Acting on Our Members’ Suggestions
These insights are vital not only for our members in order to provide them with the opportunity to share feedback but also for us to improve our services. It has been great to see how many members take the time to share their thoughts with us. With the feedback we receive, we make it our top priority to improve. For example, in the last semi-annual survey (August 2022) we received feedback on the housemate selection process and events, and over the last six months, we have been able to improve on these aspects. For a more recent update from August 2023, check out our latest semi-annual survey here!
Six months ago, our members highlighted that they felt there could be improvements to be made when it comes to the housemate selection process. At this point, we had just launched our pre-selection questionnaire, a tool designed by an intern from the National University of Singapore alongside guidance from a faculty member. This tool was created to improve the process of selecting and matching members to our coliving homes. More information about that can be found here. In this survey, we still found that a number of members wanted to be more involved in the housemate selection process. They suggested that they could hold an interview for new members. As great as this would be, it is not very feasible on a scale of 300+ rooms. The implementation of the questionnaire is in place to make sure that all members joining Casa Mia are an excellent fit for the community and are all open to the concept of coliving.
- In the last six months, we’ve confidently been using this survey as a tool to understand whether prospective members would be the right fit for our community. Although we would love to offer everyone a room with us, the community lies at the heart of Casa Mia Coliving. This means that there are instances where we cannot offer someone a room. Ultimately, this has resulted in a much stronger community feel as well as less frustration and tension when it comes to housemate interactions. Part of joining the Casa Mia community is to be able to network and make more friends and 75% of respondents say that they have felt joining Casa Mia has helped improve this and feel that we actively bring together like-minded people. That’s great to hear!
- Further, when we organize viewings for our prospective members we alert the whole home and let them know they are welcome to say ‘hi’ during the viewing. This allows the housemates to introduce themselves and have a bit of chit-chat.
- Lastly, we ensure that 100% of the time we make housemate introductions when a new housemate joins the home. This is a great kick-starter for the other housemates to introduce themselves and add them to an existing house chat they may have.
Events continue to be our member’s favorites and we don’t blame them! During our last semi-annual survey we said we would always make sure to have at least three sets of events planned per month. We continue to do so and have even added a few more!
- Our monthly First Friday still continues to be one of our most popular events! We can proudly say that every first Friday of the last year we have held this event and continue to love seeing all of our members attend and meet more like-minded individuals.
- We also have a ‘Welcome Drink’ event which we host to welcome all new members to the coliving community. We host this at our favorite Italian restaurant, DOP, in Robertson Quay. We understand that joining a coliving community can be overwhelming (and it is a little intimidating meeting load of new people at once, like at our First Friday). Therefore we’ve made this event exclusive to only the new members that joined that month. It has been a great success and is also an amazing way for the Casa Mia staff to get to know the members a little better.
- Meet The Neighbours is an event that sees us introducing nearby Casa Mia homes to each other over a cheeseboard, from our partners at The Providore, and any drink of choice (wine, prosecco, juices, etc.)
- We also have monthly outdoor events, which include bike rides, hikes, or just strolls around famous sights such as Marina Bay Sands.
- We will be looking at adding more events over the next couple of months. A lot of members highlighted that they would be happy with self-payed events (currently all events are paid for by Casa Mia). These could range from museum visits, guided tours, cinema visits, etc.
Lastly, we want to actively encourage our existing members to utilize our private Facebook group. The Casa Mia Members’ Facebook group can also be used to share tips or recommendations for things such as nearby coffee shops, the best bars around town, or any cool events that are coming up. With over half of the Casa Mia community in this Facebook group, we look forward to seeing members interact and share their experiences.
From the survey that we just closed end of February 2023, we learned response time on maintenance issues and consistency of cleaning service are areas for further improvement. Both quality of new home launches and rental prices were also commented on by our members.
Response time on maintenance issues
As part of our Easy Living solution, we are here to help with any issues that our members have while living at Casa Mia Coliving. To improve our response time:
- Our community management team is expanding and we have recently hired a new Community Manager Assistant. Say hi to Sy! Further, we have upgraded our in-house maintenance team and hired another handyman, Aiman, to help assist Yusof as soon as any maintenance issues arise. This also means that we don't have to rely on external vendors as much, which ultimately results in a longer waiting time to get the issue fixed.
