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How multifamily leaders can enhance the resident experience amid social distancing measures

Synopsis

Show your residents you are there for them in good times and bad. Here are some tips to get you started.


Key takeaways

  • With a little thought and creativity, you can plan events that entertain and engage residents while still following physical distancing guidelines.
  • Now more than ever, it’s critical for multifamily leaders to engage with residents and offer extra support during these uncertain times.
  • Thanks to advanced technology, it’s never been easier to connect with your residents during this time of physical disconnect.

As a multifamily leader, it’s your job to ensure residents’ needs are met and their expectations are exceeded. However, meeting their needs while adhering to current social distancing measures is no easy task.

From shutting down certain amenities to canceling community events, it might seem impossible to engage with your residents and offer them a reason to renew with your property. In actuality, you don’t always need a resort-style swimming pool to entice your residents.

There are several unique ways multifamily leaders can keep residents happy despite social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders. Thanks to advanced technology, it’s never been easier to connect with your residents during this time of physical disconnect.

Below are a few ideas to both enhance the resident experience and help out neighbors in need:

1. Check-in on residents

Utilize social media and video chat features to check-in on your residents. From a lack of toilet paper to rent relief, your residents might need you now more than ever. Keep an open communication line with your residents to update them on current events, the state of the neighborhood, and ask what you can do to help.

2. Give away streaming service subscriptions

Gift subscriptions to your residents’ streaming service of choice, such as Netflix, Disney+ or Hulu. With these subscriptions, you can host community movie nights where you encourage residents to sign into their account at a specific time and join a Facebook Live chat to communicate throughout the movie and share insights.

3. Promote residents’ small businesses

Ask your residents if they own a small business and promote these businesses in your leasing office, on your Facebook page, and via your community e-newsletter. Share links to these businesses with your residents to encourage them to shop local and support their fellow neighbors.

4. Host virtual “grocery bingo”

Plan a virtual Bingo game for your community with essential goods and groceries as the prize. Offer doorstep delivery of a bag of groceries or a package of toilet paper to the Bingo winners. You can also create a Facebook Event to garner interest in the game and obtain a headcount in advance.

5. Start an online book club

Spread the word on your social media channels and in your resident e-newsletter about starting a book club. Create polls to ask residents for book recommendations to get started. Then, schedule weekly virtual chats to discuss and analyze the novels or create a designated Facebook Group.

6. Host a virtual game show

Everyone loves a good game show, especially when prizes are involved. Whether you decide to host virtual Family Feud, Jeopardy, or a made-up resident game, it’s important to make it a fun event where multiple players can participate. Play the game in rounds to mix up the players and allow for more participants. Offer prizes that range anywhere from an Amazon gift card to a discount on the next month’s rent.

7. Deliver coffee to residents

When that afternoon slump hits, your work-from-home residents deserve the pick-me-up they usually get from your onsite coffee bar. If you aren’t able to arrange for residents to visit your coffee bar at alternate times (following social distancing measures), consider surprising your residents with coffee delivered straight to their doorstep.

8. Share a daily playlist

Many people enjoy listening to music while they work to help fill in the silence and lighten the mood. Create a variety of playlists for different days of the week using a platform like Spotify, then email the playlist out to your residents each morning. You can even encourage community participation by asking them to suggest songs via your Facebook page.

9. Throw a balcony or virtual happy hour

Does your apartment community feature private balconies and patios? Arrange a happy hour where residents hang out on their balconies with their favorite beverage. Have some ice breaker games on hand to encourage resident participation.

No balconies? No problem! Host a virtual happy hour instead, and turn it into a friendly competition. Challenge your residents to concoct an original drink and share the recipe during the virtual meetup. Vote on the winner and offer them a prize, such as free groceries or a Visa gift card.

10. Offer an online fitness class

Residents are looking for ways to stay fit and healthy during quarantine with gyms closed and your onsite fitness center shut down. Now is the time to ask your leasing agents and management team to start an online fitness class or hire a fitness instructor to conduct virtual workouts. If you can’t host a workout class, consider paying for a portion of your residents’ virtual fitness classes of choice or recommend online fitness apps like Beachbody and Peloton.

Show residents you care

Now more than ever, it’s critical for multifamily leaders to engage with residents and offer extra support during these uncertain times. Whether you use one of these ideas to enhance your “virtual amenities” or create your own virtual event, the goal is to connect with your residents and encourage them to connect with each other. Ultimately, you want to show your residents you are there for them in good times and bad.

Ashley Tyndall is the Director of Corporate Communications for Criterion.B, an agency focused on branding and inbound marketing for the commercial real estate industry.

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