Ryan Shear
PMG Ryan Shear

Setting out to deliver thoughtfully designed and attainably priced social communities in some of the nation's most desirable locations, PMG launched Society Living in 2019. The multifamily brand, based out of New York and Miami, aims to create living spaces that encourage personal growth within a culture of inclusivity to combat big-city blues and loneliness.

The majority of Society Living communities will offer studio and one-bedroom units, plus two and three-bedroom ‘co-living’ units with no shared bathrooms and pre-split bills to make living with roommates simpler. With over 8,500 units planned, Society Living is developing properties in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Nashville, Denver, Atlanta, and Brooklyn, with more on the way. Society Living's first completed community is Society Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, where a second phase is underway.

Multifamily Executive caught up with Shear to learn more about the brand’s initiatives and programs.

MFE: Why is it important to promote socialization in multifamily communities?

Shear: People want to live where they feel supported and connected to their community. By promoting social interaction between neighbors, residents not only are able to feel a greater sense of belonging in their community, but also become more attached to their home, which helps with marketing and retention.

MFE: How does Society Living embrace a “village mentality”?

Shear: We fundamentally believe that people thrive when neighbors know and support each other. Society Living’s properties encourage residents to build organic relationships by providing access to abundant and useful common areas designed to be an extension of their living space and by hosting frequent community events authentically tied to our pillars of wellness, togetherness, growth, and culture. From collaborating in expansive co-working spaces to pushing each other in daily fitness classes to enjoying a craft cocktail in our lobby bars, these communities are created to maximize and facilitate socialization at every turn.

MFE: What are some concerns for Gen Z renters entering the workforce in downtown cores?

Shear: Gen Z renters entering the workforce want convenience, connection, and flexibility. Living in a bustling downtown core minimizes wasteful commutes while staying close to shopping, dining, and entertainment, but it also can be disorienting, stressful, and lonely when establishing a new life and career. We build Society Living communities to provide an approachable atmosphere and comfortable space that aligns with their income and lifestyle preferences, where residents can meet neighbors easily and chase their goals while remaining close to the best the city has to offer.

MFE: What types of programming are offered?

Shear: Society Living offers a wide range of inclusive event programming to fit all kinds of personalities and preferences. Residents can enjoy anything from food-based activities, such as tastings and communal dinners, to wellness programming for those who like yoga or workout classes. There’s also networking events and speaker panel discussions, local vendor pop-up shops, and more. We incorporate whichever activities have the highest potential to bring the community together, add value to their lives, and maximize engagement.

PMG / Society Living

MFE: Are there any positive stories from residents that have made an impact on you?

Shear: There was one resident at a property in Fort Lauderdale that stands out. She was a single mother of two adult kids and an empty nester who wanted to live in a space that would encourage her to socialize and interact with her neighbors. Despite moving in right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, she participated in our virtual events and formed deep friendships that helped her emerge from that tough period feeling supported and connected. Her experience underscores everything the Society Living brand hopes to achieve and bring to residents from all walks and phases of life.

MFE: How did the pandemic impact the concept’s events/social activities?

Shear: The pandemic required adjustments to managing amenities and event programming intended to bring people physically together. We remained committed to hosting events when so many people were suffering from isolation. This included a combination of distanced outdoor events and virtual panels, as well as virtual takes on in-person events. We also facilitated shared experiences where cooking and cocktail kits were delivered directly to apartments and encouraged residents to share their joint efforts on video chats and social media to remain connected.

MFE: How is the staff trained for programming/promotion of well-connected living?

Shear: As part of their onboarding, our on-site management teams are trained on the values and vision that drove PMG to create our Society Living portfolio. We also provide playbooks for event planning and how to manage most resident interactions within brand guidelines.

MFE: Is there a community that seems to be embracing “Choose Happiness” exceptionally well?

Shear: Because we specifically curate properties to reflect the communities they are situated in, the Society Living platform works well in any market. Society Las Olas, for example, has been incredibly well received by residents. As our flagship property for the Society Living brand, it has exceeded our expectations and become a lively hub along Fort Lauderdale’s riverwalk. I was blown away by its community’s resilience during the pandemic and its commitment to maintaining and growing relationships.