10 Ways to Keep Residents Engaged During COVID-19

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Here are 10 ways to keep residents engaged during the COVID-19 crisis, put together by the National Apartment Association (NAA).

Social distancing is a challenge in apartment communities which are at their core a people-driven business. That makes it more difficult to abruptly cut off face-to-face communication.

“Now more than ever, apartment owners and operators have a real opportunity to make a difference in how we respond to these challenges by moving resident events and communication online to further engage residents in a different manner,” the NAA said in its release.

“Allowing residents to see continued effort is key to satisfaction. Apartment professionals can provide value while also helping people to feel connected and combat loneliness and depression in the weeks and months to come.

10 ways to keep residents engaged

  1. Host an online book club. Let residents vote on a book to read online or listen to on a platform like Audible. Then create a Facebook group to discuss the book virtually once a month. You can host separate clubs for different age groups or book choices.
  2. Use the power of technology with daily or weekly check-ins. Use social platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook Live, for example. People love to feel important and a part of their community so keep residents engaged and check in on how everyone is doing and keep them updated on current events and neighborhood information.
  3. Consider gifting subscriptions to Disney+ or Netflix. This will assist with the boredom your residents may enter while being confined to their apartment homes. Take it a step further with recommendations about great movies and shows to watch, and even start a discussion online for neighbors to comment on their favorites and keep residents engaged.
  4. Encourage healthy competition at an online game center; nothing beats a competitive game of neighborhood Scrabble! There are thousands of games your residents could play together online. You can play chess, find all sorts of virtual reality games, or find card and other puzzle games. Get creative and make your own crossword puzzle using words from your community.
  5. Recommend online fitness apps if your fitness center is closed. Encourage your residents to continue putting their health at the forefront of their confinement with apps, such as Peloton and Beachbody, to name a couple. Consider paying for the first month of their subscriptions in substitution for that month’s resident event.
  6. Create a photo scavenger hunt online. List missions in different categories to allow residents to post pictures of objects they find inside their apartment homes. Residents can also solve riddles and complete fun photo challenges to share with neighbors.
  7. Design your own community potluck cookbook. This is an awesome twist on a classic resident event. Have residents submit recipes for their favorite dinner. Then, compile the recipes into a community cookbook and share all recipes on Dropbox or Google Drive.
  8. Send out daily trivia to residents. Random trivia can productively kill time by teaching residents new facts. You can make this into a competition among neighbors by publishing a weekly leader scoreboard. Take this a step further by giving out prizes, such as e-gift cards for winners.
  9. Make a music playlist on a platform, such as Spotify, to share with residents. Energetic music will help motivate residents to exercise, clean, and even dance around their home. You can even ask residents to make suggestions for music to add to the list to increase community participation.

Share online learning websites designed for children from preschool to middle school that encourage positive distant learning while schools are closed. Age of Learning and Scholastic Magazine are just two examples of online programs providing free home access. Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys – and parents will appreciate the help while they navigate the balance of work and childcare.

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