Wesley wanted to do something to lift his spirits. Wesley picked him up and took him out to dinner, then dropped him off back at home. After he saw what the resident needed at home, Wesley also shopped at the grocery store to ensure that the resident had what he needed to get through the week.
Lauren Harris, Monica Coody, Alejandro Gutierrez, Kimberly Maxwell, Chez Moi, Austin, TX A Bright Welcome to Chez Moi Kiran, a new resident at Chez Moi, was unpleasantly surprised to find that the living room in his new apartment did not have an overhead light, especially because he spent a lot of time reading and watching television in this room. Our property was built in the late 1990s, and the builders did not install overhead lights in any of the living rooms, so switching to a different apartment wasn't an option. When I suggested opening the patio blinds during the day and purchasing a lamp or two to help with light in the evenings, Kiran became disgruntled at the thought of spending more money on a fixture that is necessary for daily activities. We understood and sympathized with him, and our staff wanted to make his transition as smooth as possible, so we purchased a standing lamp to help him. He was thrilled and relieved to have a light source in his living room!
Rie Gresham, The Park at Waterford Harbor, Kemah, TX Time for Mom We have a resident named Roxanne who is a single mother to a spirited little girl, Gracie. Roxanne stopped in the office one day, and chatted about how busy she was balancing work and her daughter. She wished that she could have just five minutes to herself to just relax. As a mom myself, I could relate to that feeling, so I thought it would be nice to provide a break for Roxanne. I called our onsite massage therapist, who created a special gift certificate for Roxanne for “the works.” When I dropped the gift certificate off, I also offered to babysit Gracie for whenever Roxanne could book her appointment. She was completely surprised and was thrilled by my offer.
Rudy Butterfield, Shana Jones, Regency Park Apartments, Longview, TX Sometimes We Just Need a Little Help! A resident was working in our business center and went outside to find that her tire was flat. Rudy checked it out for her and found that she had picked up a screw, probably because there had been a lot of construction going on recently in our community. We could tell that she didn’t really know what to do, so Rudy offered to get enough air in her tire for her to take the car to the tire center across the street. We knew that she had been living from paycheck to paycheck, so we also bought her a $50 Visa card so that she could fix her flat tire and have dinner on us, as well!
Mayra Aviles and Ramon Gonzalez, Wilshire Place Apartments, Houston, TX Flying Home for the Last Time Ms. Navarro had been our resident for less than a year, after she moved to Houston due to her husband’s job transfer. They put their home on the market, but since it didn’t sell right away, they had to make payments on rent and their mortgage simultaneously. Their luck finally changed when a buyer for the house came along, but Ms. Navarro didn’t have the money to get back home for the closing. Ramon came to the rescue and gave her $200 for her plane ticket. Ms. Navarro was shocked and couldn’t believe our
She said that she couldn’t see to do it herself since she had broken her glasses, and she didn’t have money to replace them. Ramon handed her a gift card for $300 so she could replace her glasses.
FEATURED WOW STORY Ramon Gonzalez, Wilshire Place Apartments, Houston, TX
Eyeglasses When one of our residents came in to pay her rent, she asked me to fill out the money order for her. She said that she couldn’t see to do it herself since she had broken her glasses, and she didn’t have money to replace them. It was more important for her to pay for her child’s glasses than her own. When she left, Ramon decided to surprise her. When she paid her rent the next month, Ramon handed her a gift card for $300 so she could replace her glasses. She was so thankful, especially because she had already gotten in trouble at work for having typos in her paperwork. I’m glad we could do something to help!
Chad Roark, David Rojas, Arnold Garcia, Teresa Heeney, Signature Ridge Apartments, San Antonio, TX
Amazing! Daren stopped by the office to check his mail after he left a 23 hour shift at the hospital. He was so tired, he got out of his car and, without thinking, locked his keys inside. He was very frustrated when he came inside and asked for an extra key to his apartment. He also asked if he could use our phone to call a locksmith. Teresa had made breakfast for the team that morning, so she heated up a plate for Daren, Arnold got him a drink, and Teresa called Chad and David to see if they could recover the keys. Within minutes, he went from having a terrible morning to enjoying breakfast, relaxing, and chatting while Chad and David got into his car. We were all excited that we could pull together to save him time, money, and more frustration. Daren later left a compliment on our portal, thanking us for our help in making his day brighter.
