4 Ways of Staying Connected With Your Residents

By Danielle Wirsansky on May 22, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, where everyone is quarantined at home, it has been difficult to stay connected with everyone. From your family to your friends and neighbors, staying connected is tough when you cannot see each other face to face or share a physical space. And when you run a business, it can be even more difficult to stay connected. After all, no one can come to your store, and many people no longer have the money to burn with frivolous purchases.

As a property manager, it can be even more difficult. How can you stay connected with your residents when can’t see them? Your residents can’t drop by your office to pick up their packages or make maintenance requests. They can’t use the amenities and facilities your property has to offer, whether that be an office space, a laundry facility, a gym, or a pool.

You want your residents to know that you understand what they are going through, the struggles they are facing, and provide them with the amenities that they are paying you for with their rent. Why is it important to stay connected with your residents? It is important to do so that you keep your residents happy with your services. Caring about your residents and staying connected with them shows that you are human. Landlords that care are much more likely to have happy residents, and happy residents do their best to pay the rent on time, take care of their property, not cause trouble, promote your property to others, and renew their leases.

Now that you understand the importance of staying connected with your residents, it is time to find ways to do so despite these difficult circumstances. Read on for strategies to help you stay connected with your residents!

Video Appointments

It can be hard not being able to see each other face to face. Make seeing each other face to face a virtual reality for you ad your tenants by still meeting with them via video chat. If they have a question or concern, make it a video appointment rather than an email or a phone call. It is a lot more personable. Or, instead of making appointments, you can just have your online video account open. If all of your residents have the link to access your video meeting, they can drop in and out as things arise. If that seems a little bit hectic, you can also have a specific time period that you will be available for video chats for your tenants to drop into.

If your tenant needs to file a maintenance request, have them meet with maintenance through video chat to ascertain what the problem is. In most cases, unless it is an emergency, maintenance workers will not be able to go into a property to make repairs for fear of spreading or catching the coronavirus. By taking video calls, maintenance workers and property managers can see an issue firsthand, gather details about it, and make assessments. They can alleviate a tenant’s concerns about how quickly a repair might need to be made and if it is something that can wait until quarantine restrictions have lifted. If it is not, they can guide a tenant through the repair process and make a plan with them to repair the issue. They might even be able to guide a tenant through a repair while on the video call, empowering the tenant to solve their own issue rather than waiting or suffering without in the interim.

You can also move any events that you usually hold for your residents online and into a video format. If you host socials, game nights, or other similar events for your residents, you can still do so. Just make it a video gathering! That way your residents get to connect with their fellow residents too, which will help them feel more like a community. If you do not usually host these kinds of events, you may be interested in trying to set them up virtually now.

If hosting full-fledged events seems out of the question, for now, you can also try a simple video town hall meeting for your residents. This will give them the opportunity to check in with you regardless of if they have questions, concerns, or maintenance requests. They can connect with their neighbors as well. Tenants can just drop in, check in, share how they are doing and what is going on in their lives at this point. Feeling like you have a support system in place, even if only via video streaming, can make a big difference in hard times such as these.

Online Workouts

Another great way to connect with your residents is to offer them online events or activities that they can participate in, even while in quarantine. An important activity that you, as a property manager, can offer them is a workout. While your residents are in quarantine, there are many aspects of your property that they still pay for with their rent but are unable to utilize. This can include the grounds of your property—they cannot go outside and enjoy it as they walk, run, or otherwise work out. They cannot use your pool if you have one, either for fitness or recreation. And if you have an on-campus gym, your residents will be unable to use that too.

The cost for these items is built into their rent, however. To make up for this, you could offer them opportunities to work out even while in their own homes so that your tenants feel like you empathize with their situation and to help them feel like they are still getting all the bang for their buck in regards to their rent and the amenities they can no longer use while quarantine is underway.

You can find online workouts videos that are already available, of which there are many that you can find online. You can also hire a personal trainer to personally do virtual workouts with your tenants. You could even have that trainer come in and do workouts in your property’s gym, so long as they are the only person accessing and using the space in the process and depending on the severity of the quarantine restrictions being imposed in your area. It might give your tenants some comfort by being able to see the familiarity of the property’s gym space being used in the virtual workouts. It could also give them inspiration and ideas for ideas of how they can use your gym themselves once quarantine is lifted.

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Participate in Charity

Many people around the world are struggling in many ways, but especially financially right now. Many people have been furloughed or laid off during this time as businesses have had to shut their doors to follow quarantine restrictions. Others have had to quit their jobs due to health concerns, to care for others, or to stay home with children who are now doing online schooling.

