The holiday season is the perfect time for landlords and property managers to help build a sense of community in their apartment building. Whether you live in a condo or rent an apartment in Vancouver or anywhere in Canada, if you are planning to throw a party but don’t know where to start, the RentSeeker team has some tips and ideas that will get your building buzzing with the spirit of the season. Even tenants can get into the act by hosting their own get-together and inviting their neighbours!
Many apartment buildings have social rooms that can be rented out by tenants, so why not put them to good use? Arrange a holiday party for a weeknight (weekends are usually busy for most people at this time of year, and you want to ensure a good turnout), complete with goodies, refreshments and prizes. If your social room has a television, you may also want to screen a holiday-themed movie. Get your residents involved by inviting them to vote for their favourite film, either on your building’s Facebook page or in a ballot box that is available in your office.
The social room can also be used as the hosting site for an apartment-wide potluck. Ask your residents to bring their best holiday dish or dessert and have a community building night that puts their culinary talents on display. It’s a great opportunity for residents to get to know each other and swap recipes.
A great way to foster a sense of community is to actually give back to the community you call home. Ask your tenants to nominate worthwhile causes that they would like to raise funds for or donate items to. A bake sale is a fun (and delicious) way to bring neighbours together to help out a local cause.
If you put up a Christmas tree in your lobby, make it an event – invite residents to help decorate and bring an unwrapped gift that can be put under the tree and donated to a family in need. Many charities run “Adopt-a-Family” programs during the holidays and your residents can team up to help make the season more special for a local family.
Remember that you don’t have to do all the work – allow your residents to throw parties of their own, either in the social room or their own apartment. It can be a fun way for neighbours to get to know each other better and to learn about different holiday traditions. However, ensure you remind your residents that are having apartment parties to be courteous of their neighbours – while some noise is expected, you want to make sure that everyone in your building is comfortable (so no loud music at 1 o’clock in the morning).
The holiday season is the most exciting time of the year for many children, and if you have several families in your apartment building you’ll definitely want to make the season even more special for them. Encourage kids to make their own snowflake decorations that you will hang in the lobby, hold snowman building contests and give out little presents filled with chocolates. It will help them to feel like the entire apartment building is their home.
Happy holidays from the Vancity Buzz team!