As the multifamily industry begins to cautiously reopen communities, we’ve compiled a list of virtual and social distancing resident event ideas that are safe, fun, and encourage a sense of community.
*Make sure to check with your leadership teams before implementing.*
Virtual Resident Event Ideas for Multifamily
- Host a VIRTUAL BINGO EVENT for residents. Issue everyone an online bingo card OR porch drop a “player pack” to all residents that are attending. (Player pack can include both a printable bingo card [download a FREE printable bingo card here] and candies like M&M’s to use as cover chips. To cut costs, you could also encourage participating residents to use coins or dried beans as their cover.) Use local restaurant gift cards as prizes (which will also help that industry out!)
- Have a VIRTUAL YAPPY HOUR for residents and their 4-legged friends. Have a pet trainer from PetSmart or a local pet training facility teach games you can play with your animals to keep them active during this time. Take a snapshot of the virtual group and post it on Facebook. You can also include a contest for the “cutest” pet, “oldest” pet, “grumpiest pet”, etc. Prizes could include dog treat gift bags (use 1-3 boxes of treats to make MANY prizes or even prizes for ALL), peanut butter, a cute leash, or doggy poo bag holder for a leash (with bags… could also contribute to a cleaner community!). The doggy poo bag holders can often be found at the Dollar Tree and you can use a company sticker or printed logo label to personalize them for your community!
- If you are really brave, host a VIRTUAL KARAOKE sing along night!!
- Host a SOCIAL DISTANCED GRADUATION. Celebrate your graduating senior class by rotating their pictures on your message board (with their permission, of course) or go one step further and host a virtual graduation like GIO Apartments in Plano, Texas!
- Ask a local chef to host a VIRTUAL COOKING LESSON online. Get your onsite team involved and have them make their favorite recipe. (Partner with a neighborhood eatery or reach out to a local chef. Your community represents new customers for their restaurant. What a great marketing opportunity for you both. Also, check with your own residents. One might be willing to become “Martha Stewart” or “Gordon Ramsay” for your event!)
- Host a DRIVE-THRU PRODUCE PICKUP – Partner with a local area farmer to organize a drive-through pick up of fruit / vegetable boxes right in your own community. Residents never have to leave the car; simply open the trunk and pass the money in an envelope through the window. Find a farmer in your community who might be willing to partner with your community by searching for “area farms” on Facebook Marketplace or Google, or even by attending a local outdoor farmer’s market.
- Help your residents improve their PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT skills by hosting a virtual computer basics, business writing, resume building and/or social media classes.
- Provide residents with a VIRTUAL EVENTS CALENDAR listing all of the cool virtual tours, events, etc. currently taking place – Check out these awesome lists of museum tours, musicals, or theater performances.
- Host an ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHY BASICS class for smart phones! Ask a local photographer to host via zoom or give a video with tips for your residents to create better memories with their phones.
Socially Distanced Resident Event Ideas for Multifamily
**Follow social distancing first and foremost. Even as states are re-opening, proper social distancing must be respected.**
- Have a VIRTUAL DANCE-OFF. Ask a DJ or get creative with some speakers to play music outside, loud enough for the world to hear! (Just kidding) Encourage residents to JUST DANCE – from their apartment, from their front doors, from their balconies. Just let it all hang out. Choose songs that everyone can relate to and loves! Check out this awesome social distance dance party from Atlantic | Pacific’s Gran Paraiso Residences, Paraiso Bay Master & Paraiso Bay.
- Organize a SOCIAL DISTANCE PARADE where your team drives through the community with signs, balloons, etc. Parades can be for graduations, birthdays, new babies…the celebrations are endless!
- Encourage your residents to stay healthy at home by keeping up with fitness goals. Host a VIRTUAL FUN RUN. Even if gyms are re-opening, there are many who do not feel comfortable utilizing those community amenities. Offer your residents an alternative with a little friendly competition. Use a program like Staycation Races to host a community “fun run”. This is NOT a traditional starting line run. They can be hosted and completed at any time and individually by each of your residents.
- Take your health and fitness initiative one step further and host a VIRTUAL YOGA, MEDITATION, OR EXERCISE CLASS.
- Consider hosting a COMMUNITY PAINTING NIGHT, Bob Ross-style. One community in Richmond, VA said their event was very well received with about 15% of our residents signing up. Residents can pick up kits in the lobby and log-on to a virtual painting instructor via Zoom. Interested in hosting your own? Check out this company: https://www.
happytreesentertainment.com/. Be sure to tell them Dodson Property Management or The Spectrum Apartments in Richmond VA sent you if you reach out!
- Host a SIDEWALK CHALK ART SHOW. Supply sidewalk chalk and encourage residents to submit their “art piece”. Suggest happy messages, inspirational words, works of art, “stained glass” doodles and more on sidewalks! Give prizes. (Yes, we know…this breaks all rules of curb appeal so definitely check with your supervisor before taking this one one… but also remember it is easily cleaned with water!)
- Utilize Facebook live, YouTube or other platform – RECORD MESSAGES OF HOPE for first responders…certainly doctors, nurses, police, fire, but also folks that keep our lives as normal as possible… like grocery clerks, child daycare workers, truck drivers,etc. Have residents make signs and/or shout messages and stream it online. Landmark Management Group created an AWESOME “Thank You” video!
- Utilize a platform such as Zoom to host a VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB, or MOVIE critique. Assign a book or movie and make it FUN. (Think Mystery Science Theater 3000 or Kung Fu Theater)
- Host a SOCIAL DISTANCE MOVIE NIGHT. Project a movie onto a SCREEN or SHEET on the side of a community building. Encourage residents to WATCH from their balconies, porches, etc. Provide popcorn delivery or drop of microwave popcorn packs for residents to pop themselves prior to the movie.