Whenever the weather starts to warm up, residents tend to emerge from their homes and become more social. This is a great time to get them more connected with their community. Of course, this is also often your busiest time of the year, so my number one tip for you is to plan the next three months of resident activities now. This means putting them on your calendar for a good time of the month (for example, not the first week of the month), and creating reminders for each task that is needed, and it also means utilizing your teams’ strengths to maximize impact and create a sense of ownership.
My favorite low budget summer event is “Soda Floats.” We choose three favorite flavors of soda and add delicious vanilla ice cream. If you don’t have a refrigerator, bring your cooler to work. I advise my employees to serve the floats in smaller cups, so that food doesn’t go to waste and people can try a variety of flavors. We have found that 6 to 8 2-liter bottles of soda can make up to 100 small floats since the ice cream takes up most of the space in the cup.
I recommend that you start advertising this at least verbally two weeks in advance. One week in advance, I would deliver ¼ sheet invites to every door, or send out an engaging email, and I would put reminder posters up that are colorful and inviting (and laminated) in every common area. You can even add a small line to your email signature, and make sure you use a great picture to grab attention on Facebook, encouraging them to invite a friend to come along! Also, you can create small reminder cards for your leasing staff to pass out to potential residents. Why not invite them?
Don’t underestimate the effect a punch of color with helium-free balloons around the clubhouse or even streamers or ribbons to match the theme can have on your event! I love to use pink, brown, and white whenever we do an ice cream event. It adds just enough color to say this is something special, without taking a ton of time or budget money.
If you are looking to really mix things up, check out the calendar pages in the center of this issue of Rent & Retain for some “Fun-spiration!” I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but there is an ice cream day in every month of the year. Don’t feel stuck to the actual date of the honorary day. Every day can be an ice cream day!