Multifamily summer event ideas for resident retention

Laurie Mega
Laurie Mega | 6 min. read

Published on May 29, 2019

As summer approaches, your residents are probably starting to get a little antsy. They want to get out and about, and maybe even meet some new people—in their own multifamily building.

This is the perfect opportunity to plan some outdoor events to help your residents make new connections, gain a sense of community, and even find ways to work on their own self-improvement.

Planning and hosting summer events can help your property, too. It can allow you to build stronger relationships with your residents, attract new renters, and improve your resident retention through engagement.

Why You Should Invest in Multifamily Resident Events

With fewer people buying homes and the rising popularity of multifamily properties, creating a unique living experience has become a differentiator  as property managers try to attract new residents and retain the ones they already have.

Providing social and community events is counted as a critical amenity that property managers can use in their favor.

But summer events do more for your property than attract new residents. They are a vehicle for your business and a means to provide valuable services to your residents and your community.

It’s All About Community

Events serve a multitude of purposes for your residents. Depending on the event, residents can connect with neighbors, learn something new, take care of an errand, or simply find something to do.

It’s also a way for you to get to know your residents and build relationships. No matter the reason, providing events that fulfill a need or build a relationship increases your resident retention.

And if the services you provide through events helps make residents’ lives easier, they are less likely to want to move.

Market Your Property and Increase Your Referrals

Summer events are a great way to market your property and encourage your current residents to bring in referrals.

You also have the prerogative to try out new event ideas that are trending. Paint nights are a prime example. It’s easy enough to contract an art teacher and a bartender to serve wine and finger food while guests learn how to paint. Pro tip: Hold the event in a vacant apartment, and encourage guests to take a look around before and after the lesson. Place the food next to any awesome amenities and information you might want to emphasize.

Overall, trending events can be a clever way to market to prospective residents while providing a fun community activity for current residents. Attendees will also likely take photos with their friends and tagging their location (always a good thing to build awareness).

This also works well with other aspects of your property you’d like to show off. Host a barbecue by your pool or a health and wellness day in your yoga studio. Not only will you attract new prospects, you’ll also bring in residents who aren’t aware of these types of amenities.

If current residents are happy with their community and its events, they’re more likely to invite friends or refer them to their property manager.

Resident Investment in Their Home, Property and Community

Employers and brands have been cultivating a sense of community to attract millennials (the biggest target market right now) for years. Employers, in particular, have used events like mixers and volunteer opportunities to attract and keep millennial employees.

It’s all part of building company culture, which millennials (and even Gen X) workers value in a workplace. In a 2017 study by Fortune, millennials were willing to take a $7,600 paycut to work for a company that provided a great culture. It stands to reason that they would be equally willing to pay a premium for a living experience that provided the same kind of culture.

At the same time, retirees are also looking for a convenient place to call home. One that provides amenities that make their lives easier.

A property manager that listens to residents’ interests gets them invested in the property themselves and makes them less likely to move somewhere else.

The Best Events for Your Resident Population

Your multifamily property probably attracts a certain population, whether that be older residents, young families or singles. You may be a dog-friendly property or a property near the heart of a city that attracts young professionals.

Whoever your population is, you can tailor your events to fit their needs and interests.

Here are some suggestions for select populations:

Events by Age Group

Millennials and members of Gen Z are looking for a way to become a part of their community and make meaningful connections. The problem is, according to the New York Post, they don’t have the time, they find it overwhelming, or they just don’t know how.

You could help them participate in their larger community by partnering with local volunteer organizations to provide service days.

To foster a sense of community within your own property, you can try fun activities like craft nights or outdoor mixers featuring a local brewer and music, for example Start a monthly series and brand it. If it’s successful then the word of mouth could spread organically beyond what you originally envisioned.

And while there is still a lot of focus on younger residents, don’t forget the booming population of older ones. In the Buildium Renters’ Report, we found that Baby Boomers represented 10.4 of the 45.9 million households who rent; and also made up for 44% of renter household growth between 2005 and 2016.

They don’t want to deal with the cost and upkeep of their own, single-family home, and they’re willing to trade space for convenience. Many seniors are apt to be even more social than their younger counterparts. Putting on a tiki or jazz martini night might fit the bill. They may also appreciate coordinated shopping trips with a bus to get them there and back, or outdoor fitness classes so they don’t have to find a gym alone. Pro tip: Events take consistent effort and experimentation. To establish yourself, you’ll need to promote any event well (through your resident site), and give it a chance to catch on if its an ongoing series.

Pet Owners

The big target populations for multifamily properties—Millennials and Baby Boomers—are also the two largest demographics of pet owners, according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association.

If you’re a pet-friendly property, holding events that include your residents’ best buddies is another way to keep them happy, while giving them a chance to socialize with their neighbors. Pro tip: Host a regular pet happy hour for dog owners and even consider a costume contest for Halloween.

Or if you’d rather provide more informational events, you could hire a trainer to come on site for outdoor training sessions.


Events for families and kids are always a hit. It gives parents a way to entertain their kids without spending a lot of money or going too far, and it gives families an opportunity to meet each other.

That same multifamily property that had the paint night also holds a kids’ carnival every year. It features a giant bouncy house, face painting, music and character appearances. It’s extremely popular with both residents and families in the neighborhood beyond the complex.

Other great events include outdoor movies, story time or STEM activities on rainy days, or even a pop-up petting zoo.

These days, resident retention is all about the services and amenities you provide, going above and beyond to solve residents’ pain points, and fostering a sense of community.

One way to do that is to provide useful and entertaining events not only in the summer, but all year long.

Listen to your residents’ needs, understand the ways in which they are trying to improve their lives and then see if you can assemble an event calendar that encourages them to get together. It will make all the difference in giving your multifamily its own unique identity while increasing your residents’ quality of life.

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Laurie Mega

Laurie Mega has planned, written, and edited content on a variety of subjects. Her work has been published by, The Economist, Philips Lifeline, and FamilyEducation, among others. She lives in the Greater Boston Area with her husband and two boys.

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