10 Resident Engagement Ideas to Build Community at Your Property
Creating a sense of community at your building is a key component in adding value to your property and making residents and tenants want to renew. These 10 resident engagement ideas will help your residents and tenants build lasting connections, promote health and wellness in their lives, and impact your local community by creating opportunities for local professionals and vendors who can craft positive experiences that leave a lasting impression. As a leading fitness and lifestyle amenities provider, Circuit has been able to provide community experiences for hundreds of properties over the nation. Here are several tried and tested ideas we’ve seen success in cultivating resident engagement across communities.
1. Host seasonal events such as mixology nights
Festive cocktails are one way to celebrate all the seasons and inspire creative ways to relax at home. In a recent virtual event, we invited Pro Mixologist Zachary Fadden to share his spin on 4 Fall cocktails, including a Chartreuse Hot Cocoa, Rob Roy, and Fallen Leaves concoction, as well as lead a discussion around the history behind these spirits. The best part about these events is residents were able to enjoy the event from the comfort of their living space since it was all virtual. In-person Mixology nights have been a huge success at many of our properties, and are a winning opportunity for residents to engage with each other and break the ice.
2. Provide a Guided Meditation class
Meditation is becoming more mainstream as people are learning the undeniable benefits it promotes; from promoting a reduction in anxiety and depression, to improving sleep, and prevention of more chronic conditions such as heart disease and hormonal imbalances. A guided meditation class, especially in person, promotes unity among members around the common goal of achieving a better sense of well-being. Mental health in particular, has become an increasing challenge many are grappling with, especially in the wake of circumstances from the last two years. As part of our virtual amenities offering, we offer a weekly virtual Midday Meditation class where attendees can work through a 5 part relaxation series that includes facial yoga, left & right nostril breathing, emotional tapping, a gratitude meditation, and seated stretches with breath work.
3. Promote and use a platform for residents to connect
Through the Circuit app, communities have the ability to schedule and preview all the lifestyle and wellness events coming up at their property, including on-site and virtual fitness classes and events, and other wellness services at their building such as personal training. As an alternative, starting a Facebook or community page to create a space for open dialogue to your residents is another way to help build community, engage residents, and create a space for direct communication for your building. You can also use social platforms such as Instagram to run events with creative hashtags that are unique to your building, and promote your hashtags through channels such as a monthly e-newsletter or on flyers or cards in your lobby.
4. Try a Blacklight Yoga Event
Blacklight Yoga takes a regular Yoga class to a whole new level, especially for the Yoga class attendee who is more introverted. We recently offered a Blacklight Yoga session at several of our properties to get residents in the groove for Halloween, and it provided a great turnout that boosted resident engagement for the coming weeks. The only question residents are asking now is, “When can we do this again?!”
5. Offer flexible amenity programming such as virtual fitness classes
Virtual fitness classes are one of the easiest ways add value with no heavy lifting while offering a safe alternative for residents who may still prefer to social distance and comfortably enjoy fitness from home. Virtual fitness classes are also a perk for residents with busier schedules who may not be able to have the time to catch your regularly scheduled events. With Circuit’s virtual amenity programming, communities have access to over a dozen weekly fitness and wellness classes every week at various times throughout the day, providing multiple opportunities to squeeze in a workout that fits any type of schedule.
6. Host monthly meet & greet opportunities around
Monthly or even quarterly meet & greets are a great way to promote engagement in your community, and it also gives you a chance to be able to share updates in-person with residents. If you have an amenities area such as a game room or outdoor firepit and lounge for instance, you can invite a local pizzeria to come in and sponsor food and beverages. Easily elevate the atmosphere with some space heaters and string lighting, and have some party music on a TV channel in the background or connected to bluetooth speakers. If you have a small budget available, raffle prizes can add additional incentive to come out and join the event. Holiday parties centered around classic themes, or a Pajama party & movie night meet & greet can also be paired with efforts to help raise collections for a local food drive, animal shelter, or Toys for Tots all season long.
6. Engage your pet-friendly residents with a dog training seminar
Inviting a local company to host a dog training seminar is a sure way to win over your furbaby loving residents! Circuit has worked with Philly Unleashed, a premier dog training company in the Philadelphia area and South Jersey on several in-person and virtual events. Dog training 101’s typically discuss common pain points for dog owners and address popular questions around canine behavior to help you and your puppy cohabitate more comfortably together. In-person dog training event offers additional opportunities for fun, such as pet costume contests, pet photo booths, yappy hours for the dogs, and of course lots of treats.
7. Host a themed Trivia night
Themed trivia nights can be centered around Celebrity trivia, the decades, general pop-culture, name-that-tune, or the holidays. Month-after-month, trivia continues to be a favorite across our communities and offers a fun way for families and demographics of all ages to test their skills and compete in common knowledge across a wide range of topics.
8. Invite local food trucks in for a Thursday evening
Finding a unique local eatery that is willing to come to your community not only supports local business in your area, but builds awareness and experience of what your property has to offer for the vendor and everyone they know. The experience is a great opportunity for your residents a chance to enjoy great food, connect with each other, and saves them a night of having to cook for themselves.
9. Consider a full-time Community Experience Director for your building
While we’ve mentioned a lot of smaller resident engagement initiatives, another step to take it even further would be to consider a full-time Community Lifestyle Director. Having a Community Director on-site allows communities a more dedicated and personalized approach to reach residents more regularly and be top-of-mind. From being a friendly face of your brand, to managing all the in-house engagement events, and coordinating all the marketing around gatherings, a Community Lifestyle Director can be a successful part of a long-term plan that is sure to add value and elevate the atmosphere of your property.
10. Get feedback directly from your residents
One of the best strategies that is often forgotten about is the most simple, and that is harnessing the power of quality customer service and gathering direct feedback. In a world where it’s increasingly a challenge to speak with a human or customer service representative anywhere you go, it can be refreshing to actually take a classic page out of the book and be available in-person as much as possible. Getting to know your communtiy on a more personal level will increase a positive association for everyone you meet. You can also use these moments in person to ask what your residents are enjoying about the property, or to get feedback about an event they may have recently attended. If they haven’t had a chance to attend an event yet, why is that? Are the times and days of the week reasonable? Sometimes responses can lead to ideas for areas of improvement. If dedicated face-to-face interaction is eating into your bandwidth, sending a more personal feeling email invite out with a brief monthly or quarterly survey for feedback can be a secondary alternative. Platforms such as Typeform allow you to create a free survey that is customizable, as well as some email marketing programs such as Mailchimp which also have survey options.
While you can certainly try to implement all these resident engagement ideas on your own, Circuit can do the heavy lifting for you and coordinate everything from in-person and/or virtual amenity programming to full-service options. For more great ideas to help you easily start creating community and adding value for your property today, contact us today.