- In case there are any issues that our members need fixing during our Out of Office hours we have helped to create a guide that gives information on anything such as how to turn on the water heater, how to fix an electricity trip, or who to call for a gas top up! These guides can be found on their memory walls or in their email introductions.
Consistency of cleaning service
All our homes come with weekly cleaning included in our rates. This includes communal areas (such as the dining room, kitchen, and living room) as well as the members’ bedrooms (for no additional charge). Of course, if you don’t want your room cleaned or no linens to be changed, you can always opt-out. We received feedback that our members wanted a more consistent cleaning service regarding the cleaning staff and cleaning quality.
- We have introduced cleaning checklists for all the cleaners (in-house and external vendors) to follow. This includes monthly tasks, such as window cleaning, fridge cleaning, cabinet cleaning, etc. The community team receives pictures after each cleaning to ensure that the cleaning has been thorough.
- The Community Team will also take extra notice to consistently do home surveys (monitoring general home condition done every six months) in order to help spot any improvements, fixes or changes to be made that may not have been brought up by members.
While there is still room to improve on this, with the recent improvements in the labor market in Singapore, we are confident that we can continue to further improve our cleaning services.
Home launches & increased rent
Another aspect we need to improve is the quality of our new home launches to make sure they are in great condition when our members move in. Over the last couple of months, we have had an influx of new homes (thanks to our home acquisition team). This meant that the Operations team had a lot of tight deadlines to meet and subsequently, a few apartments were launched in average condition. We want our members to feel at home when they join Casa Mia. By introducing a more thorough checklist and home inspections we strive to improve our home launches so that the homes are perfect for our members to move in!
Increased rent was also among the feedback we received from our members. Of course, this is understandable and none of our members are going to be ecstatic about increased rent. A few things to note:
- Casa Mia only increases your rent if appropriate, meaning we match the rent to the rental market at that given point. Given the current landscape, there have been a few rental increases but we keep these at bay. You may have seen in the news that some landlords have increased rent by up to 75%! At Casa Mia, if we do increase, it will usually be between 5%-10%, the most we will increase by is 15% (this has only been a one-off)!
- Casa Mia only increases rent after you have stayed with us for 1 year. Unlike other coliving operators, we clearly state in our contract that we will not make any price adjustments at random points during your stay. Once your 1-year Casa Mia anniversary comes up we will have a look at the rental market and will then decide. Again, this new rent will then stay in place until the following year.
Other General Feedback
Overall, 82% of our members would recommend Casa Mia Coliving to their friends and family. This is great to hear :)
We also asked our members for any other general feedback and suggestions that have either helped make their stay great or how it could be even better. Here are some of the comments:
- “In terms of convenience/flexibility, Casa Mia is able to offer it such as all utilities and maintenance being provided in the form of weekly cleaning as well as any request via butler with regards to things to be repaired. In addition, the flexibility of the lease with the rolling rental even after the renting commitment is over and the ability to change rooms internally within Casa Mia makes it great for young people like me.”
- I enjoyed my time here, with how responsive maintenance has been, and how roommate events have been organized, the rent is reasonable and I have already recommended it to many friends.
- I believe the management is very good and felt like they acted very quickly when there was an issue. The house is very comfortable and also allows the option of switching to another casa mia unit if we prefer. It provides flexibility for the tenant and there’s a lot of gathering activity. I find it is super great to bond and get to know new people when you’re an expat here.
- I love that you guys always communicate everything and anything at all, regardless of how big or small the issue is. I feel welcomed and taken well care of from the first point of contact till I moved in.
You can also find some more feedback in our Google reviews!
Onwards and upwards!
As mentioned before, these surveys are integral for us to understand how our coliving members are enjoying their time at Casa Mia. The results always spur creative chats with the team behind Casa Mia and help us come up with creative ideas and smart solutions to improve and make this the best coliving experience for our members. We look forward to improving and moving onwards and upwards. Check out our semi-annual survey results from August 2023, here!