Resident Events: Designing Your Property Experience

July 11, 2019


Rent Manager

Residents at an apartment community relaxing outside

The resident experience is incredibly valuable to a property’s success—you want your tenants to happily reside in the space you’re providing. When a renter truly enjoys their time at a property, property managers are in a better place to fully reap the benefits of their occupancy.
Your tenants want to be surprised and delighted—they want a positive housing experience that goes beyond everyday expectations. One way to achieve this is by hosting resident events that entertain your tenants and elevate the overall sense of community.
Let’s take a closer look into the best practices for designing property-wide events that leave your residents feeling taken care of by their management team.

The “Right Now”

Before proceeding with any plans, it’s important to take a snapshot of your property:

  1. What is the current mood?
  2. Are my tenants happy?
  3. Are there any recent issues that have affected my residents?
  4. What does the property environment need right now?

This is essentially a process of taking the temperature of your community and identifying which actions you should take to improve or enhance its dynamic.

Residents = Top Priority

Your residents should be the ultimate source of inspiration for these resident events—activities must be designed for them—whether you’re assisting them, entertaining them, or getting to know them. In tandem with this, it’s crucial to keep their needs in mind at all times. These needs may vary, based on age, seasonality, and more.

1. Age

When your property consists of residents who are of a similar age, it makes the planning process easier—you can focus on targeting a specific demographic. For example, an apartment community near a college campus could plan events with free food and giveaways that meet the needs of students on a budget. This type of event would likely benefit a large portion of your community’s population.

Yet, when a property is home to a wide range of ages, it’s crucial to focus your efforts on the group you’re hoping to connect with the most. This could include a variety of occasions, for older-generation tenants, young professionals, families with kids, and so on. Additionally, you should aim to offer an event that can appeal to all of your tenants.

2. Seasonality

When mapping out upcoming resident events, be sure to keep the time of year in mind. This may seem obvious to consider, but the attitudes and behaviors of your tenants will be affected by the weather—which you can use to your advantage. During the colder months of the year, consider offering events that are more social in nature to get tenants out of the “winter blues.” Indoor beach parties or cookouts are just two quick ideas for shaking off Jack Frost.

While in the spring and summer, design events that excite and energize your renters. Right now, we are basking in the heat of summer—which means we’re also in the middle of prime leasing season. Take advantage of that warm weather from June to September to get your residents outside, enjoying your property, and in a positive mindset—this could greatly influence their decision to re-sign a lease.

When you identify what your residents need, what puts them in a good mood, and what motivates them to participate in your events—the payoff will be immense.

The Fun Part

Now that we’ve covered the planning process, let’s review some options for events that you can easily hold at your property.

Make use of those amenities—Host events that show off your space. This could include offering complementary fitness classes in your property gym, pool parties, cookouts on your patio, movie nights in your theatre… the list goes on and on. Whatever amenities you offer at your property, utilize those areas as the venue for your event—it helps tenants remember everything that is available for them to enjoy.

Food is always a good idea—A sure-fire way to get residents to your event is by providing food. Mix it up: options like food trucks, cookoffs, or weekly themed dining events are guaranteed crowd-pleasers.

Be specific—No matter what event you decide to host, make it easy for your tenants to find out about it. Not all residents will interact the same way—in order to effectively reach them all at once, make use of helpful tools like 2-Way Text Messaging and Phone Broadcasting. Advertise in your common areas, send reminders, and reach out to your tenants face-to-face, if possible. By personally inviting your renters, you’re making an important connection and improving the likelihood of a well-attended event.

Mutually Beneficial Mindset

Yes, the goal is to design an event with your residents’ needs and interests in mind. However, these occasions can also be advantageous to you as a property manager. Approach resident events with a mutually beneficial perspective—while the tenants are enjoying themselves, you have an ideal opportunity to form stronger connections with them. For example, if they feel more comfortable knowing their management team, they will be more proactive in contacting you with questions, potentially saving you time, money—and even vacancies. Events provide a space for engagement and interaction between you and your tenants and amongst the community as a whole. It’s residential networking—getting to know your neighbors and your management team—that cultivates a positive, open atmosphere.

The Payoff

We’ve shared how to coordinate a great event in a number of ways. The ideal event will help your property, is centered around your residents, and creates meaningful interactions. Now, let’s get to the bottom of what all this actually does for you.

  • Having that open and interactive environment allows residents to become friends, not just neighbors. When tenants know each other, that sense of community can boost morale and make your property more appealing.
  • In addition, when renters are pleased with their community, they’ll be more likely to refer prospects to your property, helping you fill vacancies.
  • Most importantly, when your residents feel appreciated, taken care of, and happy with their living situation, they’ll be more likely to stay. While it may not be the only method for tenant retention, resident events can certainly help you provide a property experience that people want to continue to be a part of.

Every community is different, so event options will vary based on your circumstance. What remains true for all property managers, however, is the need to understand your tenants in order to effectively design your event. Rent Manager not only offers messaging features to stay connected with your renters but can also provide the history and status of each individual, making it much easier for you to connect with the people who make up your community.
The time to start designing your next property event is now. Let the summer help you bring in fresh engagement and connections within your community. Do your best to bring all that you can to the table, and your residents will happily take a seat.

By Kelsey Rizzuto
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