Alexander Roach, Angela Kohler, Gianina Bilan, John Hourigan, Samuel Skelley, Hamptons at Woodland Pointe, Nashville, TN Gone Fishing One of our residents has loved fishing and enjoyed taking his boat out on the lake located next to us. Unfortunately, this month he was one victim of a series of break-ins, and among the things stolen from his garage was his tackle box. e couldn’t help but see how disappointed and upset he was. We decided to get him a $100 gift card to Bass Pro Shops to help him replace some of the items he lost. He was so excited! Even though he kept telling us that we didn’t have to do that, we loved WOWing our residents, and the smile on his face was priceless!
Sonya Page, Cypress Pointe Apartments, Orange Park, FL Duo Down! One of our couples were scheduled to move into a three bedroom apartment when they moved in, but the resident living there before them had to stay for an extra few months. The new couple graciously agreed to move temporarily into a two bedroom apartment until a three bedroom one became available, at which time they would move again. When the time came to switch apartments, the wife was seven months pregnant and her husband had just undergone back surgery, so there was no way that they could move themselves. We surprised them with flowers and a card that said we would move them at our cost to help them. They were so thankful that we offered to pay for their move and couldn’t be happier!
Alison Cummings, Charity Dowdy, Amber Place, Warners Robins, GA Comfort Food Linda stopped by our office and let us know that she would be having a lot of visitors, due to her mom coming home with hospice. Linda was an only child, and we knew that she had a lot to deal with, so we wanted to do something to make it easier. We decided to deliver a delicious meal to her so that she won’t have to do as much cooking and can spend more time with her mom instead.
Crystal Sanchez, Riverstone Apartments, Fort Worth, TX Just Moved in and Ready to Swim! A family moved in a few weeks ago, and whenever we saw the little girls, they were always wanting to swim. We decided to make their swimming experiences even better, so we bought them an Aqua Rocker! They were so excited and couldn’t wait to use it this summer!
Erin Dobias, Monticello Oaks, Fort Worth, TX Tickets for Two! One day, I was chatting with one of our residents about her eleven-year-old daughter, She was telling me about how they celebrated Harper’s recent birthday, and she mentioned that Harper was interested in theater and was enrolled in acting school. I knew what the perfect gift was! I purchased them two tickets to see Peter Pan Live on Mother’s Day weekend. I called them to the office to give them the tickets, and they were completely shocked. They loved it and were so excited, and I was glad to encourage Harper and told her that it could be her on stage one day!
Rie Gresham, The Park at Waterford Harbor, Kemah, TX Big Oops A few days after we cleaned up and removed unused satellite dishes in our community, a resident casually mentioned that she was waiting to hear back from DirectTV because she had lost service. She later called and let me know that her satellite dish had been stolen and would have to be replaced. We came to find out that we had accidentally marked her live dish as unused and had disposed of it. I felt terrible when I realized what had happened, and apologized repeatedly. She was very understanding, and initially refused when I offered to pay her current bill. I insisted, so she gratefully brought me the bill.
Jennifer Battiest, Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX We Turn Frowns Upside Down Ms. Vines, one of our new residents, went through a very difficult divorce and moved to Landmark to start her life over. Shortly after she moved in, she came to the office and told us that her upstairs neighbor is loud at all hours of the night, which made it hard for her to get any sleep. I knew she had been through a lot, so I really wanted to help her. I politely spoke to her upstairs neighbor about his noise, but I decided to do a little extra for Ms. Vines, too. I knew that she could use some relaxation and pampering, so I gave her an $80 gift card to a local spa for their “Spa Escape Package.” She was thrilled when I gave it to her and gave me a huge hug!
