After seeing countless Facebook apartment party listings with no picture, a one line description, and wrong hours listed, it's easy to get a little discouraged! But today, I was pleasantly surprised by Enso's Grand Opening Block Party! You can click on the image below to see the full-size version:
1) Everything is filled out. Such a simple thing, and yet so many communities drop the ball on this in their resident event listings.
2) They have a picture! How excited are you going to be about going to an event, when the picture area is left blank?
3) There is actually a plan. Have you seen an apartment party listing where it seems like all they have done is called a caterer and hoped for the best? I read this event listing and I want to attend! Who is Captain Green? I want to see the Smog Monster!
4) Prizes! Most of our parties have some sort of prizes, but here they have taken the time to actually tease them a little! Granted, most apartment parties can't afford the prizes they are giving out for their grand opening, but you can still get creative.
5) Partnership Marketing! They are working with 11Alive, All the Hits Q100, and local artists to offer different elements to the event. Each of these groups provides different aspects that will bolster the event, plus they will help spread the word.
6) Their "more information" link actually has more info. Again, having a dedicated website specifically for your party is not practical, but the important element is that it is a link to somewhere with more information. This could be a link to your fan page, a link to a special page on your website, anything.
7) Video!! Now, at first glance you might think that creating a video just for your party is too much, but it really isn't! There are free online tools that allow you to create videos similar to what they provided, by adding pictures and music into the mix.
8) Interaction. Already, the event has people commenting on it. Granted, this isn't something you can add yourself, but really this is a function of the work they already put into the resident event listing. If it had been a typical apartment party listing with a one sentence description, it wouldn't have inspired any comments. Plus, the creator of the event took the time to "Like" one of the comments, showing she is actually interacting with the audience, not just shoving information at them.
What do you think? Did you like the apartment party listing?
Andrew Fink recently wrote an interesting blog post on Multifamily Insiders about creating social connections between apartment residents, and he mentioned that the very point of living in the same community was a great initial start. I completely agree with him, but it truly is only a start. Having the same community only goes so far, and residents need to find other things that are common between them, such as stage of life, hobbies, lifestyles, etc.
I would say this is similar to online dating, such as Match.com. There are only a certain subset of people that will ever try online dating, whether it’s a function of their personality type, their interest in spending money on a dating site, or some other reason. So the population of a site like Match.com all has a common bond of actually being a member of the same site. However, it takes a lot more to find a real match within that community. Looks, hobbies, job or no job, etc all play into whether two people find a “match”.
The way I see it, the common bond of community is a great lead-in, but if it was truly a difference maker, our residents would already be great friends! So what that indicates is that there is a huge gap between that initial common bond and an ultimate friendship. The main problem is that unless you are successfully trying out a niche community like an uber pet friendly apartment community, you are likely a “diverse” community like all the others. So what you have is a large group of people with a decent starting commonality, but they are still very different:
So take the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese, for example. All the balls are in the same pit (i.e., our community), but the balls are one of several different colors, which would represent a slightly more specific level of common interests. For example, having young(er) kids is a huge common bond for people. That element in itself can bridge the gap and allow people to talk forever about what their kids have done, their own experiences with parenting, and similar topics. The same is true for “dog lovers” or fitness fanatics. These could represent interest groups that are large enough to encompass a good amount of your residents, but are not too encompassing (i.e., people who like to breathe) or too specific (i.e., people who like to wear yellow shirts with purple dragons on them).
You have all these larger interest groups at your property, but the problem is that your community is probably spread out in some way, so not all the red balls live near other red balls, and the yellow balls live next to other yellow balls. So if those groups with similar interests don’t happen to live right next door to each other, they will likely never meet! So while having the common bond of living in the same community is great, I suggest your social plan and apartment parties includes strategies to help your residents seek out their fellow green balls!