7 More Ways to Keep Residents Engaged During Covid-19
By Stephanie Anderson
The rental housing industry continues to adapt and find new ways to engage residents during these uncertain times.
Changes to daily operations and adapting to social distancing protocols offers new ways to show residents value, combat loneliness and help everyone feel connected.
As a follow up to the article, 10 Ways to Keep Residents Engaged During Covid-19, below are seven more ways to keep residents engaged.
1. Host a themed event and deliver supplies to each participating residents’ door. To keep things organized and cost effective, it is best to offer a place for residents to register ahead of time to ensure sufficient supplies and that you are only providing items to those residents interested in the event. Examples may include a paint party, wine night and similar. Consider introducing a “Brown Bag Painting” program, where items such as brushes, paint, paper and a picture for inspiration are delivered in a brown bag to apartments and residents are encouraged to attempt to replicate the picture. This is great for communities with a resident base who are less likely to have computer or internet access to attend other hosted virtual events.
2. Encourage outdoor events where social distancing can be observed (weather permitting). Fresh air is always good for the soul and encouraging residents to get outside is important. Options may include live music (band or DJ), movie night on the big screen projector or Food Truck Fridays, to name a few. Don’t forget there is opportunity to offer a scavenger hunt throughout your community to include the dog park, playground, walking trails, pond, garden and courtyard. And there are plenty of outdoor engagement opportunities, even in colder weather—just remind the residents to bundle up and stay six feet apart!
3. For those residents who prefer to stay inside and want to utilize technology to connect with others, offer live virtual events for entertainment. You can hire a company to host a fun magic show, belt out your favorite tunes with live requests at dueling pianos or hire a motivational speaker. Hosting an entertaining virtual event that creates a break from the news, social media and the stress of every day life will be appreciated by your residents.
4. Take your movie nights and reality show binging to the next level by sending a personalized message to your community residents. Choose from thousands of TV stars, musicians, comedians and athletes to send a customized video via websites like Cameo. Pricing ranges depending on the popularity of the celebrity, and you may have a hard time selecting just one. Just picture a favorite celebrity giving a shout out to your residents to thank them for choosing to live in your community!
5. Virtual Hide and Seek is fun for residents and staff members. Create a mascot for your community if you do not already have one, remembering to ensure it aligns with your community branding. Hide the mascot each week and give daily clues that may include pictures or words and post to your social media platform of choice (don’t forget the hashtag!).
6. Feature a local business that offers a discount to your community and provides services such as free delivery. Think restaurants, dry cleaning, groceries, dog walking, babysitting and pharmacy services. Providing a service that can truly benefit the needs of your residents will make a big impact. This is a great way to help your neighboring community by supporting small businesses to keep them alive during the pandemic while offering a discounted convenience to your valued residents.
7. Plan a day of virtual museum tours. If the first “outing” goes well, consider touring a zoo the next month and deep-sea diving the following month. To keep engagement, send weekly email links to help residents find virtual places of interest and exploration, including museums, concerts, free college courses, gardens and more. You may consider giving away a free admission to a paid virtual tour to a lucky resident each month. Because many are dealing with limited travel, offering virtual tours will help keep your residents creative and educated on things around the world.
Stephanie Anderson is NAA’s Industry Operations Manager.