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Why Your Property Management Priorities Should Include Creating Community

By Sandra Zimmerman

Rooftop-BBQWhile the key focus of property management is typically being on top of the financial transactions, rules & regulations and property maintenance aspects of the business, the concept of creating a sense of community should not be ignored or put on the back burner.

Predominantly business-minded people may think that building a strong community is not a top priority. However there are a number of fiscally relevant benefits to developing a sense of connection within both multi-family rental and resident-owned multi-unit properties.

Tenant retention

It’s quite obvious, that if people have a sense of belonging and attachment to the community, they will be less likely to leave it unless they really have to. This will result in the reduction of costly tenant turnover and fewer vacancies.

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Fewer complaints and disputes

We are social creatures by nature. So when people find happiness through social connections and a sense of belonging, they tend to be more positive overall and complain less — which may result in fewer petty or unnecessary complaints to your office! What’s more, is that when people have positive feelings towards their community and neighbors, they are more likely to bring up any concerns directly with the party, in a friendly and reasonable way. This means an overall more positive vibe for the community and fewer disputes for your property management firm to spend time and money mediating.

Reputation /word of mouth

If people love the community they are living in, they will talk about it to friends, family and co-workers. They will do much of your marketing for you, promoting your property as a highly desirable place to live.

So how do you develop a sense of community within the properties you manage?
Here are a few ideas:

Food

That’s all. Food draws people out and brings them together every time! In warmer seasons and climates use the delicious smells of a BBQ to entice people out of their personal spaces. In the winter months when no one wants to leave their warm and cozy retreats, consider a Sunday potluck brunch, held in one of your common spaces.

Social & Charity Events

Create an event that brings people together while providing a benefit to the community as a whole — like a car wash in the parking lot, or a silent auction in the lobby (with items donated by residents). Proceeds for such an event could go towards a property improvement, such as improvements to green space / landscaping or other communal space. Such initiatives will create a greater sense of pride and ownership for the community.

Classes & Clubs

Give people the opportunity to connect and develop relationships by offering regular classes for fitness and hobbies, as well as encouraging tenants to start clubs for activities such as photography, walking, child play-dates and doggy play-time if your property allows pets.

Community Portal

Many people these days (especially the younger generations) are more comfortable connecting with others online! Aside from being an excellent way for residents to self-serve to meet their needs, having a community portal with features such as event announcements, community news and resident classifieds, can be a great tool for gently easing residents out of their shell and allowing them to connect with the community on their own terms and at their own pace.

Do you have an idea for creating a sense of community within a multi-family property? Or do you have a success story to share on this topic? Please feel free to comment below.


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Tagged Blog, Property Management, Customer Service, Marketing

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