Virtual options are a must-have for just about everything – shopping to doing business, and multifamily is no exception.

Below we’ve outlined five of our favorite virtual event ideas for you to consider incorporating into your apartment resident retention plans.

Grab and Go Options

Let’s start with a convenient option – grab-and-go events. These events allow for residents to participate on their own timeframes, which is part of the beauty of virtual.

Consider having small resident retention gifts available for residents to grab in the lobby or the leasing office. These gifts can be individually wrapped bags of cookies or snacks. Residents can come to pick them up when it’s convenient for them or you could assign specific times for different floors. This gets residents out of their units in a safe way, coming to the leasing office and engaging with the team. It’s also an opportunity to provide a personalized note to that resident, mentioning them by name and sharing why you’re doing this and how much you value them. This kind of personalization can ultimately go a long way in retaining residents long-term.

You could also host a grab-and-go breakfast, coffee, or snack bar. Have the leasing and property team there to get to know the residents and engage with them. This face-to-face component will build critical relationships and make residents feel special.

Food and Beverage Experience

Among our favorite resident event ideas for apartment communities revolve around food and beverage experiences. Many properties find success with virtual wine tasting events, virtual cooking classes or any other food and beverage-focused activities. Have residents buy a few select bottles of wine, or partner with a distributor and provide them for a discounted rate. Then, have a local sommelier host a live virtual tasting event, talking them through the tasting experience.

Similarly, with a cooking class, provide residents in your apartment complex a grocery list in advance. They can buy and prep their groceries in their own unit then a chef can guide them through making something unique and fun. Plus, with either of these events being on a live video stream, residents can ask questions and interact with each other and the host.

Health and Wellness

For a wide variety of reasons, hosting a virtual yoga or Bootcamp class can be a fun and interactive virtual resident event. This can be particularly successful if you offer both an in-person event, provided it’s safe to do so in your area. But, you should provide the option to work out virtually too. Residents can choose, based on comfort and timing, which they attend.

Find a local yogi or fitness instructor to lead the class and set up a live stream. Your residents can reap the health benefits while bonding over a shared interest and, of course, their most and least favorite moves.

Convenient Shopping

Finding virtual apartment resident events that involve shopping can be tricky. Much like the “grab-and-go” options mentioned earlier, this one is a bit of a hybrid.

Partner with a local business and offer a pop-up-shop in the lobby or main event or community space in the apartment building. This can be a retail clothing or shoe store, a spa or skincare line, or even makeup or jewelry. You can film a video preview of the products to include in the invitation, as well as some live shots while the pop-up is occurring.

If the resident isn’t comfortable leaving their unit or can’t for some other reason, you could walk them through via video and have them select anything they’re interested in. We’ve found this to be a particularly successful luxury apartment resident event, especially if it’s a new shop or an exclusive offer on a product.

Prioritize Communication

When it comes to apartment resident retention, communication between on-site teams and residents is key. You can host all the resident retention and engagement events you want when you’re communicating frequently.

In the virtual world, video is one of the best ways to do that. A personalized video is much more powerful in creating those connections than a simple text or email. If you heard a resident was promoted or qualified for the Boston Marathon, for example, record a quick video congratulating them. That video will capture the emotion much better, puts a human factor to the message, and helps build a stronger connection with the resident. Using video is a simple way to make residents feel seen, heard, and valued while creating a meaningful touchpoint to show appreciation. That’s what will make residents want to stay in the community long term.

These ideas certainly don’t cover all the potential virtual resident event ideas out there, but we’ve seen these ideas work great for many properties as we’ve moved to more virtual…everything. Regardless of what apartment resident retention ideas you decide to use this year, it boils down to how your team can best engage with your residents, build relationships while fostering a sense of community, belonging and ownership.

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