While much of your precious time is spent balancing books, finding new prospects, and working hard to resolve tenant- and property-level issues, property management is inherently people-focused. As you know, keeping your renters happy and engaged in their community is key to retaining them and mitigating tension. One of the best ways to do that is to hold resident events at your property. Resident events are community-wide gatherings that allow you to interact with your tenants in a non-professional setting. But hosting experiences like this can be difficult when you’re strapped for ideas. You may get to the drawing board and think, what’s something that people of all ages like to do? Before you scour the web, we’ve got you covered with our top 12 resident event ideas for all seasons.
Top 12 Resident Event Ideas for All Seasons
Before we get into our list, let’s first state that the best resident event ideas for your property might be generated by the renters themselves. Don’t hesitate to take a poll and see what their preferences are. People love to give their input and love it even more when they see their ideas put into action.
With that being said, let’s jump into our list of community engagement events for every season.
Winter Resident Event Ideas
Especially if your residents experience all four seasons, winter can be a challenging time to organize occasions. You’ll contend with cold temperatures, holidays, and poor moods due to a constantly gray sky (Cincinnati, I’m looking at you). Not to worry, here are some great ideas to get your residents out of the cold and into some friendly conversations.
1: Board Game Night
Organizing a community board game night is a simple, cost-effective way to appeal to people of all ages. Board games have wide-reaching appeal, and most people already know how to play them. Encourage your residents to bring their favorite games with them so there are a variety of options to choose from. Provide some light snacks and beverages for folks to pick on throughout the evening.
2: Hot Drink Bar
There’s nothing quite like stepping inside and holding a warm cup between your hands after scraping ice from your windshield. Help residents beat the cold with a selection of hot beverages such as hot chocolate, apple cider, and coffee. Take things up a notch by allowing them to customize the drink to their liking. For hot chocolate, provide marshmallows, whipped cream, and ground cinnamon (or cinnamon sticks for an elevated feel). For coffee, provide a variety of creamer and sweetener options.
3: Super Bowl Watch Party
While not everyone loves football, it’s hard to pass up the accouterments of a good Super Bowl party. Be sure to send out a signup sheet for residents to bring the dishes they love most (being mindful of allergens, of course). Or, hold a low-pressure competition for the best buffalo chicken dip, chicken wings, and chili! If you’d rather provide the snacks yourself, some other cost-effective food options include pizza, chips, and soft drinks. Regardless of the food you choose to provide, a centrally located screen is key to a successful Super Bowl viewing experience.
Spring Resident Event Ideas
Sprouting flowers, chittering birds welcoming the morning sun, and dewy blades of grass finally being mowed after a long winter—for all its optimism, spring brings with it plenty of opportunities for outdoor resident events. Here are a few of our favorites.
4: Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is a must for property managers and residents alike. Just as the lawn mower, weedwhacker, and hedge trimmer tend to long overgrown landscaping each spring, your residents can do the same to their living spaces by decluttering. Set up drop-off points for unwanted items such as clothes, shoes, canned goods, books, and games. Leave the donation boxes out for a few weeks so your residents have time to rifle through their coat closets and make some hard decisions. Then, donate the collected goods to a local charity or food drive. Alternatively, consider working with a nonprofit organization like Move For Hunger, which works with multifamily communities to donate to local food banks and pantries. This is a great way to give back while helping your tenants positively impact their community.
5: Community Car Wash
In cold-weather climates especially, your residents’ cars are likely caked in road salt residue and snow brush marks as winter comes to an end. Have property staff put together a car wash for a day to help your renters embrace the fresh feelings of spring. You can offer a simple “suds and rinse” clean, or opt for a more elevated feel with some microfiber cloths and Armor All for detailing interiors.
6: Easter Egg Hunt
Regardless of their religious affiliation, it’s hard to deny that
kids people love scavenger hunts. Fill plastic eggs with your prize of choice and hide them around the property’s premises. Encourage folks to bring their kids that day so the little ones can do the scavenging. You can even have a grand prize for the person who finds the most eggs. This is a great way to get your residents’ kids to meet each other and build bonds they might not make otherwise.
Summer Resident Event Ideas
Summer is the perfect time to get everyone in your community involved in an outdoor activity. Not only is it a chance to get neighbors connected with each other, but it also gives families some well-deserved respite from planning yet another picnic or beach day.
