Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020 - 23

online game nights, balcony dance parties, livestream
workouts, and resident appreciation parades.
Some property management companies came up with
their own creative ways to build community remotely.
"We have set up private Facebook pages for residents
to join and view our many virtual events and posts,"
said Christin Tenpenny, vice president of management
operations for ContraVest, an apartment development
and management company. "We post weekly maintenance video tips where our maintenance guys are producing how-to videos for non-emergency maintenance,
funny baby pictures of the management staff, and the
residents' favorite COVID-19 pastime or food."
Residents post pictures of their pets in a virtual
pet dress-up competition for the best outfit. For a
coloring contest, the community provides a theme
and supplies for residents' children to create art to be
posted on apartment front doors. Residents participated in a virtual scavenger hunt as well, collecting
common items like shoes, toothbrushes, hangers, and
toilet paper.

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FA A H Q.O R G

and retention. In fact, in an annual SatisFacts survey about
what drives perception of value for apartment residents, a
sense of community has been at the top of the list every
year since 2013, said Lia Nichole Smith, vice president
of education and performance for ApartmentRatings
and SatisFacts, a resident satisfaction and reputation
management company.
But how are apartment communities supposed to
build a sense of community when everyone is distanced?
"Sense of community is really about the residents
and their connection to the management team," Smith
told attendees of a Florida Apartment Association
webinar in March. "It's all about that connection being
built through daily interactions. We have to make sure
we are focusing on the right areas to keep residents
connected and feeling like they are the most important," Smith said.
Properties can continue to maintain a strong sense of
community during the pandemic, Smith said, because
social distancing does not necessarily mean social isolation. Community building at a distance could include

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Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Multifamily Florida - Summer 2020

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