Five Ways to Engage Residents with Events in 2021
Resident engagement and amenity use have certainly changed over the last year. Maybe you’ve had a hard time figuring out how to keep residents engaged or plan events with social distancing in mind. We asked our friends at Apartment Life what kind of events they saw residents enjoy at the communities they serve. Apartment Life “helps apartment owners care for residents by connecting them in relationships. This, in turn, helps improve the community’s financial performance through online reputation, resident satisfaction, and resident retention.” Here’s what they shared with us along with some of our own ideas and research.
1. Promote events and insights on social media
What’s one of the first steps to getting residents to attend events and feel a greater sense of community? Engage with them on social media! 82% of people in the United States are on social media. There’s no better place to connect with your residents than where they already are. Share community insights (eg. introduce your team for a more personal experience, where to find leasing office dog treats, quick tips), details for events, and so much more. You can increase your online reputation when you post about events and encourage residents to engage with your posts. The events you host are only limited by your imagination.
2. Host virtual events residents can attend from home
The majority of events over the last year have been virtual. Apartment Life teams across the country hosted a variety of virtual events for residents. They give residents and the on-site teams a way to connect and create safe spaces for fun via Zoom and other online methods. Your community can benefit from virtual events, especially if you’re in a region where social distancing is still encouraged or required. Here are some ideas of virtually hosted events Apartment Life teams across the country have put together:
- Cooking classes
- Happy hours
- Painting classes
- Mixology classes
- Concert series (streamed, with residents able to watch from balconies or socially distanced in courtyard)
- Game nights
- Fitness classes (yoga, HIIT, Barre, etc.)
For lower-income communities
If you manage a lower-income community, your residents will benefit from different kinds of events. With many people still out of jobs, food provision events to connect your residents with local services are in higher demand than things like movie nights or virtual classes.
3. Create grab-and-go events
Apartment Life teams have created a wide variety of grab and go events ranging from children’s activity kits to mixed-drink or festive dinner kits. The more creative you get with events and kits, the more fun they are for residents, while still helping residents feel connected and cared for. Some ideas for grab and go’s include:
- “Namaste Inside” spa kit
- Donuts & coffee from a local coffee house (or any kind of breakfast foods)
- Hiking kits with protein bars, mini sunscreen, chapstick, compass, & hand sanitizer
- Food trucks to support local businesses and bring the community together!
- Snacks and themed gear for broadcast sporting events
- Movie night essentials like popcorn, candy, & soda.
4. Take advantage of the outdoors
Residents are craving more human interaction, especially as summer approaches. One way to ease into in-person events is to host them in outdoor spaces so residents can socially distance as needed. And anything you’d usually do inside can be done outside when the weather is nice! Events can be simple or more complex, and offering food and prizes will attract a bigger audience. Here are some examples of outdoor events to try this summer:
- Outdoor movie night with individually packaged drinks & snacks
- Beer swaps
5. Let residents RSVP for events online for better planning
When planning for events, it isn’t always easy to know how many people you can expect to show up. Depending on the day and the interest level, it could be 10 or 100. It’s important to have a way to prepare for how many residents plan to attend and be able to regulate crowd size for social distancing if needed. Some communities use QR codes or RSVP links to let residents reserve spaces for events and receive reminders.
An amenity scheduler is also an efficient way to let residents reserve their space or time slot by creating the event and letting residents create passes. By letting residents register for amenities or events, you can better prepare for what the turn-out will look like when the day of the event comes up. Amenity Boss is an amenity scheduler created to make amenity use easy, fair, and flexible. Schedule a free consultation and demo with us for a simple way to manage amenities.
Kiley Sharp, Divisional President of the West Division for Apartment Life shared her thoughts as communities move forward. “My biggest recommendation for teams is to push in with being intentional there, live life out in your community even more than usual, and be the bright light people come across as they live in their community too.”
In all the event planning and hard work you put in at your communities, it’s important to remember that genuine human connection is the best way to foster a sense of belonging.
*Images courtesy of Apartment Life