Developing community within your multifamily properties is vital to ensure higher renewal rates, as well as, a more smooth managing situation. Ensuring that your residents are not bickering or feeling unwelcome will lessen tenant complaints and diminish your workload. These tips will help you along the way if you are ready to truly develop community in your rental properties.
Developing relationships naturally is difficult for residents in a large apartment complex, with tenants’ everyday busy schedules it’s hard to organically develop a “Three’s Company” companionship between residents. Hosting pre-planned events meets this problem head-on and provides a laid-back venue for residents to introduce themselves to the neighbors they haven’t met.
To promote high participation, be sure to provide plenty of notice and promote the event to your residents via multiple communication methods so they are guaranteed to see it. To truly see your community blossom, budget for regularly scheduled events once per month or quarterly. Providing fun incentives for attending will also create more engagement; budget for extras like a raffle or a prize for a competition. The activity can be seasonal or simple, but the goal is to get your tenants out of their units and getting to know each other.
Volunteer groups that go out into the local area are not only great press for your buildings, but create tight bonds between the residents who participate. Begin by hosting a charity event at your multifamily property and see how well it takes off. Changes are high that you will find tenants who are ready-and-willing to volunteer for future charity projects for your city.
Create an action group of tenants and provide each of your staff with incentives (or paid time) to participate alongside your residents to fully support their community service endeavors, and to ensure enough volunteers for any given project. Select either a reliable and interested resident or a staff member to head the group, organize monthly meetings, and ensure all residents are informed of events they may want to participate in.
Every property has one or a few residents who are naturally inviting and welcoming to all their neighbors. To ensure that your renters feel truly at home in their residential community, give those naturally welcoming tenants the means and encouragement to get to know their fellow tenants. Does this tenant enjoy baking for the family in the unit across from them? Supply them with a budget to bake or buy cookies for the whole floor. Do they immediately introduce themselves to the new couple in the unit next-door? Give them a small rent discount in return for becoming a welcoming party for any new residents in the building. These tenant ambassadors can serve both as a great asset towards community-building and can be your mouthpiece when you need to ensure that all residents have been given important messages.
Encourage residents to meet up by providing recreational areas throughout your property. Picnic spaces and outdoor BBQ’s are a relatively inexpensive investment, but provide a new venue for residents to gather together. Create a recreation room in a previously underutilized space; this allows renters to lounge, chat and enjoy themselves. Providing group activities like board games, ping-pong or foosball, will create opportunities for its users to build relationships they may not have otherwise made.
Technology is an often underutilized venue for building resident community. Savvy property managers and landlords will take full advantage of social media venues like Facebook and Instagram to catalyze relationship building within their properties. Using closed groups on Facebook can serve not only as an ideal way to communicate with your tenants but creates a low stakes venue for residents to strike up conversations when they may not have felt comfortable introducing themselves in person.
Remember to develop community by trying to find different venues for all tenants to come together regardless of their interests and schedule–this is key. Setting up community building activities should always mean striving to include as many diverse activities and venues as possible to encourage every tenant’s participation. After all, making certain that all your tenants feel like welcome members of the community will ensure resident retention for years to come.