November 17, 2016
Happy Holiday Checklist: A Property Manager’s Guide to Inclusivity
Celebrating the holiday season is a great way to build goodwill and a sense of community among your residents. Just remember: Not all tenants observe the same holidays, and not everyone views the season as “the most wonderful time of the year.”
For property managers, finding the right balance is key to bringing holiday cheer to each building without alienating any renters. Here, we present a holiday guide to help you ensure inclusive – but not intrusive – holiday celebrations on your property. Think of it as our gift to you.
- Consider Your Demographics
If you own multiple properties, ask key personnel at each building to weigh in on what your renters prefer. You should also consider what ages are most represented among the residents: is the building home to many small children, or are you renting predominantly to millennials or seniors? Resident tastes and demographics should affect the kinds of holiday events you host and the decorations you choose.
- Keep it Understated
It’s never a good idea to overwhelm people. Some aren’t as into the holiday spirit and don’t want to wrestle their way past garlands and tinsel every time they come home. You should also avoid cluttering your building with ornaments that could take away from its appearance, in case new prospects visit your property during the holiday season. Avoid busy and overdone; instead, think simple and elegant.
- Focus on the Season, Not the Specifics
Most often it is best to avoid symbols associated with specific holidays, such as Christmas trees, menorahs or kinara candleholders. Instead, opt for decorations that are generic yet still festive and merry. White, silver or gold lights on outdoor trees (or even indoor potted plants) and along the entranceway make a gorgeous welcome home every time residents return. They also create lovely curbside appeal for potential residents passing by. You can mix up the colours from season to season, but choosing a monochrome each year is a good way to keep things classic. And keep the focus on the wintry season by incorporating snowmen or snowflakes into your decorations, rather than wreaths or angels.
- Be a Good Host
Don’t stop at decorating. Show you’re truly into the holiday spirit by organizing onsite events that suit the residents in each building. You could also arrange a movie night, inviting tenants to vote for their favourite holiday movie in advance of the event. Or hold a gift-wrapping party where your property management firm supplies the paper. Residents of all ages appreciate potlucks; host a meal in the building’s common area and supply a main course, like pizza or ham/turkey, and invite your renters to bring appetizers, side dishes and desserts.
- Embrace the Spirit of Giving
Show your residents that you care about their community as well as about them. Ask them to submit the name of their favourite local charity, either via online poll or message box in the main lobby, and donate to the winning charity in your tenants’ honour. If you host a holiday party, why not announce the chosen charity there? You could also invite renters to donate canned food and toys for local charities, and set up a collection box by the building’s main entrance.
- Remember Those On Their Own
For residents who might not have anywhere to go over the holidays, find out where local events and dinners are being held in the community, and post a calendar of events. Not everyone wants to celebrate the holidays, but everyone wants to have a place to go if they do want to take part.
- Do a Post-Holiday Follow-Up
After the holidays, send out a New Year’s greeting with a survey asking residents to let you know what they liked, or didn’t like, about the season’s celebrations and decorations. Ask for their feedback, including ideas on what to do (or avoid) next year.
By making time to celebrate the holidays – in a way that appeals to everyone – you’ll keep tenants happier and increase the odds that they’ll renew their leases. The holidays are about togetherness and inclusion; by taking a few simple steps, you can make sure that the holiday spirit is alive and well on your property.
To learn more about how you can increase resident satisfaction and improve retention rates, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.