When your residents feel connected to one another and to the apartment community, they're likely to take better care of your property and to stick around for more than one lease term. A great way to help residents feel a greater sense of community is to organize events where they can meet one another and your management staff. Here's a look at three fun events to consider organizing for your residents.
A Furnishing Swap
Chances are, most of your residents have décor and furniture that they don't really use. They probably could all use a few different things, too. A furnishing swap gives them the chance to exchange household items with their neighbors.
To organize a furnishing swap, request that all residents bring items they are willing to part with to a large room, such as your community center or community lounge. They should have a dollar amount in mind if they were to sell the item, and also be willing to trade the item should they find that another resident has something they'd want in return.
Plan on allowing 4–6 hours for a furnishing swap, so your busier residents can find time to attend for a portion of the event. You can offer light snacks and beverages throughout the event, and even play some music to liven up the mood. Give residents the option of donating items to charity if they're not able to sell or trade them. Have a truck on hand so you can load the unsold items up and take them to a local thrift store or homeless shelter.
A Themed Potluck Dinner
Potluck dinners are a classic way of getting people together, but you can make this event more interesting by choosing a specific theme and asking each guest to make a dish that fits that theme. Fun themes to try are:
- Dishes that include bacon
- Blue foods
- Vegetarian dishes
- Dishes made with a locally grown or made ingredient
Simply pick a date for your potluck dinner, post about it on social media and put signs throughout the community, and have a room ready in your community center with basic paper plates and plastic silverware. You might want to supply the drinks.
Since potlucks are so easy to organize, you can host one with a different theme on a certain day of every month. As these events become a more regular thing in your community, more and more people will likely attend. You can make a habit of introducing new residents who attend for the first time. Encourage your staff members to come, and make an effort to come yourself, too. This will give you an opportunity to get to know your residents in a relaxed setting.
Organizing a furnishing swap or themed potluck dinner will not only help your residents meet one another, but will also show that you, as a property manager, care about their quality of life. Your property's reputation as a fun and enjoyable community will grow. For more ideas, you might ask a local management company like Management Services what they've done in the past.