The New Challenge of Bringing Added Value to Residents
While resuming business as usual with existing amenities is to be expected, the changes in lifestyle recent sheltering orders dictated, and the lower overall comfort level that residents have in taking advantage of traditional shared amenities, represent a potential long-term challenge for the value-added amenities and services for property managers.
Many individuals who have been at home for an extended period for the first time discovered an entirely new way of living, learning, and entertaining. Many of the past options for family nights, like the movies, or restaurant dining are either still not an option, or potentially much less attractive than they were previously.
People discovered for the first time that an entire community of content creators, from chefs to musicians to fitness professionals, were able to offer them an entirely new range of possible activities that they could safely do from home. And while many are looking forward to returning to their usual fitness classes or evenings out, we suspect even more may be looking for continued and varied options they can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
At Blue Onyx, we took advantage of this challenging time to explore new ways of bringing added value to our communities, and learned some important things about finding the right balance of activities and services to offer as a way of creating added value for residents, and offsetting the lingering concerns around existing traditional amenities.
Important Things to Consider
Understand your resident’s needs – any successful program starts with understanding your residents, including things like the number of families with smaller children, potential food or cultural interests, and past engagement with other events to provide an important guide to what would be of interest.
Create activities for the entire family – nothing is more challenging than finding things that the entire family can do together, especially when going out as a group can be much harder. Even after sheltering orders are lifted and things re-open, families are now looking at safer and more cost-effective options for activities and entertainment. Activities such as virtual or online family fitness classes, cooking kits delivered to residents with online instructional videos, and other similar activities can really help families looking for more options.
Bring new and unique services directly to residents – people’s increasing comfort with using virtual and online services, such as video conferencing, are opening up entirely new ways to allow residents to experience things that normally wouldn’t be available, wouldn’t be cost-effective to offer, or challenging to schedule and coordinate. The traditional two-hour resident programing event just doesn’t fit with changing lifestyles, needs, and group safety concerns, and virtual and online activities provide a great and more broadly accepted alternative.
Introducing new virtual and non-shared amenities are an important way to sustain and build long-term value as people’s habits and behaviors change. Listening, testing, and learning now are crucial to helping ensure you can continue to create a value-added resident experience.