Managing a property isn't all paperwork and rent collection- there is also the human element. One of the most rewarding things for many landlords is getting to know the many interesting people who rent their properties- and helping those people get to know each other can make the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone.
How can you make that happen? By throwing resident events that bring everyone together. If you are looking for resident event ideas to build a stronger community in your rental property, here are 15 to get you started- along with some tips for planning and things to consider when choosing a theme.
Why Are Resident Events Important?
First things first, why is it worth having events for your residents? Some property managers don't do much, and others make it a regular thing- but what are the benefits, and is it worth it for you?
They Encourage Residents to Get to Know Each Other
It is crazy how many people live in the same building for years and never cross paths other than a passing nod in the hallway. Resident events change that- bringing people together in social situations and encouraging them to get to know one another as more than just faces in the hall or the person next door.
It Makes it Easier to Arrange Building Management and Maintenance
As a property manager handling a multi-unit apartment building or condominium, it can be complicated to arrange large-scale maintenance- and keep everyone happy. If your tenants know and like each other, it can benefit you when coordinating work in the building- and make people more likely to cooperate to allow things to run smoothly.
You Make Your Residents Feel Valued and Comfortable
The rental experience is not always pleasant for tenants- with many reporting feeling uncomfortable and unwelcome in their apartment buildings. You can change that by putting on apartment resident events to show tenants they are valued and make their time there more enjoyable.
Resident Events Help Boost Ratings and Make Your Property Appealing
The apartment community relies on ratings and recommendations to fill properties with quality tenants. Just like landlords interview and screen their potential residents, people looking to rent also look into the properties and their management.
If you host regular resident events and have happy, comfortable tenants who enjoy a social relationship with their neighbors, then your ratings are likely to be higher. This makes your property more appealing to potential high-quality renters.
What Makes a Resident Event Successful?
If you want to throw a great event for your residents, there are a few boxes to tick. We will discuss the logistical considerations in a minute, but first, let's talk about the criteria your resident events should meet.
It Is Something People Actually Want to Do
There is no point in throwing a resident event that doesn't interest the people occupying your properties. If you have predominantly seniors, there is no point in throwing a children's party- and if you have a lot of families, you should consider resident event ideas that get the kids involved.
When planning an event and not sure what your residents like, it may be worth putting together a few ideas and having a poll to see what is the most popular. Letting the residents vote for the event they want is likely to increase attendance.
People Feel Involved
The most successful event ideas make residents feel involved in some way- whether it is a creative contribution or a say in the organization. It doesn't need to be a lot- but making people feel like they matter and their voice is heard can go a long way to community building.
They Don't Ask Too Much
On the flip side, you don't want to make your event feel like a chore. It is ok to ask for a little involvement if your residents are interested, but don't overwhelm them with responsibilities that could detract from their enjoyment. You are throwing an event for them- don't make them feel otherwise.
There Is an Incentive to Attend
Whether it is free food, entertainment, or the potential to win a prize, having an incentive for people to show up increases involvement and ultimately makes your event more successful.
It Gets Residents Talking and Interacting
Try to choose something that brings residents together in some way and gets people excited to discuss and enjoy each other's company. The whole point of resident events is to encourage interaction, so choose an activity that aids that goal.
Things to Consider When Planning Your Resident Event
You have an idea- or a few ideas- but what about logistics? There are a few things to think about before confirming your event.
Apartment resident events cost money- it is tough to get around that- but it doesn't need to be a lot. How much can you spend on the event? Where can you cut costs, and what things are worth spending on?
You can easily plan a great resident event on a shoestring budget if you get a little creative.
Some resident event ideas take more planning and preparation than others, so be sure to pick something you or your team have time to put together. There is no point in doing something rushed and half-baked- chose a great idea that fits within your time restraints.
Setting the time and date for your event is a biggie. Pick the wrong time, and you could end up with low attendance and wasted money and effort- get it right, and you could throw an event that everyone is talking about for months.
Thinks about your residents- do you have a lot of kids or elderly tenants that don't stay up late? Are most of your residents working during the week, and if so, what time do they finish? Weekends are generally a safe bet- mid-week evenings in some cases. Be sure to pick a time and day that suits the tone of the event.
Again, this comes down to the types of tenants you have. Don't throw a boozy late-night bash if you have 80% young families- and stay away from high-energy sports events if you have an older, less mobile crowd.
Remember, not every event can please every person, but if you know who you are targeting, you are more likely to hit the mark for the maximum number of residents.
It is tough to please everyone every time, but if someone's interests are missed with one get-together, make your next resident event idea something they can enjoy. Where possible, throw events that are as inclusive as possible. Many of the resident event ideas we share on this list tick that box.
Work out how you plan to invite residents to your event. Maybe set up a social media group for your rental building- or post flyers under doors. Whatever you do, try to make sure you contact everyone and try to get an idea of the numbers.
15 Apartment Resident Event Ideas to Boost Your Building Community
Now that we have covered the key considerations and logistical planning, here are 15 resident event ideas to use as inspiration. We have chosen a variety of possible events to suit different crowds, budgets, and seasons.
Casino Night (High Budget- Suitable for Adults and Seniors)
Let's start with a classic- who doesn't love a casino night? Of course, we are not talking about real gambling- but setting up some popular casino games with fake money and prizes is a great way to help residents mingle, let their hair down, and have some fun.
You might want to consider hiring a team that brings the casino equipment and manage the games to make things run smoother. Otherwise, you will have to buy everything and host it yourself. Either way, expect to spend some money to make it good.
