This year, we’ve actually been encouraged by the experts to not go “home for the holidays,” which has put many of us in a grinchy mood. BUT here at Multifam, we are trying to remain positive and remember that the winter season can be a great opportunity to encourage community building and resident connections. We’ve reimagined some of the traditional holiday festivities to fall within COVID recommendations so that you can still make your property shine this season with simple touches of cheer.
Use your property’s tech amenities to become a snow globe.
That’s right, we said snow globe. We believe that every property has the potential to turn into a safe bubble of holiday magic and we’ve found some techy solutions that can help with the transition.
One thing this pandemic can’t take from us is our ability to make our spaces Pinterest-worthy. You are still free to hang decorations in your lobby and model units to help make your property feel warmer to both current and prospective residents. Pro tip: Consider also decorating your office to bring the holiday cheer into your Zoom meetings or Google Hangouts. If you don’t already have a stockpile of decor from last year, you can find a ton of DIY decoration ideas online that won’t break the bank.
Another way to bring in some holiday magic is to use technology to your advantage. If you already have a system of audio-visual informational or decorative screens in the lobby, you can download a few holiday templates for a decoration idea that is free and easy! There are even 24/7 live-streaming yule logs you can broadcast.
If your property has previously allowed residents to reserve space in the clubhouse or outdoor areas to host their own gatherings over the holidays, you’ll need to notify them if that policy has changed. Using a mass communication platform like Remind, or using a smart community platform like Henri, LittleBird, or NextDoor to broadcast the message can help cut down on the number of individual conversations. You can also find ways to cheerfully block off spaces that were once available to residents, like decorating doors to say “Santa’s workshop: TOP SECRET, DO NOT ENTER” or simply placing large decorations in front of them.
As always, holiday gift-giving means an influx of packages. With the rise of online shopping brought on by the pandemic, it’s only going to get worse. One way to avoid this property management headache is to get ahead of the rush by installing one of the package handling and notification services now available on the market. Using this software, you can automatically alert residents when the mail arrives, saving you the hassle of tracking them down and finding space to store all of those boxes. Take a little extra time to consider how you’ll word these notifications, you now have the ability to make each package arrival feel like a visit from Santa Claus!
Host events that spread cheer, not COVID.
Resident gatherings are usually some of the best parts of the holiday season, but this year they are going to require a bit more creativity. Earlier in the year, we mentioned a few COVID-friendly resident activities, and many of them can be adjusted to include more seasonal fun. Now, we get it, all of these digital formats might seem silly, but it’s time to embrace the awkward and remember that this online hosting thing is new to everyone. Your residents will appreciate your effort, no matter how clumsy things may get.
Grow your grinchy heart
Some of us are having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit and it might be because our hearts have shrunk a little due to all of the external turmoil. Create a cure by organizing a community-wide charity campaign to get everyone into the spirit of giving. Try setting up a month-long donation drive for your local food bank or another charity, and ask residents to contribute some of their gift funds. Givewell.org is a handy tool to find effective and impactful charities in your area. Keep track of funds raised with a candy cane-shaped donation meter in the lobby or use digital communication to send out weekly bulletins to keep residents excited!
Ugly sweater social media
Ah yes, the beloved ugly sweater contest. In order to not miss out on this holiday tradition, we suggest taking it to social media. Not only is this a great way to engage with your residents, but it also can help boost your property marketing efforts. Have each participating resident post a photo of them wearing their favorite ugly sweater on the platform of your choosing and tag your building’s social media page. Then, announce the winner on your page and deliver their prize to their mailbox. This event always brings a lot of laughter, and now it can be completely contactless!
Door decorating contest
Maybe you saw this trend going around during Halloween, but now it’s time to turn those doors into picturesque winter wonderlands. Broadcast the start of the contest with flyers or electronic announcements and post the winner on social media at the end of the month. If you’re feeling generous or think your residents need extra motivation, you can offer up some contactless prizes, like a 25 dollar e-gift card of their choice.
Time to put your (s)elf to work
No matter what festivities you decide to incorporate in your building’s COVID Christmas story, they are sure to brighten up your resident’s holiday experience. So bring on the cheer! From all of us at Multifam, we hope your holiday season is merry and bright.