A thriving, vibrant city like Chicago has so much to offer, but sometimes the most meaningful connections come from within your own apartment complex. Your neighbors can become your closest confidants, go-to babysitters and dog sitters, favorite brunch buddies, and who knows, maybe even guests at your future wedding. As a Chicago property manager, you’re not only providing tenants with a place to sleep, but also a place that has the potential of turning into a strong, genuine community. Finding an apartment in Chicago can be hard enough for residents – providing a supportive and easily accessible community for residents would make your property management company invaluable.
Building a sense of community doesn’t have to be a chore. With just a few gestures, like adding a Little Free Library or creating an apartment newsletter, you can motivate Chicago tenants to get to know each other. Here are some tips on how to build a neighborhood community in your apartment complex.
- Provide a welcoming courtyard where tenants can meet up. Having a common space where residents can meet up naturally encourages people to get to know each other. Even if you don’t have an outdoor courtyard with nice benches and a garden, just including a bulletin board near the mailboxes where people can post about gatherings can help. Residents could meet up for brunch on Sundays at a local restaurant or go to the dog park with their pets together. Chicago hosts many free events over the summer, from Millennium Park outdoor concerts to Chicago SummerDance, and so residents can find fun activities to do within their budget.
- Organize monthly events for your residents. Whether it’s a summer barbecue, an outdoor movie night, or a yoga class, holding monthly events will let residents bond over common interests and not just over living down the hall from each other. Getting to know each other will also let residents feel more comfortable with reaching out to each other when they need help with a leaky faucet or need that last pesky cup of sugar. When residents’ property management companies show they care, apartment complexes can feel more like a home for residents instead of just being a place for which they pay rent.
- Start a Neighborhood Watch program. If a Neighborhood Watch program doesn’t already exist in your neighborhood, your residents can form one to prevent crime and make your community safer. Residents can contact law enforcement and hold a launch meeting to define their goals and set up a schedule. With the program, residents can resolve issues facing their community, such as vandalism or theft.
- Create a social networking group. As well as having a bulletin board for Chicago residents to share information, having a private Facebook page or other social networking site available for residents would be helpful. There are also social network platforms specifically for connecting residents, such as Nextdoor and MyCoop, that you could use. Whether it’s for sharing advice, asking questions, or posting events, having a social networking group is a great way for residents to stay connected and updated when they’re on the go.
- Provide transparent forms of communication so residents can easily share complaints and landlords can provide building update news. Residents should be able to easily voice their concerns to their property management companies, and having a website with a user-friendly comment system is one effective way of letting them do that. You could also hold monthly meetings where residents can gather to discuss their concerns. Property management companies should also provide updates whenever there will be building repairs or if there is any other important news to share with tenants.
Creating a sense of community in your apartment complex in Chicago has countless benefits, from safer communities to long-lasting friendships. If developing a community in your apartment complex feels overwhelming, break it down into small tasks. As the National Apartment Association states, many apartment managers are already juggling several responsibilities, and developing a sense of community can just feel like another problem that they need to deal with. But by holding a few meetings with residents, organizing events, and providing recognition for each other’s efforts, it is possible to get your ideas off the ground. Sometimes just getting started is the hardest step.
For more than 100 years, Realty & Mortgage has been a leader in Chicago property management. With a portfolio that extends from southern Wisconsin, to Rockford, Aurora, and northwest Indiana, we know the ins and outs of helping clients with commercial spaces, apartment rentals, condominium association partnerships, and project management. We manage all types of properties for individuals, families and institutions. If you’re a commercial building owner interested in becoming a property manager, call us today at (773) 549-8300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.