Mayra De Hoyos, Brooke Couch, Sally Flores and Richard Collins, Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX Who Needs a Purse? Marlisa was in the office one day and was trying to fix the broken strap on her purse. Mayra noticed it while they were talking and Richard stapled the strap for her as a temporary fix. Marlisa is a very stylish woman and always looks fantastic when she comes in. Well Mayra wanted to get her a new purse so she, Sally and Brooke went to Nordstrom to pick out the perfect one. They got her a Michael Kors purse and wallet. She LOVED it! She left the office with smiles and giggles.
He still was without furniture, so the wheels in my head got turning. I knew how to WOW him! I found him a great dining table set.
FEATURED WOW STORY Jennifer Battiest, Landmark at Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
Welcome Home! A new resident just moved here from Miami, and as I walked him to his new apartment, he asked me to let him know if anyone was selling furniture cheaply, since all he had was clothes. After a few days went by, he still was without furniture, so the wheels in my head got turning. I knew how to WOW him! I found him a great dining table set, and thought it would be fun to decorate it with new placemats and dishware. My team members helped me to assemble it quickly so we could have everything in place when the resident got back from work. We finished just in time, and greeted him as he got off the elevator. The look on his face when he opened the door was priceless. It was fun for us to surprise him! He gave us all huge hugs, and I loved that I was able to spoil our resident thanks to Venterra!
Aaron Wooldridge, Amanda Franklin, Crysta Brooks, Hannah Morris, Lisa Black West End Lodge, Beaumont, TX A Great Sacrifice! Mr. Doctor received a serious knee injury when he tried to break up a fight at the school where he worked as a principal. He and his family had a great attitude, even though he wasn’t able to work until school started again.. He came in daily to the fitness center to rehabilitate his knee, so our staff had the wonderful idea to give him a gift card for some new workout gear. His family was shocked and excited by the gift!
Stephanie Burns, Melanie Thompson, Estancia at Morningstar, Dallas, TX No Patio? No Problem! Recently, we had a couple choose Estancia as their new home. When they applied online, they thought that they would be getting a floor plan with a patio (rather than a sunroom, as some apartments have). When they moved in, they were disappointed to find that they didn’t have the hoped-for patio, where they had planned to place a bistro table and chairs so they could be outdoors. We weren’t able to transfer them, since we didn’t have any apartments with patios available, so the couple decided to try out the sunroom apartment for a few days. They did end up staying here at Estancia, so to show our appreciation for them, we bought them a bistro set and doormat for their breezeway. Now they could still have a spot to sit and enjoy the fresh air.
Khrystal Flores, St. Andrews Apartments, Pearland, TX No Ants in Ms. Kitty’s Food! Unbeknownst to us, one of our residents, Josh, had been having issues with ants in his apartment. After unsuccessfully trying to get rid of them himself, he came in and asked us to call pest control immediately. He was very upset, since the ants had gotten into his dog’s food, and Ms. Kitty (the dog) refused to eat it. We got him scheduled for pest control, but Khrystal didn’t want to stop there. She went to Petco and bought some new squeaky toys, treats, and a gift card for dog food. When Khrystal gave Josh the gift basket for Ms. Kitty, he was stunned! He thanked her and let her know that the ant situation was finally under control.
Amanda Ontiveros, Cody Schumann, St. Andrews Apartments, Pearland, TX Turning Bad Luck into a WOW! One of our newest residents that Cody had leased came in to sign her lease and pick up her keys. While she was there, she thanked Cody for helping to make her move stress free, as she had recently been through a divorce, had no family nearby, and was not looking forward to the stress of moving. After living here for a month, Christy called the office to put in a work request. When I finished helping her, I asked how her first month at St. Andrews had been. Christy started to cry as she told me that she had been having a bad week, because her car had been broken into and then towed. She was concerned about how she would come up with the money to cover the needed fees and repairs, and said it was over $300 that she had not expected to spend. After we hung up the phone, I went to Cody (since she was his lease) and told him about what she had said. We both agreed that we wanted to do something for her, and Cody suggested a gift card. I thought it was a great idea, and bought a $300 Visa gift card. When I called to let Christy know, she began to cry again. She thanked me and told me that no one had ever done anything like this for her. Tiffany Campbell, Miguel Garcia, Jose Torres, Julio Barrios, Reflections on Sweetwater, Duluth, GA
Strawberry on Top We were very excited to welcome Abuwi Coleman, our newest resident, to our community. Unfortunately, right before he moved in, a few issues came up in his apartment that would have taken several days to rectify, and we didn’t want him to have to adjust his scheduled move-in. Tiffany and Miguel were able to find an alternative apartment for our new resident. Tiffany also took the initiative to engage Abuwi in conversation to find out some things he liked. He happened to mention his love of strawberry ice cream, so as a way to thank him for his patience and understanding with the apartment changes, we surprised him with some strawberry ice cream in his freezer. He was thankful to our whole team for making his transition easier, and was especially grateful to Tiffany for really making it feel like home.
