Resident Newsletter Ideas to Jump-Start Engagement
A resident newsletter is an amenity property managers use to keep their brand front-of-mind and remind residents of the excitement they felt when they first moved into their community. Properties find value in technology that personalizes their resident’s experience and digital resident newsletters provide a community-specific touch to a resident portal. Newsletters need to serve a purpose to prove value to residents the same way physical amenities do. To help you get started, here’s some insight into what makes an effective resident newsletter, as well as a few ideas for creating your fun and informative engagement tool.
First, what makes an effective resident newsletter?
A resident newsletter has become much more than a sheet of paper slipped under an apartment door. As properties have made the transition to digital marketing, resident newsletters have become a personalized experience for residents designed to help increase retention. Properties are now transforming the resident newsletter into a digital resource to complement their social media outreach. Here are some tips to consider when launching or redesigning your property’s resident newsletter.
1. Go digital
Make your resident newsletter accessible to residents where and how they interact with your property. A digital newsletter that lives on your resident portal, is emailed to residents, or is accessible on their phone is miles ahead of a costly paper pamphlet. A digital or emailed newsletter allows residents to share information with friends and family, enables linking to social media accounts, and drives activity to your resident portal. In addition, video content for residents is a growing trend in 2018, a digital resident newsletter can give video content a home on your resident portal.
2. Track your engagement
Tracking resident engagement is the best way to determine what content is and is not working on a resident newsletter. Property management software like Entrata allows properties to determine which pieces of content are driving engagement and which need to be adjusted. They offer a customizable resident portal with templates for creating superb resident content. By monitoring stats like click-through rate, it’s easy to track the most successful outreach and create a template that works for your residents. Just remember to change one element of your newsletter at a time to determine the cause of a positive or negative effect.
3. Work with your residents
The best way to ensure a newsletter proves value to residents is to involve them in its creation. Your residents should be your best source for content. Take a survey of your residents to discover what type of information they care the most about. Your residents should help determine which topics are prominently featured. Resident participation helps make your resident newsletter an invaluable resource for new residents looking for ways to get engaged with their neighbors.
4. Emphasize quality over quantity
An apartment community doesn’t build the perfect resident newsletter overnight. It takes experience to determine what information will be most valuable to your residents. In addition to the tips mentioned above, the best way to build resident engagement with a newsletter is to start small and add helpful features as you go. Start with the most necessary sections and build upon them over time.
To jump-start you with a few resident newsletter ideas, here are some potential topics to include:
1. Host a staff Q&A section
A great way to foster resident engagement is a question and answer section where residents can learn about their property. Put out a call for questions and include answers that address resident concerns and that all residents would find helpful. Let your residents be your guide when creating this valuable dialogue.
2. Promote local businesses
Feature local businesses who provide discounts specifically for your property’s residents. A deal for a local restaurant or business is a great way to drive resident engagement while proving value. It’s also a way for new residents to get acquainted with their area. Rotate the featured businesses each month and keep your community outreach strong.
3. Advertise events
Event calendars are a tool to help residents plan with their community throughout the month. Help put event details into the hands of as many residents as possible by including a monthly events calendar for your newsletter. Making your resident newsletter the one-stop shop for event information can help increase engagement by creating a buzz around your events. Looking for some fresh event ideas this year? Check out these 34 resident events ideas.
4. List apartment openings
Dedicate a section of your newsletter for current residents looking to invite their friends into their community. An apartment listing can live as a separate document for residents to share with friends or on social media. Encouraging resident referrals is one of the best ways to increase retention.
5. Featured resident profiles
Welcome residents to your community by featuring a short bio of new residents in your newsletter. Share a fun fact about the resident, include an image, and celebrate new additions to your community. You can also feature staff members who make a positive impact on your residents as a community resource. While featuring resident profiles is most practical for smaller communities, it’s still a fun way to introduce residents to their neighbors.
6. Design a section for the kids
Kids and families are great resources for your resident newsletter. Reserve a section for drawings or short stories by children in your community. You can also post information about local school events, youth sports sign-ups, and photos of pets. It’s a great way to get kids and parents interacting with their neighbors, sharing on social media, and building a strong community mentality.
Invest in your resident experience
A resident newsletter helps get residents engaged with their amenities, attending your property’s events, and gives them an active voice in their community. It also provides a visual representation of your property’s lifestyle to show prospective residents exactly what your community has to offer. Give your residents the personal experience of a resident newsletter to help transform a group of apartments into a healthy and engaged community.
Ben is the former Content Intern for Updater’s Marketing team. The only thing he finds more exciting than discovering a new trend for content is starting his own.