Self Care. Throughout the past few years, this concept has become highly saturated on the world-wide-web. We talk about it a whole lot and say it’s important, but are we really practicing what we preach? Property managers are notorious for swallowing too much stress and operating under the “sleep is for the weak” mantra. The scary thing is, we’ve seen this mentality lead to the downfall of property managers and the people around them, so it’s time to let that crap go.
Residents have been looking to the communities in which they live for support in improving their physical, mental, and social health way before the pandemic introduced itself. Self-care has morphed from a trendy buzzword to a necessity, especially in the times we live in. Luckily for you, there are simple ways you can provide self-care resources on your property. By making a few small additions, you’ll be able to attract millennials and gen z’ers who are looking for apartment living.
These self-care additions can be as easy as improving some amenities or tailoring your property management style with self care needs in mind. We’ve gathered some of the best tips from luxury apartment complexes across the country to help make your community a more nurturing and stimulating home for your residents.
1) Think less couch potato and more fitness fanatic
Though we don’t always practice it, we all know that good health and wellness begins with regular exercise. Residents today are looking for a variety of fitness options when choosing their new homes. Weight rooms, exercise machines, yoga studios, and pools are all great, value-adding additions to a property. If you don’t have all the newest exercise features there’s no need to fret. You can still invite health and fitness into your community by organizing small exercise groups or socially distanced meetups for things like running or hiking.
If COVID-19 has put your property’s gym on lockdown, consider hosting virtual exercise classes! This pandemic has turned personal trainers towards digital platforms for people to stream their content. You can also consider hiring a trainer to conduct a private Zoom or Google Hangouts class just for your community! Remember your participation in these activities will not only show your residents you value self-care but can help you form better relationships with them.
2) I will walk 500 miles and….we probably won’t walk any more than that.
The truth is we rely on our cars a bit too much these days. I mean has anyone else driven their car to the other side of the parking lot in order to avoid walking to another store? I know I have. Since social distancing has limited a lot of what we can do outside of our homes, the idea of walking has taken on less of an ick factor. Depending on the community your property is placed in, it might be time for you to capitalize on this engine-less form of entertainment.
Surveys show that commuters who use bicycles or walk have more pleasant travel experiences. Bye-bye annoying, senseless traffic! To encourage your residents, and yourself, to ditch the car more often consider adding bicycle amenities like storage and maintenance. And if you provide walking maps of nearby commercial or natural areas, you just elevated your property to a walking community! (You get bonus cool manager points for circling your favorite local shops in the area, #shopsmall).
3) Flex that mind muscle!
Alas, no one wants to be all beauty and no brains. We’ve already covered the physical activity side of things, but it’d be cruel if we didn’t share some mind-opening wellness tips. Think about catering to everyone’s educational side by promoting some COVID-friendly events. Consider hosting a community-wide book club that varies in genre and meets online to discuss the best and worst parts of the piece. Yes, it sounds kind of granny-ish, but right now we’re all looking for new ways to entertain ourselves. You can also take the same idea but swap books for movies which might be a little less old fashioned.
Another great way to encourage intellectual stimulation is to provide residents with resources to educational talks from a variety of scholars or industry professionals. Our favorite and the most well-known platform for this is TED. Their site is loaded with pre-recorded content ranging from “Why monkeys (and humans) are wired for fairness” to “Art in the age of machine intelligence”. So there should be something for everyone. You can also reach out to your community or professional network to see if there is anyone willing to do a talk via livestream. More casual topics like skincare tips or cooking demos will probably go over better if you’re asking someone to teach a crowd of strangers.
Building a sense of Community
1) Prevent apartment hibernation
community connection is the number one thing you should work on to improve your mental and emotional health. Properties oftentimes make the rookie mistake of not connecting their residents to their outside community. When this happens, then residents tend to participate in a thing we like to call ‘apartment hibernation’. Our common goal is to avoid that problem at all costs. Our favorite way to do this is by creating relationships with local businesses and neighbors. It’s super easy to share recommendations to nearby restaurants, stores, and parks that are around you to help get your residents and yourself out there.
2) Put yourself out there
In this job, you cannot be a lone wolf. It’s vital that you show your residents that you are excited to have them as a part of your community and that you actually want to get to know them. If you are always hiding in your office behind your computer, nobody’s gonna wanna approach you, so don’t be that person.
We understand this can be difficult in the middle of a pandemic, but there are still ways to connect with residents while staying safe. If you need some ideas, check out our COVID-friendly resident activities article.
3) Volunteer, Selflessness is the new, cool thing
Don’t be a selfish monster, start helping others around you! Volunteering is one of the best ways to improve emotional satisfaction and sense of purpose. Connect with your local nonprofit organizations and see how your community can get involved. Organize a food or supplies donation drive, have a volunteer craft day, or organize a volunteering group that performs monthly service.
So… Where do I start?
Maybe you should start by taking a bubble bath. That tends to help me. After you dry off, try getting out there and reaching out to your residents. It’s way too easy nowadays to avoid people, but we are begging you not to do it. Stop being a hermit and get out there – for the sake of your health and your community’s health. It may be uncomfortable at first, but with each effort, we promise it will get better.
Ready, set, go!!