Most people’s priority during this time is paying their rent—if they do not pay their rent, then they and their families could end up out on the streets. This means they could be short on being able to pay for other important things, like food, sundries, and toiletries. A great way to connect with your residents is to participate in charity in some aspect or another and help them out. Even if your residents are not struggling financially, they are sure to appreciate the gesture.

A great way to give back to the community is to participate in a food drive. Create a virtual sign up for tenants living on your property to sign up to receive a free care package of food and other necessities. Then you can deliver the care packages onto their doorstep for a contactless delivery.

If you are creative there are other ways you can give back too! Just think about the needs of your tenants and go from there.

Social Media

Posting on social media is another great way to stay connected with your residents. Most residents follow their property complexes on social media so that they can make sure to catch any announcements or events going on. If your residents do not follow you on social media or your property does not have any social media accounts, now might be a good time to suggest it to your residents and for you to create them. Having social media accounts for your property is all about connecting with your residents, which will be good both during the quarantine and once restrictions are lifted. Even a newsletter is a great idea so that you can stay in touch.

It can be difficult to think about the kind of content that you can post on social media to stay connected with your residents too. It is always best when the content can be personal, but it is hard to create new content to post when everyone is stuck inside.

One great option for content to share with your residents are activities that they can do online. Virtual tours are great options. There are virtual tours available for all kinds of locations and attractions. There are travels based ones that will show you different landmarks from around the world. You can check out Machu Pichu, The Great Wall of China, and the Eiffel Tower to name a few. Many museums are opening their doors virtually as well and you could share those virtual tours with your residents. Help them to see museums like The Louvre, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the London National Gallery of Art. You can also provide resources for your residents to take classes on myriad different subjects, from cooking to painting to writing.

Your residents might also appreciate it if you shared resources for online activities that their children could watch or participate in. Many celebrities and authors are reading storybooks online, there are children’s classes and more. The quarantine has been especially difficult for children who need stimulation and the opportunity to blow off energy and steam.

Another great strategy to stay connected with your residents is to invite them to share their won photos and thoughts during this time. That way your residents are in touch with you and have opportunities to stay connected with their neighbors and friends in your property’s community as well. You could style it like a blog, allowing each tenant to submit photos and update and sharing them on your social media platforms. You can follow the model of the Humans of New York blog, who has been asking for photos and stories through video interviews if you want to go the extra mile and have a video appointment with your tenants to interview them for a story to share. You might not really have to go quite to that length, but allow your residents some outlet for connectivity.

A final strategy that you could try is to create a campaign that your tenants can participate in by decorating either their window, front door and step, or even their porch. There is a rainbow campaign, where children and others can make rainbows to put it in their windows to help spread a little light and brightness into the world. Others decorate their porch and share the meanings behind the porch decorations. Then you can share the fruits of this campaign on social media to help your tenants see how connected their community is. Whatever you want to do for your property’s community will probably go a long way in keeping people’s spirits up and help them feel connected.

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Staying connected with your residents is of the utmost importance to keeping your properties filled with happy tenants. Times may be bleak, but eventually, things will look and get better. Help your tenants keep up their strength and feel uplifted by the gift of community.

By Danielle Wirsansky

Uloop Writer
Florida State University
Danielle Wirsansky graduated from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a BA in Creative Writing with a minor in History, and an MA in Modern European History with a minor in Public History. While a graduate student, she served as the Communications Officer for the History Graduate Student Association and President/Artistic Director of White Mouse Theatre Productions. She studied abroad in London, England for the Spring 2015 semester at FSU's study center for the Playwriting Program and interned for the English National Theatre of Israel in Summer of 2015. Her first musical, City of Light, opened as part of FSU's New Horizons Festival in Spring of 2016. She has also won the MRCE and URCAA Research grants from FSU. In the past, she served as the Marketing Director for the FSU Student Theatre Association, the intern for the Holocaust Education Resource Council, and the research assistant of Prof. Nathan Stoltzfus. She has previously written for Context Florida (Contributing Writer), USA Today College (Contributing Writer), Sheroes of History (Contributing Blogger), No(le)Reservations (Contributing Blogger), Female, Reloaded (Arts/Entertainment Editor) , I Want a Buzz Magazine (intern), Mandarin Newsline (youth arts update columnist), Distink Designs (Guest blogger), whatscheaper.com (associate editor), escapewizard.com (associate editor), Spark TLH (Contributor), the Tallahassee Democrat (contributor), Elan Literary Magazine (Head of Marketing), and the Improviser Newspaper (Opinions Editor). Danielle has been lucky to be writing for Uloop since 2015 and to have served as the FSU Campus Editor since 2015.

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