7: Food Truck/Cookout
Leveraging the power of local business is a great way to nurture partnerships in your area. Make it a goal to have a food truck on the premises for a few hours, or make it a recurring activity with different food trucks each week. This will help the food truck owners boost their business by increasing their visibility in the local community. Plus, it’s always a good idea to have strong relationships with other business owners in your area.
8: Parking Lot Tailgate
One surefire way to unite a diverse group of people is to rally around the local sports team. During the summer, baseball season is in full swing, and the NHL and NBA are gearing up for playoff season, so there are plenty of opportunities to root for your favorite athletes. Have residents meet in the parking lot (or another communal area) for a tailgate party complete with music, yard games, lawn chairs, and snacks. After all, sometimes all you need for a good time is asphalt, cornhole, and something to sit on.
9: Movie Night
Hosting a movie night is one of our favorite resident event ideas. Movie nights can easily be turned into a routine activity as there are a wide variety of movies that appeal to people of all ages. Over the course of the summer, you can show a different genre of movie every week to keep everyone’s interests in mind. Alternatively, you can send a poll at the beginning of the summer with a list of potential movies to choose from and have tenants pick their favorites. During movie night, you’ll just need a TV large enough for everyone to see, or if you’d like to show the movie outdoors, invest in a projector and a screen.
Fall Resident Event Ideas
Fall is a particularly festive time of year; the holidays are just around the bend, pumpkin-flavored everything becomes available at your local coffee shop, and football season becomes the focal point of many Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Here are some of our top ideas to help your residents harness the excitement of autumn—no cinnamon necessary.
10: Fall Festival
Encourage residents to take advantage of the still-comfortable temperatures by celebrating everything autumn has to offer. There are many activities you can plan during a fall festival, but some of our favorites include sack races, pie-eating (or baking) contests, making scarecrows, and face painting. These are family favorites that are sure to get everyone involved in a fun, low-pressure environment.
11: Pumpkin Carving/Decorating
Test your residents’ creative chops by inviting them to carve or decorate pumpkins. You can have the kids draw the designs that the parents carve. Or, if you’d prefer to leave sharp items out of the activity, break out the paint and paintbrushes so everyone can add their personal touch. Once the pumpkins are done being carved or decorated, everyone has a special memento for their front door. Besides, who doesn’t love freshly roasted pumpkin seeds?
12: Halloween Costume Contest
No matter their age, people love to be someone else for a day. Let your residents tap into their spookiest selves for a costume contest! This is a great way to get the kids involved too, as they’re likely excited about their newest costume and looking to show it off before they go door to door on Halloween night. Consider having some snacks and auxiliary activities lined up to keep the fun rolling all night long.
Scheduling Resident Events with Rent Manager
Creating, categorizing, and scheduling events with Rent Manager has never been easier. You can now make your Community Calendar visible and accessible for your residents and staff by creating recurring events and assigning event types.
Any event you create can appear in the Community Calendar for you and your residents to see. This can be done for one-time events like holiday parties, but you can also create recurring events for things that happen on a regular basis (e.g., trash pickup day, lawn care service, movie night).
For any Community Calendar event you create, you can assign an event type to help with categorization. For example, you can set movie nights and tailgate parties as “Community Activities,” and trash pickup day as “Routine Cleanup.” Further, you can also assign each event type its own color, so you and your tenants ultimately have a color-coded, well-organized Community Calendar to reference all year long.
Ensure your scheduled events appeal to your residents by conducting a poll to get their thoughts. To help with this, Rent Manager allows you to create custom polls that can be answered by your tenants through the Tenant Web Access (TWA) portal. Once complete, you can generate a report to see how residents responded.
Give renters the power to reserve the amenities at your property for their own use. Through TWA, residents can book the time slots they would like to use the amenity for, and you can accept or decline as you wish. For example, if your property has a clubhouse, you can make it reservable for tenants to use for their personal events. Once scheduled, Rent Manager allows you to establish an internal calendar to keep track of the reservations made.
Now that you have a solid starting list of resident event ideas, you’re ready to connect with your community! Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive, and you should always reference the input and desires of your renters to custom-tailor events to their liking. This will help you build relationships with them, keep them happy, and retain them as residents for the long term.