Creating Common Areas Your Residents


For residents, living in an apartment building has its advantages, especially when you get to know your neighbors. But people are often shy when it comes to socializing in a residential community. Property managers can get the ball rolling and promote community relationships by creating common areas and activities for folks to hang out and talk to each other. Building community among residents in your apartment building starts with dedicating a space for socializing and encouraging your tenants to leave their nests.

1. Pool Time!

Swimming pools are cool places to hang out, and if your complex doesn’t have one, consider the pros and cons of adding one. Installing a pool increases the property value and attracts “dream tenants.”  Though the initial cost of a pool is high, maintenance is fairly inexpensive.  Blake Davis, owner of Oasis Pool Cleaning, says “Even for an apartment pool, a full 17 point weekly cleaning will only run you $99 to $150 per month.  With maybe another $200-800 in additional expenses annually.”  

People love to come home from work on a hot summer’s day and take a dip in the pool. Although swimming pools cost money to install and maintain, tenants will enjoy having the option — and they’re willing to pay a little more for the amenity. Secured swimming pools with attached community facilities are a plus. Outdoor kitchens, restrooms, changing cabanas, and showering stations let your tenants feel at home.

2. Community Space

A community center for picnics, family gatherings, and games can make the neighborhood safer. When neighbors get to know each other, they tend to watch out for one another. Does your apartment building allow pets? Build a dog park. Nicely sculpted landscaping and gardens encourage folks to get away from the computer and take a walk outside. They’re bound to meet up with friends and neighbors.   

3. Yard Games

Fresh air and exercise is something everyone needs, but it can be tough without a backyard. Yard games encourage neighbors to get together for a few laughs and some “serious” competition. Set up a badminton or volleyball net, croquet game, cornhole, lawn darts, bocce, and frisbee golf. A large Jenga block display is always fun to play with and you can buy a giant Connect Four board for kids to tackle. Home improvement and toy stores have assortments of games that encourage tenant participation.    

4. Lobby Hobbies

The lobby of your apartment building is the perfect place for allowing tenants to display their talents. Set up a secure area for people to present their personal artwork, crafts, and treasures. A community room or clubhouse would be perfect for book clubs and classes. Start a gardening club and set up a community garden in the back. Put up a bulletin board so neighbors can post notices about knitting or photography clubs. Bring in speakers to talk about anything and everything. Your apartment building’s lobby is a central location for community engagement. 

5. Special Events

Parties, contests, fire drills, potluck dinners, and other activities bring people together. Happy neighbors mean happy and safe tenants. Ask your renters what they’d like to do and if they’ll help you put together a plan of action. When the weather gets cold, have a few indoor game parties and movie nights. Tailgate parties are always a draw — set up the big screen and have a ball!  

Asking your tenants to get involved in planning events shows them you’re trying to create engaging activities for neighbors to get to know each other. Of course, some people won’t be interested — there are always a few. But others will enjoy meeting new people in their complex, especially when the weather gets colder. An added bonus? Neighbors who are friendly with each other keep their tempers in check when misunderstandings occur.