Human connection vs. WiFi connection

Our hospitality team recommends 6 easy steps you can take to build community among your residents.

As a Community Manager at Venn, I work with thousands of residents across the country so I've learned a thing or two about what gets people talking and connecting in meaningful ways. Perhaps my biggest takeaway is that community connection isn't just good for residents — it's good for your business too. Read on to find out why.

—Madi, Venn Community Manager

High-speed WiFi can be found anywhere. Real community can’t.

From smart apartments to community spaces and state-of-the-art gyms, you’re probably doing everything you can to provide a great experience for your residents in hopes of high satisfaction—and higher retention. Yet residents can just as easily find an amenity-rich apartment somewhere else. But you know what they can’t easily replace? A strong sense of community.

Foster resident connection in 6 easy steps 

According to our benchmark report, 78% of residents are likely to renew if they have strong bonds with their neighbors. These neighbor-to-neighbor connections are also the single biggest factor impacting renewals after rent price. And yet, only 37% say they feel a strong sense of belonging. So how can you plant seeds of connection? Here is a 6-step checklist to get you started:

  1. Activate shared communal spaces. It’s not enough to just have spaces; you need to activate them. Give neighbors reasons to meet up there or have regular events.

  2. Keep conversations going online. Residents who have app-based messaging with other building residents are 64% more satisfied. Take that one step further by creating online groups based on shared interests, like a book club and a small business support group (👋 Venn can help you with that).

  3. Turn residents into leaders. Motivate and incentivize active residents in your buildings to become community leaders, event organizers, and points of contact for newcomers. An initiative like Venn’s community leaders program offers a great model for scalable community building (read more about our program here).

  4. Co-host events. Partner with those community leaders to help host your building events. By doing this, property managers can make more impact with their own programming.

  5. Check-in early and often. Survey residents shortly after moving in to understand what would help them feel more connected to their community, and then check back in on them regularly. It can help you discover more opportunities for fostering resident-to-resident connections.  

  6. Act like one of their neighbors—because you are. Get to know your residents and build trust using small neighborly gestures like sending a welcome card or move-in anniversary gift. You’re part of the neighborhood too, so act like it. 

    The bottom line

    Instilling a strong sense of belonging starts with breaking the ice between residents so they can go from strangers to neighbors. Remember: amenities and the latest proptech are replaceable. Human-to-human connections aren’t. Foster those connections and your NOI will thank you.

Check out the latest insights from the Venn Journal here → 

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