Apartment residents who enjoy their living quarters are far more likely to renew their leases and refer others to your community. In addition, retaining the same tenants strengthens your community and saves money that you would have spent to advertise the vacancy. Show your residents how much you appreciate them on a year-round basis and make them want to stay.
While there are many tried-and-true resident appreciation ideas, your efforts should reflect a sincere desire to establish meaningful resident-staff connections. Adding a unique spin to your events and freebies will make your apartment community especially memorable to residents:
- Host the coolest social gatherings in town. While other communities may struggle to attract residents to the standard meet-and-greet, your gatherings can keep residents coming back for more.
- Brainstorm creative themes and announce them several weeks in advance. What about a silly hat contest or masquerade ball? Costumes make great conversation starters and photo opportunities for social media.
- Plan games and purchase inexpensive prizes to attract more attendees. What about a cornhole or ping pong tournament?
- Set up speakers and a continuous playlist. Upbeat music always energizes a party and gets people moving and mingling.
- Make your own decorations and signage to save money and add a personal touch. Medium-sized chalkboards or easels are trendy, chic, and most importantly, reusable.
- Ask residents to donate food, toys, and clothing for local charities to foster a spirit of generosity.
- Designate one or two events as potluck style to get residents excited about sharing their best dishes.
As the party starts, set out name tags and distribute raffle tickets for a prize drawing.
- Offer an early-morning breakfast station that saves residents time and gives you the chance to greet them personally. Offer a range of options, from gluten-free and vegan to traditional items, that appeal to all of your residents.
- Set out items that are easy to pick up and carry, such as juice boxes, bottled water, bananas, bagels, sweet rolls, and yogurt.
- Provide to-go containers and offer to help residents carry items to their vehicles.
- If your budget allows, host a once-a-month/quarterly weekend breakfast buffet with items that residents can enjoy at their leisure, such as pancakes and scrambled eggs.
No matter the events you plan or the complimentary treats you offer, residents will definitely take notice of your consistent, rather than once-a-year, efforts to make apartment living more enjoyable.
But, to take it a step further…while hosting events and offering complimentary food can enliven the social atmosphere of your community, it’s also a good idea to show appreciation to individual residents for the duration of their tenancy. Begin these efforts on Day 1. When new residents sign a lease and move in, show them how glad you are that they are joining your community. Likewise, reward them for renewing their lease!
Here are ways to reward new residents:
- Welcome new residents with fanfare. Moving to a new home is always an exhausting ordeal. Your new residents will definitely appreciate a few goodies to make their first few nights in a new place both restful and fun.
- Assemble a fantastic gift basket, full of snacks, pizza delivery coupons, notepads and pens, a guide for things to do in your area, and a list of emergency numbers.
- Send a member of your staff to deliver the gift basket personally and offer the support of the management office.
- Recruit a few loyal residents to form a welcoming committee. Have one committee member reach out to new residents and orient them to your community.
But, let’s not forget about the loyal residents! Try to create opportunities to reward them as well. It’s easy, and perhaps common, for long-time residents to feel forgotten about, as management offices focus their attention on attracting new residents and maintaining the premises.
Here are a few ways to reward loyal residents:
- Deliver a small gift each time residents renew their lease.
- Offer special perks, such as free internet or complimentary dry-cleaning, to residents who pass the five-year and ten-year anniversaries of living in your community.
- Send a personal, hand-written card to residents on their birthdays and include a voucher for a free treat at a nearby fast food restaurant.
- Follow up with residents promptly regarding repairs and other issues.
- Invite residents to attend community meetings to voice their ideas and concerns.
- Offer a cash bonus or rent discount to residents whose referrals sign a new lease and move in.
No matter your budget or the size of your management staff, keep the resident appreciation ideas coming. Note which ones are most effective in terms of cost and resident satisfaction and capitalize on those. Over time, your apartment community will garner a reputation for creating a superior resident experience.
Which resident appreciation ideas work well in your apartment community? Share them here.
Before you go, check out our related posts on Three Ways to Improve Customer Service for a Rental Community and What You Should Know About Renting to Millennials.