Summer is a busy time for property managers. Peak leasing season is generally May through September which means a steady stream of business for you. Along with all those new leases that are being signed come the maintenance requests, phone calls, and increased traffic of your apartment community. Summer is also an enjoyable time for most of your residents as these days are generally filled with vacations, pool parties, school breaks and long, lazy days. As fall approaches and the days get cooler and your residents get back into the swing for their daily routines, now is the perfect time to increase your resident activities.
Many property managers say that they feel like resident activities require a lot of time, money and effort for very little return on their investment. If this has been your experience with past resident engagement activities, we have some ideas to better engage your residents so that more people will attend your events and you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your time. More than anything, resident events promote the feeling of community that encourages your tenants to work together and build connections. This feeling of community is beneficial to you because it can lead to increased resident retention. If your residents are engaged they are more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction which will lead to higher renewal rates. Therefore, it’s important to plan events that your residents want to attend. Fall weather is a perfect time to get started.
Consider hosting a fall movie night. With the days getting shorter and colder, families might be looking for something to do in the evening now that the pool is closed. Open up your community room, pop some popcorn, serve some light refreshments and let your residents enjoy a relaxing evening. You might even use social media to poll your residents and see what movies they would like to see. Not only is this even low maintenance and low cost for you, but it’s an easy, enjoyable experience for your tenants as well.
The cool autumn weather is the perfect time to start cooking up big batches of your favorite comfort food. Why not host a resident potluck or cook-off? This is a great way to encourage your tenants to mingle, share a meal and get to know each other. People can put their favorite soups, stews and chili recipes in the crockpot before work and come home to a dish that’s ready to share. A chili cook-off could be a fun spin on this even idea as well. Residents could compete for some type of prize and your staff could be the judges.
If a large percentage of your tenants are families with children this is the perfect season to host a fall festival. Simple games, seasonal crafts and maybe even music and face painting will leave a lasting impression on your residents. You might consider timing this event to coincide with Halloween and include a pumpkin decorating and/or carving contest and a station where kids can decorate Halloween cookies. Top it off with a trunk-or-treat event in the parking lot and this is the perfect evening for kids and parents.
If you have the space and the proper equipment fall is the perfect time for a bonfire. Chilly evenings sitting around a fire are sure to encourage conversations between residents and a chance for kids to burn off some energy outdoors. You could even roast hot dogs and make s’mores as the perfect ending to this memorable evening.
Nothing says fall like football. Team loyalty knows no bounds and your residents will be sure to proudly support their teams at your football party. Open up the community room and put the game on the big screen. Encourage some friendly competition by having your residents wear their team’s jerseys. You could even add a competitive edge to the party by giving out a prize to the person who is closest to guessing the final score.
All of the work you do on the front end for these resident events will more than pay off on the back end when you have happy tenants who renew their leases. By offering events at your apartment community, your residents will see that the members of management truly care about them. The goal is to create excitement by demonstrating that you are invested into your residents and dedicated to continuously improving the quality of their renting experience in your apartment community.