With social distancing guidelines impacting virtually almost every aspect of life, industries across the nation have had to quickly adapt in order to meet their current needs. For the multifamily industry, this means finding safe alternatives to everyday functions and responsibilities at the property level to maintain social distancing standards for both employees and residents. This can include anything from how on-site teams run amenities to conducting virtual tours of the community. While many of these changes are not necessarily permanent, it has become apparent that the effect social distancing has had on various aspects of the industry will be here to stay, specifically for how on-site teams conduct resident events.

One of the biggest changes in resident events in the multifamily industry has been the shift toward going virtual. This has been a simple and effective solution to implement in order to keep residents entertained while they practice social distancing in their own apartments. On-site property management teams have utilized their creativity to turn popular resident events into virtual ones, including bingo parties, paint nights, turning movie nights into Netflix parties, and more. On top of this, on-site teams are venturing out of the normal Zoom links to add in a social media component, such as streaming the event on Facebook Live. The efficiency of virtual events, along with its ability to easily engage residents, solidifies virtual events’ presence within the multifamily industry for the long run.

Before social distancing created this new normal, social media was already a major component of connecting and communicating with residents. However, social distancing has further highlighted the importance and value of utilizing social media in unique ways in order to keep residents involved and informed in a responsible and safe way. This can be done through engaging giveaways and contests through all social platforms. These contests can go beyond winning prizes based on comments or likes and then randomly selecting a winner.

Social media giveaways have adapted to help boost residents’ creativity and to help them get moving in their own apartment. This can be done through contests such as indoor photo scavenger hunts, which encourage residents to get up and move around within their space in order to find specific items on a treasure list. Another strategy is utilizing virtual spirit weeks with each day being dedicated to a different theme where residents can post for each day in order to be entered to win.

The move toward more involved social media giveaways and contests has proven to be effective in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. Additionally, its popularity and success within multifamily communities has also deemed them to be an efficient tool in order to boost resident engagement, therefore guaranteeing these forms of giveaways and contests will be around for years to come.

As many individuals are avoiding crowded areas, such as shops and restaurants, it has been crucial for on-site property management teams to be able to find ways to bring these small comforts to residents in other innovative ways. To do this, many apartment communities have been partnering with local restaurants to bring food trucks into the community to serve its residents. Whether weekly, biweekly or monthly, this small gesture makes a big difference in the eyes of residents and has proven to be valuable in many ways. For one, this partnership helps local restaurants in a time when many of them have been struggling. It also provides a safer way for residents to be able to enjoy their favorite local comfort flavors and bites.

As more individuals have been practicing social distancing, it’s been ever more important to find practical and relevant ways to effectively promote these events to residents. This means perfecting how on-site teams promote them on social media, via email, and more. For many of these events and giveaways, sharing a couple of engaging, quality social media posts in the weeks leading up to the event can prove to be effective. Also, highlighting the event or contest in weekly email updates to residents can further boost interest.

However, for many of P.B. Bell communities, their teams have found great success through dropping off door deliveries at residents’ doorsteps. These goody bags can include a brief note about the upcoming event, as well as include some treats that fit the theme of the event. For example, for a Netflix party, the items can include a bag of popcorn, candy, a soda, and a simple “we’re here for you” note with a link to join the RSVP list.

The impact that social distancing guidelines have had on the multifamily industry, specifically within resident events, is here to stay. In order to meet the current needs of residents, on-site property management teams need to adapt now to this shift in the field. These events and giveaways are a safer and more responsible way to engage residents, which will help to ensure the overall success of a community down the road. Plus, residents love them, so that’s great too.