With Covid-19 in effect, many of those in the work field have had to work from home and as much as we may think this is a byproduct of the virus, the truth is that the virus has only accelerated a trend that many were already practicing. Yet, it’s new enough that some are still adjusting. With multi-family communities in mind, rental agents have had to try and find new ways to stay engaged with their tenants, all the while continuing to keep safety in mind. As much as we would like to think that everything will go back to what we knew before, multi-family properties may need to anticipate this ‘new’ way of engaging with their tenants in the future. No matter what lies ahead, the focus should be on maintaining a thriving community where tenants feel their overall needs are met.
Investing In Virtual Engagement With Your Community
Most employees have already learned the art of online zoom meetings or other platforms that allow them to engage virtually. Virtual meetings are widely practiced to keep everyone on the same page. As much as this makes sense for the overall workplace, it’s also a popular idea amidst the average person who now communicates online to all their family and friends. So why not take advantage of something that everyone is already practicing? With all the effort that multi-family communities have put in to provide a sense of community within their space, it would seem constructive in continuing to ensure that a strong sense of engagement is still in place.
So how does one achieve this? Creativity of course is unlimited but some common ways to engage your community are by offering free online fitness memberships, sending out multi-player game apps and creating ‘game nights’ where tenants can gather together via online or using chat services to set up online trivia nights. Offering educational resources for those with children or simply reaching out to those long term tenants with special discounts are all ways management can send the message that they are there to support and pour into their community. During a time of pandemic many feel alone and isolated. Reaching out in small ways can make all the difference in creating an engaged community.
Promoting Health And Wellness
During this time, it’s been widely expressed about the importance of personal health and wellness. With gyms closed and people finding themselves inside, there is less activity which is a negative for the average person, let alone for those who are already challenged with health issues. Providing fitness resources to your tenants is not only a perk for tenants but has a lasting impact on their overall health and their future. Something that all property managers can get behind. Physical fitness is also a huge stress reliever and during this time of pandemic, stress factors have risen significantly. This means that one’s mental health is being greatly affected which can have huge implications if not addressed. No one likes to live with stress, so finding practical solutions to manage one’s stress levels is readily received.
Online yoga courses have been a practical way for many to not only relieve stress levels but provide a level of fitness as well. There are a wide variety of apps and online yoga services that property management can utilize to provide for their tenants. Other ways of reducing stress and supporting health and wellness is by creating a facebook page where management can share tips on how to reduce stress, providing lists of virtual exercise courses, sharing links that provide informative health tips or even using the page to connect the community as they too can offer and share imperative information pertaining to the topic. A double bonus when it comes to finding ways you can keep your community engaged.
Understanding Your Tenant Demographic
Whether it’s setting up virtual game nights, offering fitness memberships via online or connecting your community through social media platforms you’ll find that there are plenty of ways to keep everyone engaged and feeling a part of their community. One thing to keep in mind when deciding how to go about engaging your community is the demographic of your tenants. Knowing who it is and what their interests are can make all the difference in keeping everyone connected.
What may be of interest to a younger crowd is not necessarily going to interest those who are more seasoned in life. It’s also important to know where your community is during this time in terms of concerns or questions they have. Providing a facebook page or a source where tenants can express their concerns, ask questions and get feedback is vital during a time of unease. This also allows for relational connectivity which can be imperative in a world where many feel they don’t have those connections. Another benefit when building a thriving atmosphere within your community.
With the foreseeable future looking more likely to replicate an atmosphere of social distancing, creating new habits within your community that will allow and build further engagement pertaining to this ‘new’ way of doing things will only be of benefit to you and your tenants. It’s taking the steps to get ahead of the game versus trying to scramble last minute when everything becomes more permanent. Even if social distancing ceases to exist in the future, having virtual options is always an added benefit, especially for those that would rather partake in those options.
Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that the amount of time an average employee spends in a property will go down in the foreseeable future. COVID-19 accelerated trends that were already taking place, including a push toward remote work. While employers and employees will both benefit from physical interaction, the post-COVID world will likely have a permanent and significant shift to remote work, which means less employee time in physical spaces. This also means that the actions properties should be taking now to keep tenants engaged will remain valuable after the initial crisis passes. As such, properties should invest in virtual engagement solutions as a long-term strategy.
By leveraging technology and enhancing wellness and lifestyle support, commercial property management can continue to offer unique, attractive benefits and satisfy and retain more tenants for the long-term. The ultimate goal is to build a strong sense of community and continue regular engagement with tenants because that is what sustains tenant satisfaction and appreciation even when they are off-site. One of the best ways to build that community support is by being there for tenants when they need it the most—and COVID-19 certainly revealed all of the ways in which people need support, from disrupting personal finances and family obligations to elevating health concerns.