Season’s Greetings! How to Create a Cozy Property Around the Holidays
There’s no better time to create a warm, inviting atmosphere at your property than the holidays. Whether you plan to surprise your residents with a warm plate of gingerbread cookies or even throw an “ugliest holiday sweater” contest (more on that later), the holidays are a unique time for you to build community at your property and keep your residents happy.
With the holidays just around the corner, check off these holiday must-do’s to impress your residents, give back to your community, and even involve your all-star on-site staff in the festivities.
Get the fireplace crackling
Nothing quite says “welcome home” in the winter than a roaring fireplace. If your clubhouse or leasing office has a fireplace, be sure to stack up on a few packages of firewood – it’s a "sure-fire" way to create the inviting atmosphere that you’re going for around the holidays.
Deck the halls (literally)
The trick to tasteful holiday decorations is to keep them as simple as possible! Decorate your lobby or clubhouse with simple decorations like a few sprigs of holly or evergreen branches for the front door. Or, place a few poinsettias in the lobby or hang a string of holiday lights around the columns out front.
Host a holiday giveaway
What resident wouldn’t love to win a free gift? Set up a holiday raffle box in the lobby, and allow residents to drop their names in for a chance to win!
The key here? Stack your gift basket with things residents could use around the apartment, since not all of your residents celebrate the holidays. A nice set of cooking utensils or a new set of pots and pans are perfect. Alternatively, property-specific gifts, such as a preloaded laundry card or a voucher for a free massage at your property’s spa, are also huge crowd-pleasers.
It’s all in the gingerbread...
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that residents LOVE free treats and baked goods. Don’t underestimate how much leaving out a basket of holiday candies – we recommend Werther’s caramels – or even a plate of gingerbread cookies, will delight your residents. Pro-tip: Host a hot chocolate or hot apple cider bar in your lobby or clubhouse, and have your on-site staff help hand out a few drinks!
Organize a food or clothing drive
Set up a food or coat drive near your front desk so residents can drop off unwanted clothing or all those extra bottles of canned pumpkin that they have lying around the pantry. You may even consider partnering with national organizations such as Toys for Tots or the Salvation Army, as well as the local food bank or homeless shelter.
Give thanks to your staff
Give your residents the opportunity to thank your on-site staff for all of their hard work! Leave out materials so they can write a nice handwritten card to your leasing or maintenance teams to thank them for all of their hard work through the year. Better yet, involve the kids – they love to color and will write the cutest things!
Organize a community-wide Secret Snowflake
For best results, set a $5 to $10 limit on each unisex gift; it’ll force residents to be a bit more creative with their gift-giving, and it’ll ensure that there isn’t too high of a financial barrier to participate.
Throw an “Ugliest Holiday Sweater” Contest
There’s no better way to celebrate the holidays than to honor all the ridiculous holiday sweaters in the back of your closet. Think – the cable-knit snowman sweater that grandma knit for you in 1999.
For best results, ask your front-desk staff if they’d like to participate in the contest, and then have everyone wear their sweaters on the same day. Then, have your residents vote on which member of your staff wore the most epic holiday sweater. The winner takes home a free holiday gift basket!
Host a Community Holiday Potluck
There’s no better way to build community around the holidays than to host a community-wide potluck. Besides, it’s a great way to incorporate residents that don’t have holiday plans into the festivities. Let them know that you’ll provide the drinks, and then ask everyone to bring their own side.
As we head into the holiday season, plan to implement a few of these ideas to really capture the holiday spirit around your property. Even if it’s a matter of leaving out a plate of cookies or hot chocolate, your residents will love you for it!