Looking for some fun, easy ways to boost community involvement in your apartment complex? We’ve talked to some of Canada’s leading residential landlords to come up with some ideas for creating dialogue and encouraging community spirit among apartment renters. Here are just a few ways to ensure that your residents are getting the most out of their rental experience at your property.
Create Facebook & Twitter Pages:
Social Media can be a landlord’s best friend when it comes to pulling residents into your community. These social media networks provide the opportunity to present your apartment complex as the place to live for prospective residents by showcasing renters and any activities hosted on-site. First off, set up a fan page for your building on Facebook where all residents can join and keep up-to-date on events and activities. This also allows residents to get to know each other, even if they might be shy! You can also use your Facebook page to announce events happening in the building and to create polls where residents can vote on what type of event they would like to see happen next.
Lately, we’ve seen lots of landlords using their fan pages to profile familiar faces around the building, like the resident manager, the superintendents and the management team. Remind your renters that they’re not just a rent cheque by letting them know that you want to learn more about them. Provide links to your favourite local restaurants and shops and run contests for chances to win prizes. The more you engage in conversation, the better your residents will feel about where their money is going.
Work Together to Benefit Charity:
People love having the opportunity to give back – especially when that opportunity is right outside their front door. Each month, organize a bake or craft sale in the building to benefit a charity. Remember that Facebook fan page you created? Use it to have residents vote on which charity they would like to support that month and then continue to boost awareness over time by posting regular progress updates.
Remember, not everyone is a Millenial! For residents who do not have a Facebook account, make sure to post all of these events in a common area of the building, such as the lobby or elevator, so no one will feel left out. Have a sign-up sheet in a common area where residents can volunteer their baking or crafting talents. This is a wonderful way for everyone to get to know each other and feel good by supporting a cause they care about.
Have periodic contests in the building to encourage participation in things that will benefit the apartment community as a whole. For example, have a month where the residents that collect the most recycling will win a prize. You can have a weekly “weigh-in” to count the number of pieces of recycling and award the prizes at the end of the month in a community get together in one of the common rooms.
Other fun contests include best balcony garden, photography/art competitions, most creative DIY project, and the list goes on. Post the winners on your website and, of course, on Facebook & Twitter. When it comes to prizing, discounts on rent is always an option, but don’t forget to explore other options like gift cards to the local supermarket, pre-paid Visa cards or even a care package full of essential housekeeping supplies such as toilet paper, Windex, paper towel and Kleenex.
Being accessible to your residents is vitally important to the overall health of the community. Organize bi-monthly meetings where all tenants and staff are welcome to attend. (Word to the wise, advertise with food and there will be no shortage of attendees!) Here, any concerns can be raised about things that need to be fixed. However, these meetings do not have to be negative – you can use these opportunities to talk about changes you have made in the building (did you recently upgrade the laundry rooms?) and to recognize contributions by your staff as well as your residents.
Send Out a Newsletter:
Recap all your marketing efforts in a one- to two-page newsletter. Send something out every few months that spotlights local events, apartment community happenings and stores. A community doesn’t have to be confined just to your complex – encourage your residents to support the business owners within several blocks of your building. Creating familiarity between your residents and local stores will spread a good word about your building and your management style. Soon, everyone will want to live in your building!
If you need help with setting up social media channels, or any of the above ideas, contact the RentSeeker.ca Team and let us help!
The RentSeeker.ca Team