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Property Managers: Profit from Building Healthy Communities

By Sandra Zimmerman

Property_Managers_How_to_Create_Healthy_Happy_Communities.jpgProperty management is in fact, a business. Therefore property managers are often focussed on the most obvious business aspects of managing communities, such as making sure properties are well maintained, ensuring that residents pay on time and enforcing compliance with all rules and regulations.

However, taking the steps required to develop communities that are both physically and mentally healthy is also smart from a business and profitability standpoint, as healthy people are generally happier people. And what happy residents mean for your communities is higher retention rates and a more positive atmosphere with fewer complaints and conflicts that can eat up your property management staff’s time and energy.

So with that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways that you can build healthier and happier communities within your properties.

Get in touch with nature

Most people are happiest when they are closer to nature. Of course with today’s busy urban lifestyles, staying connected with nature can be a challenge. Help bridge the gap by incorporating as many natural elements into your properties as possible, through abundant outdoor landscaping and also bringing vibrant vegetation into indoor common areas. Consider unique and attractive features such as an outdoor meditation pond or a living wall in your foyer.

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Offer a community garden

Some people like to take their connection to nature a step further by getting their hands right into the dirt. As the movement to grow your own food is gaining traction, so is the popularity of shared garden plots in condominium and multifamily communities. The opportunity for residents to grow their own food serves a number of beneficial purposes including; forming a stronger attachment to their community, the physical benefits of fresh air, exercise and eating healthy food, plus creating connections with people in the community who have similar interests.

Encourage and support physical activity

Beyond having a well-equipped gym and offering regular fitness classes, you can support physical activity within your communities by developing well-lit and maintained walkways that perhaps link to municipal paths, and by providing convenient outdoor bike racks and easily accessible indoor bike lockers. Organizing special events like 5K walks and dance-a-thons for charity will also strengthen the sense of community, plus offers the opportunity to showcase these events on social media, gaining favorable exposure for your participating communities.

Be Pet-friendly

Allowing furry four-legged residents in your communities can present some management challenges, but also can produce some huge rewards. First off, having pets as companions provides a number of health benefits to their owners, including stress relief, encouraging increased physical activity and helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness. Pet-friendly communities are also in high-demand, especially among the Millennial generation, resulting in a lower number of vacancies and higher retention rates.

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Promote breathable air

Poor air quality can be a big problem in many homes and multifamily dwellings. Some of the most common culprits are; vinyl flooring and carpets which off-gas VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound), fumes from cleaning products, plus dust, pollen and animal dander. These elements can have negative health impacts for children, pregnant women and people with chronic respiratory problems and environmental sensitivities. You can make both common and private living spaces healthier for everyone by taking the following steps:

  — use zero-VOC materials for renovations (e.g. paint, flooring, cabinetry)
  — source cleaning contractors and vendors who use natural and/or unscented products and micro-fiber mops and cloths
  — prevent the growth of mould by regularly inspecting and fixing any sources of water and deal with unexpected water events like floods and leaks quickly and thoroughly (within 24 hours)
  — choose low-allergen landscaping options as well as indoor vegetation
  — reduce the amount of air-born asthma and allergy triggers by installing high quality air filters for common spaces and perhaps individual units

Give ‘em what they love

From kick boxing to salsa dancing to organic cooking classes, these days there are so many different options available when it comes to fitness-related and healthy-living activities. When developing a wellness program for your communities, meet with residents to find out what their needs and interests are. Perhaps you can even recruit champions who will help organize and spread the word about your community activity offerings for you.

Like we’ve said before, property management is all about people. If you take the time to figure out how to make people’s lives better, you will be rewarded with their loyalty and feelings of goodwill.

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Get your free copy of The Property Manager's Guide to Extraordinary Marketing. It has all the inspiration and resources you need to make the right message heard by the right people.


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