COVID-19 has canceled or changed many traditional property management summer activities. With many of your resident’s favorite events—and the opportunity to establish a sense of community—on hold due to social distancing protocols, property managers must get creative about connecting with your residents. At the same time, more and more people are finding themselves spending time at home, leading to a gardening boom. Getting down and dirty with plants doesn’t have to be limited to homeowners. With community gardening, renters can plant roots in their community, too.
Plan Before You Plant
Starting a community garden is easy, especially since property managers already own the land where they will establish a garden. Start by planning where to place your garden. Make sure you are selecting a space that gets lots of sunlight (at least six hours to grow food) and has easy access to water. Next, you will need to select the style of the plot. Raised garden beds offer a clean look and are easier to maintain. If you are looking for more space, planting a traditional garden will better fit your needs. Once you have chosen which location and option is best for your property, it’s time to build, plow, or fence off your garden.
Sow the Seeds to Success
Regardless of your property’s demographics, horticultural is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy. Reach out to residents and emphasizing the benefits and beauty that a garden will bring. The CDC lists all the physical and mental benefits of starting a garden, including engaging in physical activity, skill-building, and creating green space. Not to mention having access to healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables!
Once you’ve drummed up resident support, put control in their hands. After all, “community” is the keyword in Community Garden. Create an online sign-up or forum using a platform like Google Docs to allow tenants to take ownership of the garden, share planting tips, and more. Mass emails, text broadcasts, or rmVoIP messages through Rent Manager are all great ways to get the word out to tenants about your garden. Then divide up the plots among tenants and let the growing begin.
After the seeds are planted, let nature take care of the rest. Since residents are responsible for their parcels, you don’t need to worry about spending excessive time caring for the garden. On your routine walk around the grounds, just add a quick garden glance to your checklist. It’s a great excuse to stop and smell the flowers!
Reaping More than Fresh Veggies
The benefits of a community garden boil down to one simple point: resident retention. Community gardens give tenants a creative outlet, pride, and ownership in their neighborhood—all factors that influence a tenant’s decisions at lease-renewal time. Building tangible connections with residents through community gardens is a great way to show residents you care about their home while adding beauty to your property. Consider building a garden at your property and watch your community, crops, and tenant retention