Some drinks are usually appreciated at a casino night- so work that into the budget too. You could even turn it into a fundraiser- charging a small entry fee for each player and asking for donations for prizes.
Super Bowl Party (Mid Budget- Suitable for Anyone Who Likes Football!)
The Super Bowl is a major date on the American calendar- and a great excuse for a party! How you play it is up to you- you could have games, food, and drinks provided by you- or ask everyone to contribute something for the table.
Make it interesting by running football squares and have prizes for the winners- one competition for the grown-ups, and another for the kids.
A Pool Party (Mid Budget- Suitable for Everyone- Particularly Families)
If you are lucky enough to have a pool in your apartment building, make the most of it in the summer months by inviting residents to a pool party. You don't have to spend much- just organize some music, put out some food and drinks, and buy some fun pool lilos.
It can be as relaxed or as action-packed as you want- it depends on your residents. Arrange some pool games (water polo, anyone?)- or go all out and hire an inflatable to keep the kids- and big kids- entertained.
Movie Night (Low Budget- Can be Adapted to Suit Different Crowds)
Regardless of your target audience, a movie night never goes a miss. It could be a weekly or monthly thing- picking films to suit different viewers each time. Have family movie night one week, then show a classic the next.
If you have the space, the weather, and a projector, movie screenings under the stars with some popcorn are always popular. You only need to buy the equipment once, then spend a few dollars on popcorn. Film nights bring people together in a low-pressure environment- great for residents who are not quite confident enough for a big social event.
Throw a Fundraiser (Low to Mid Budget- Suitable for Everyone)
Raise money for your local community or a chosen charity with a fundraising resident event. It could be anything- from a raffle to a fun run. You could even sign up residents as part of a team to participate in an external fundraising event to give them a common goal and an excuse to get to know each other better.
A Community Garden Cook Out (Mid Budget- Suitable for Everyone)
If you have an outdoor space (a community garden is perfect), host a cookout for the residents. Fire up the barbeque and get a cooler full of drinks- and ask people to bring something to add to the mix if they want to.
When the kids are off school, and the sun is out, people are sure to love a get-together with neighbors with some food and friendly conversation.
Video Game Tournament (Low Budget- Aimed at Young People and Adults)
Outdoors isn't for everyone- you can bring people together without then having to leave the building! In some cases, they may not even need to leave their apartments. Online video games are great for distanced interaction, and a bit of friendly competition never goes a miss.
Get together in one space or connect online- whatever works best for your residents. You don't really need to spend anything on this one- except maybe a few snacks and drinks if you are hosting in a communal space.
Weekly Fitness Classes (Mid to High Budget- Can be Adapted to Suit Adults or Seniors)
Get fit and have fun with weekly classes for residents. Although not really an event, fitness classes are a great way to get people out of their apartments and share an experience. Many people are health-focused, and the bonus of having a weekly class could attract high-quality residents to your building.
If you go down this path, it is worth investing a little in outside instructors who can teach residents professionally and safely. Prices range, but you can usually get a good deal if you book in bulk. Alternatively, offer the classes for a small fee to offset some of the costs.
Halloween Party (Mid to High Budget- Can be Adapted to Different Crowds)
Halloween is universally loved by people of all ages. Throwing a party for your residents with dress-up competitions, funny games, and some entertainment is a great way to get them into the spooky spirit.
Keep it kid-friendly, or tailor it for a grown-up crowd- depending on the tenants you have at the time. You could even do both if you have the budget for it.
Holiday Bake Swap and Secret Santa (Low Budget- Suitable for Everyone)
What better time to come together than during the festive period? The holidays are a time for giving and sharing- including from neighbor to neighbor. Secret Santa is easy to organize- just ask the residents who want to participate, then allocate a gift to each one.
Host a simple event for the exchanging of gifts- and swap sweet treats at the same time. Residents prepare baked goods, trinkets, or something else Christmassy to offer to their neighbors- and it is a good opportunity for landlords to give back and get involved at the same time.
Easter Egg Hunt (Low to Mid-Budget- Aimed at Families)
From one holiday to another- throwing an egg hunt on Easter Sunday is a cheap and fun way to engage with families.
School's Out Party (Mid to High Budget- Aimed at Families)
Another great family-friendly event is an end-of-school party. Happy kids mean happy parents- and throwing a fun bash to celebrate the summer break is a winner for everyone.
Depending on your budget, you could hire a bounce house or other entertainment- just make sure you have treats and plenty of pop- maybe a couple of cold ones to prepare the parents for two months with the kids!
Door Decorating Contest (Low Budget- Suitable for Everyone)
Simple, virtually cost-free, and interactive- door decorating works at Christmas, Halloween, or any other time of year. Have the residents vote for the winner, and provide prizes to make it worth their while.
Quiz and Game Night (Low Budget- Suitable for Everyone)
Another low-cost but high-value get-together for residents is a quiz night or game night. Make it a regular thing to get a bit of competition going- but keep it fun!
Pizza Party and Happy Hour (Low to Mid-Budget- Suitable for Everyone)
Pizza is great. Happy hour is great. Keep the kids and their parents happy, and enjoy some low-cost quality time with tenants. You could even reach out to local restaurants for bulk-buy discounts in exchange for promotion.
Apartment communities thrive when landlords and property managers put effort into encouraging interaction and relationships. It doesn't need to cost much for a resident event to make a big difference- and it is well worth your time if you want to make your rental property a great place to live.