It’s a competitive space right now for multi-family properties. With increased development in urban centers, an expanding group of high-income renters, and properties constantly one-upping each other with advanced amenities, it’s becoming more and more difficult for these communities to differentiate themselves from the property down the street.

The National Multifamily Housing Council recently released its Disruption report, highlighting how demographics, psychographics, and technology are bringing the multifamily industry to the brink of a design revolution. In the report, they share how the concept of community can be one of the strategies savvy properties highlight as a true differentiator. According to an industry expert interviewed in the report, “Creating a sense of greater community may be a meaningful point of differentiation valued by many renters.” With the focus on high-end amenities, many of these properties already have the communal spaces in place, they just need to put effort towards organizing events that bring the community together.

For properties in big cities like New York and San Francisco, as well as rapidly growing cities like Seattle and Denver, there’s a good chance a large percentage of residents, especially millennials, are new to the city. By facilitating events within the community they live in, properties can help these individuals make new friends in the city, thus potentially increasing the amount of time residents remain living in a specific property. If your property has communal spaces, here are some events you can organize to bring residents together and make your property more appealing to prospective renters.

Instructor-Led Fitness Classes

Many communities have on-site gyms and even yoga studios. While it’s great to offer these amenities, many of your residents either don’t have the willpower to go on their own or might not know what to do in the yoga studio without an instructor’s guidance. Consider implementing on-site fitness classes that work with the spaces you have. If you have a large outdoor area, consider hiring a boot camp instructor for a weekend workout. If you have an on-site yoga studio, hire a yoga teacher to host a class one night per week.

Community goes hand-in-hand with fitness, and this is a fairly low-cost way to bring like-minded residents together. Instructors can cost as low as $15 per hour. You can also incentivize instructors to drive attendance by offering a per head bonus. We highly recommend running this strategy by your legal team to draft waivers for residents to sign before attending class and ensure you’re paying instructors fairly.

Cooking Classes

We’re seeing more apartment complexes with community gardens. This is a great way to bring residents who are passionate about gardening and reducing food waste together. However, what if communities took this a step further and hired chefs to host cooking classes using the food grown on-site? That would be a great way to bring even more residents together and can make use of additional public amenities such as on-site commercial kitchens or outdoor grilling spaces.

Doggy Training Classes

Over 60 million U.S. households own a dog, and many communities have focused on better serving this population by offering on-site dog parks. Dog parks are an excellent way for pet owners to socialize with one another after work. Have you thought about hiring a dog trainer to host on-site classes? The benefits of this are twofold. First, your residents will love the fact that they can receive training for free from the comfort of their home. This can also enable residents with similar-aged pooches to bond and form friendships outside of the class. Second, this can help the pet population at your community become more well-behaved, which will benefit all residents. Have the trainer focus on controlling annoying behaviors such as barking, jumping, and overall manners in public.

Interested in learning more about how you can improve the resident experience in your communities? Download our free guide today!

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