• Kristen Zimmerman

Stay Home and Stay Safe: How to entertain your tenants without community gatherings during COVID-19

As COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, makes its way across the U.S., multifamily property managers are scrambling to make life a little better for their tenants. Millions of Americans nationwide are at home, trying to stay busy as soft quarantines go into effect. While your tenants stay home to prevent the spread of this virus, what can you do as a property manager to make their lives a little easier?


No Common Area? No Problem!

The CDC recommends staying at least six feet from other people and avoiding public gatherings during this pandemic. Therefore, apartment common areas, game rooms, and workout centers aren’t a safe option at the moment. But property managers want to keep their tenants happy, healthy, connected, and entertained. 

Creativity to the rescue! Here are a few safe-but-unique ideas to uplift your tenants’ spirits and create a sense of community while everyone is in isolation.


  1. Support a Community Project There are a multitude of causes needing help during this crisis. Enlist the assistance of your tenants to serve the community tangibly. Ideas include:

  • Ask tenants to order takeout from nearby local restaurants.

  • Tenants can make thank you cards for delivery people, medical professionals, grocery store workers, and others making a difference in the community. Place a collection box in the lobby or other common area, and have the property manager or other staff deliver to recipients.

  • Are there at-risk citizens in your building? Ask other tenants to help these residents with shopping or other errands. 

  • Spearhead a financial fundraiser for a local business or nonprofit severely affected by the pandemic. This is an excellent no-contact way for everyone in the building to contribute to the greater good.


  1. Apartment Art Show

Children and adults alike will enjoy this activity! Announce an “art show” to your tenants. You might announce a theme – like Springtime, local heroes, or things starting with a specific letter – or you might let the creativity fly freely. Then, ask residents to display their masterpieces when finished, somewhere like on their front doors, the main entrance of the apartment complex, or the main lobby. Then, encourage tenants to check out one another’s work. You might even take photos and post in a virtual “art show” on your website or social media page. Residents can vote for their favorites online, keeping them engaged from a healthy distance. To encourage participation in this activity, present awards to the best artwork. Perhaps a gift card to a local business (this will support small businesses struggling during this time), a pre-paid credit card, or free movie download.

  1. Virtual Book Club Give your tenants several book suggestions, and let your residents vote online. Many residents have extra time on their hands these days, so finding time to read should be easier than it’s ever been.

Give your tenants two or three weeks to finish the book selection.

On the day of the “book club,” create a virtual book club meeting using your favorite app. Designate a time and place, encourage tenants to grab a glass of wine or their favorite springtime beverage, and join them in a virtual discussion about the book.

  1. Movie Time Use your entertainment budget to purchase bagged popcorn for each resident. Include a gift card for a free movie download from Amazon or Fandango. Your tenants will love having a free movie night courtesy of their landlord!


To engage the entire community in this project, ask tenants to recommend their favorite movies in an online community forum, like a residents-only Facebook group or Next Door app. Residents might also post pictures from their movie nights on the same forum or watch the same movie as other neighbors and discuss online.


  1. Spread Cheer, Not Germs Announce a balcony or window-decorating contest. Tenants have one week to decorate their balconies or windows with whatever they have on hand: paper flowers, holiday ribbons or lights, birthday balloons – the options are endless. All residents will enjoy decorating their space and will enjoy seeing their neighbors doing the same. Give prizes to the winners. You can even have residents vote for their favorites online.

No matter what you do for your tenants, they’re sure to appreciate the gesture. These are uncertain times for all of us. Your attempts to make life a little easier for your residents won’t go unnoticed!

At Designated Broker Solutions, we are fully licensed in 36 states, ready to help owners and property management teams meet all state-specific guidelines. Want to know how our brokers can help keep your investment on track?  Contact us today!

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