Bacon, Wine and Life-Long Residents

I’ve been to a million (OK, four) pool parties at my apartment community. Sure, I got some free hot dogs and a cup of lemonade, but after several summers of the same old, I have no desire to reunite with Oscar Mayer. 

It’s hard to come up with new, affordable resident events, but according to July 10’s Webinar Wednesday, “Reinvent the Resident Event,” doing so is necessary to attract and retain residents.

According to multifamily housing consultant and Webinar presenter Heather Blume, apartment professionals should start planning a big resident event three months prior—which I totally did for the bridal shower I just hosted.

It’s also important to reframe your mindset. Don’t think like a property manager, think like an event planner. Put a new spin on an old idea, explore creative marketing tactics and look for needs, voids or universal ties when brainstorming event ideas.

And with any event, ask yourself six important questions: Is it legal, will residents attend, are there any potential fair housing concerns, is it within budget, do we have the time and staff to pull it off, and is there any risk or liability?

Once that is squared away, it’s time to get creative! Following are 11 fun and unique resident events.

1. Don’t Fry-Day. 

Unfortunately, this does not involve McDonalds. But it does involve preventing skin cancer! And that’s just as fun, right? Every Friday during the summer, staff can hand out free sunscreen to residents at the pool. 

I’m lovin’ it.

2. Summer Needs S’more Saturdays. 

Yes, it most certainly does. So get your Pinterest on and make individual fire pits in terra cotta pots. 

3. Sundae Sunday. 

It’s a day of rest—as in, residents’ resting heart rates are going to soar when they shovel ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream in their mouths. The way nature intended.

4. Quiz and Queso.

Trivia nights are fun on their own. Throw in some cheese, and that’s a damn good time.

5. “Woofstock” or “Lollapuplooza.” 

I’ll be honest—I’m not a dog person, so I would avoid these events at any cost. But for normal human beings with souls, you can’t go wrong.

6. W(h)ine On the Deck.

Although this may sound like one giant *complain* fest, residents typically skip the venting and go straight to the relaxing and drinking. Plus, the more time they’re airing their concerns among friends, the less time they’re doing so in your leasing office.

7. BacOn Bake Off.

Personally, I don’t understand the current obsession with bacon (you’ve all tasted cake before, right?), but it’s in everything from donuts to adult beverages. Host this event and your residents will be happier than a pig in mud.

8. Children’s Drawing Contest.

Just stick to as bland a theme as possible. We all know how “draw what mommy and daddy like to do for fun” ends…

9. Community Netflix Binge.

We’ve all put on a pair of sweatpants on a Friday night and curled up on the couch to watch an hour of Netflix, only to find ourselves in the exact same spot 48 hours later, the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer under our (elastic) belts. 

Why not put all of us sorry sacks together in one room and call it a resident event?

10. Entertaining Education.

Your residents have been watching Netflix for a fortnight. Now it’s time to offer them some good old fashioned learnin.’ Whether it’s Flower Arranging 101, Micro and Small Space Gardening or Urban Graffiti, school is cool.

11. Tea Tasting.

In honor of the future Prince or Princess (fingers crossed) of Cambridge, of course.

Learn more about Webinar Wednesdays (hosted by NAAEI, Apartment All Stars and Multifamily Insiders), and register for July 24’s “Dollars and Rents: How to Help Your Teams Navigate Residents Through the Changing Rental Market” today.