While the holidays always make us think about ways to engage residents in the holiday spirit, there are many activities and events that property managers can organize and easily implement that can be used not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year.
- Have a balcony/patio/door decorating contest. While a balcony or door decorating contest is a frequent staple during December, creative property managers can implement this activity throughout the year. Decorating a patio/balcony or front door gives apartment residents an outlet for their creativity and a way to express their personality that is frequently limited. But why stop at Christmas? Why not a 4th of July balcony decorating contest? Or a Halloween decorating contest? Offer some fun prizes, and bring in an impartial judge.
- Consider scheduling a cookie day and recipe exchange. Who doesn’t love cookies? This can be done anytime, not just during the holidays, and it’s a great way for your residents to connect with each other.
- Start a monthly movie night. For those with a media center, consider implementing movie night. While during December, you’ll want to show some classic holiday movies, or perhaps a fun children’s movie, this can easily be done once a month, throughout the year. Pick a monthly theme such as snow/cold weather in January, Valentine’s Day in February, etc. Serve up some popcorn or hot chocolate. You might be amazed at the response.
- Offer gift wrapping services to your residents. While this can really only be done during the holiday season, it’s a great service to offer your frazzled residents. Pick a local organization and donate any proceeds to them in the spirit of the season.
- Have a raffle to support a local charity. Again, consider giving the proceeds to a local charity. Choose one, or ask your residents what charity they would like to support. Offer a substantial grand prize (one month’s free rent?) and a lot of smaller prizes such as gift cards to area merchants.
While all of these ideas work wonderfully during the holiday season, most of them can also be incorporated throughout the year. There’s no reason to reach out to your residents only one month of the year. Staying engaged with your residents creates and maintains a real sense of community while likely raising your resident retention rate, come renewal time, in a fun and relaxing way.