Tenant engagement signals that people are invested in the function and wellbeing of the properties they live or work in. This helps reinforce a sense of community and can contribute to higher retention rates.
But what is tenant engagement?
Essentially, it refers to the various ways in which you can connect with and involve your tenants in the life of the property.
This can be through regular communication, opportunities for feedback and input, or simply by organising events and activities that bring tenants together.
Why is tenant engagement important?
Tenant engagement helps foster positive relationships between property managers and tenants, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
An engaged tenant is more likely to pay rent on time, follow community rules, and take good care of the property. This results in lower turnover and maintenance costs for landlords.
Engaged tenants also provide feedback that landlords can use to more suitably meet their needs and preferences.
If tenants know that their voices are being heard, they’re generally easier to retain.
Moreover, a healthy tenant-landlord relationship—enabled by high tenant engagement—can boost the reputation of a property, attract new tenants and increase its value.
Tenant engagement shows that tenants are actively invested in the health and wellbeing of the property. This relieves psychological burdens around loneliness and social isolation by reinforcing a greater sense of community. For asset managers, that means more value and higher retention. Win-win!
Tenant engagement ideas
Now that we've defined tenant engagement, let's discuss some ideas for ways to get your tenants involved.
Host a tenant appreciation event
Everyone likes to feel seen, especially at a time when loneliness and social isolation are at all time highs.
For that reason, tenant appreciation events are a great way to ignite a community, and bring people together who might not have met otherwise.
Of course, not all your tenants will want to participate in such an event. But for those who do, tenant appreciation events not only encourage social interaction, it shows your tenants that their property managers care about them and their wellbeing.
Some tenant event ideas include:
- Community BBQ: Host a barbecue or cookout in a common area for tenants to enjoy together. Offer food, games, and activities for tenants to participate in.
- Movie Night: Rent a projector and screen and organise a movie night for tenants. Provide snacks and drinks for a fun, relaxed evening.
- Game Day: Set up a tournament or gaming event for tenants to participate in. Offer prizes for the winners and snacks for all participants.
- Fitness Challenge: Host a fitness challenge for tenants to participate in, such as a 5K run or a yoga class.
- Art Show: Invite tenants to display their artwork in a common area, and hold a reception to celebrate their creativity.
Tenant experience apps make it easy for both community managers and tenants to organise events and post them on a digital message board, ensuring that tenants see the event and, if they wish, indicate their attendance.
Engage with tenants with a tenant experience app
Like we just mentioned, you can use a tenant experience app to add a digital layer to your tenant communications and make tenant engagement a little easier.
A tenant experience app can facilitate communication through messaging and chat features. It can also help tenants navigate the processes that contribute to a more harmonious and functioning property—such as reporting maintenance issues or booking shared spaces and amenities—while at the same time providing the opportunity to reinforce your brand through a white-labelled app.
It’s hard to know which tenants are engaged or which aren’t. With Chainels, you can track the number of engaged tenants - who likes, comments and posts on the platform.
While digital engagement isn’t the only type of tenant engagement, it’s a useful indicator of engagement within your property as a whole, and can help you know when to employ strategies that boost engagement more broadly.
Of course, there is a balance to strike here. Your tenants won’t want to always be engaging with the app, or be constantly bombarded with messages and push notifications.
Enhance tenant communication with Chainels
When making use of a tenant experience platform, apply the ‘less is more’ principle to tenants communication. There is great benefit for you both and your tenants of communicating digitally, but make sure that those benefits don’t get drowned out by the threat of ‘notification overload.’
Organise a community service project
Encourage your tenants to give back to the local community by organising a group volunteer project. This can be a great way to build a sense of camaraderie and make a positive impact on your community.
That could be establishing a community vegetables patch, volunteering at a local food bank or holding a fundraiser to help causes tenants care about.
Frequent volunteering and social engagement has been associated with a greater increase in life satisfaction.
It can even lead to greater physical and mental health, and has been linked to reduced symptoms of depression, improved heart health, and increased longevity.
Communities with higher levels of volunteering have been found to have increased social capital, which refers to the networks, norms, and trust that facilitate cooperation and coordination among members. This leads to stronger, more resilient communities.
Start a tenant advisory board
Invite a group of tenants to serve on a board that meets regularly to discuss issues and provide feedback on property-related matters.
This gives tenants a sense of ownership and can lead to valuable insights and ideas for improving the property.
Offer bookable services and amenities
As they become more engaged, your tenants will start to see more value in your property.
That’s a great opportunity to open up new revenue streams by offering extra, high quality services that deliver convenience.
Think cleaning services, bike rental or resident discounts for businesses within mixed-use properties. You can also offer amenities like co-living spaces and gym memberships.
Any decent tenant experience software will feature a booking module whereby tenants can book services and pay for them directly in the app. This takes the weight off of property managers, since they don’t need to spend a lot of time processing payments and bookings.
Not only does this improve the tenant experience, it also nurtures a more vibrant tenant ecosystem where both residents and local businesses benefit.
Engagement is the bedrock of tenant experience. Whether you’re announcing a fire drill, or organising a seasonal event, keeping your residents informed encourages community engagement.
Engaged tenants are happier tenants
When engaged in their community, tenants attach more value to it. This situation benefits both parties.
Tenants gain a greater sense of belonging and an attachment to their environment, while landlords and asset managers enjoy higher tenant retention across their portfolio.
Put simply, engaged tenants are happier tenants, and happy tenants are less likely to churn. Moreover, they’re more likely to pay a premium for additional services.