Sonya Page, Patti Cassidy, Cypress Pointe Apartments, Orange Park, FL Shower Time I had a prospect come in to view a two bedroom, and she immediately fell in love with it and wanted to move in. During our conversations, I found out that she was a mother of two little girls and recently came home from an overseas deployment. When she moved in, I noticed her daughters weren’t there, and the mom said that she didn’t want to bring them until the apartment was perfectly decorated. She happened to mention that one thing on her shopping list was a shower curtain for the girls’ bathroom. I knew what I could do to help! I went onto Amazon.com and found the perfect purple shower curtain and accessories. When it arrived two days later, Patti installed everything. The mom hadn’t had the time yet to start on that bathroom, but when she arrived, she noticed what we had done. She ran into the office with tears in her eyes that we had thought of her, and later brought her girls in to tell them what we did. They gave us big hugs, and their mom said that this was the best place she had ever lived!
Cindy Combs, DeAudra Nash, Jose Mascorieto, Carrington at Park Lakes, Humble, TX Front Door Key Fiasco Matthew, one of our residents, approached us on a Saturday with his son and stated that he was locked out of his apartment. They had no way of getting in as his wife was out of town at a convention. We gave him the key we had on the rack for his apartment, but the locks had been changed since the family moved in so our key wouldn’t work. He had no way of contacting his wife, so he and his son were stuck in our social room for hours. We felt terrible for them, so we provided them with a $50 gift card to Outback Steakhouse to help make up for their long Saturday afternoon.
Andrea Poston, Kimberly Knearem, Margarita Figueroa Villa Lago Apartments, Fort Worth, TX Making a Difference! Zuhair came in recently to renew his lease, and while Kim readied his paperwork, they chatted about his job. Zuhair had retired, but decided to go back to work to do something to make a difference. He talked of his work teaching children and teenagers who got into trouble and kicked out of school. He acknowledged that it’s hard work, but said it was also rewarding, because of all the kids who grow and learn through the process. We wanted to give back to Zuhair since he gives so much, so we bought him a briefcase, new pen, a teacher’s mug, and a $40 Staples gift card to help him with all of his teaching needs.
Alexander Roach, Angela Kohler, Gianina Bilan, John Hourigan, Samuel Skelley Hamptons at Woodland Pointe, Nashville, TN Paw Prints on our Hearts Krishna and Don had to unexpectedly put down their dog, Skye, after fourteen years. We all were sad to hear the news, since they frequently brought her into the office for dog treats and lots of cuddles. When Krishna and Don stopped in again, we hugged them and let them cry on our shoulders. We knew we wanted to do something special for them, and, knowing how much they love their garden by their patio, we bought a garden rock that had Skye’s name engraved on it. We also gave them a photo of her in a picture frame. Eventually, we found out that Krishna and Don were getting a rescue dog, Diamond, so we thought we’d welcome Diamond to the Hamptons with a card, doggy treats, and a dog bowl. They told us how touched they were by our thoughtfulness and hugged us when we gave them their gifts. Shannon Lewis, The Villas of Bristol Heights, Austin, TX
Welcome to Austin! A young couple moved to Austin from one of our sister properties in San Antonio. They loved the Venterra way of living and wanted to stick with us when they came for a new job. They ended up having to transition quickly which took a lot of coordination with LeAnn at Salado Springs and me, and they were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with both of us. After they were here for about a week, I called to see how the move went and how they were settling in. She mentioned that they went outside of Austin for their grocery shopping, since Austin requires shoppers to bring their own reusable bags and they didn’t have any. I knew j ust what to do! I bought them some local Austin bags, including a Bristol Heights one and another one for their dog. I also filled the bags with an Austin magazine, some locally-made barbecue sauce, an Austin Nuts gift package, Venterra doggy bag supplies, and a gift card for a local restaurant. They were shocked and said that it was the best welcome wagon reception ever!
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Helping Families Beyond Our Borders For the 2014 Holiday Season, Venterra purchased a kid goat through World Concern 速 for each of our investors, brokers, and lenders to help children in Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, and Somalia. Each gift of a goat is life-changing for a child living in poverty. With income earned from milk and the sale of offspring, families are able to pay for school, healthy food, and other necessities.
The content used within this book was pulled from the following resources:
Customer surveys conducted in 2014 by Kingsley Associates
Employee surveys conducted in 2014 by NBRI
Customer Feedback submitted through Venterra’s Resident Portal, My Home Matters
WOW stories of great customer service written by Venterra employees
2014 statistics from Glassdoor.com
Amber Place 6, 7, 21, 35, 106, 111, 119, 125, 139 Apex West Midtown 10, 21, 25, 125 Bala Woods 31, 39 Bradford Pointe 14, 18, 28, 80, 103, 117 Calais Park Lofts 15, 35, 43, 47, 52, 53 Carlyle Place 9, 35, 112, 126 Carrington at Park Lakes 144 Cedar Springs 15, 25 Champions Green 31, 34, 106, 117, 124 Champions Woods 37 Chez Moi 39, 53, 136 College View 15, 35, 63, 89, 105 Cypress Pointe 7, 121, 125, 139, 144 Dominion at Woodlands 25 Estancia at Morningstar 14, 21, 29, 34, 37, 87, 97, 105, 143
Fairways at South Shore Harbor 37, 54 Falcon Square at Independence 19, 29, 72, 79, 125 Forest View 53, 86, 94, 111, 112, 113, 135 Foxborough 35, 37, 72, 109, 112, 123, 129 French Place 129
Hamptons at Woodland Pointe 15, 139, 145 Huntcliff 19, 135 Landings of Brentwood 37, 46, 111, 117, 118, 128 Landmark at Medical Center 25, 46, 112, 113, 121, 126, 140, 141, 142 Legacy at River Crossing 19, 49, 107,121, 122, 135 Monticello Oaks 15, 85, 140 Palm Club 19, 80, 88, 130 Park 9, 29, 39 Park at Waterford Harbor 112, 136, 140 Park Manor 43, 111, 112, 114, 118 Preserve at Old Dowlen 14, 42, 106 Providence of Northlake 55 Raintree 75, 81, 86, 97, 133 Reflections on Sweetwater 27, 28, 106, 144 Regency Park 36, 108, 121, 136
Riverstone 21, 125, 132, 139 Salado Springs 43, 53, 114, 118, 131, 132, 145 Sandstone 29, 128, 131, 134 Shadowbrooke 94 Signature Ridge 16, 42, 44, 47, 128, 139
Silverbrooke 28, 94, 122, 127 South Shore Lakes 39 St. Andrews 16, 42, 81, 102, 116, 143, 144 Stonecreek Ranch 24, 107, 111, 113 The Enclave at 1550 14 , 17, 21, 24, 25, 44, 45, 48, 63, 75, 111 The Mandolin 17, 105, 106, 107, 110 The Pointe 6, 17 The Ravinia 42, 46, 53, 117 The Villas of Bristol Heights 7, 18, 63, 120, 135, 145 The Vinings 11,31 Timber Mill 44, 63, 75, 94 Tuscany at Lindbergh 17, 45, 52, 104, 105, 108, 114 Villa Lago 7, 9, 17, 36, 39, 48, 131, 145 Village Walk 45, 53, 87 Waters Edge 45, 121
West End Lodge 7, 45, 72, 143 Westminster at Buckhead 11, 31 Westover Oaks 44, 46, 115 Willow Springs 47 Wilshire Place 47, 129, 131, 137, 138 Zang Triangle 73