Fall is officially here and while it’s a slower time of year for leasing, it could not be a more important time for establishing community and connection with your residents ahead of the spring rush. Referrals and renewals are a huge win for properties and laying the foundation for peak season most certainly starts now.  

Fortunately, with holidays, it can be very easy to come up with inexpensive yet engaging events and activities to get your residents together during the slower part of leasing season. You can even open the events and activities to those living outside of the property, bringing in prospects to witness up-close what living in your community looks like. We came up with ten fall activities to get you started: 

Trunk or Treat and Costume Contests 

Halloween is only a few weeks away and many residents need a place to take their kids trick or treating. Instead, you can host a “Trunk or Treat” in a specific parking lot, where tenants can decorate their trunks and provide candy as a unique and different approach to door-to-door trick or treating. Get creative! Let people bring their pets (if you’re a pet-friendly property) and encourage residents to have candy and puppy treats available. You can also hold prizes for trunk decorations, like Spookiest Trunk and Most Artistic Decorations, or costume contests for kids and pets, too! 

Pet Parade 

For pet-friendly properties, anything involving pets is a fan favorite for residents. Let residents show off their furry family members in a pet parade at your property. You can theme your pet parade like the Met Gala, giving residents a chance to get creative in dressing up their bpets or decking out their “rides.” Offer various prizes for Cutest Pet, Most Creative Costume and Best Matching Costumes for those who dress up with their pets. 

Outdoor Movie Night 

Everyone loves a good movie night, but especially an outdoor one! Put on a classic favorite or family-friendly movie on a projector at your property. Bring a popcorn machine and sodas and invite residents to bring their own chairs or blankets to enjoy a film outside.  

Football Watch Party 

Most people love to watch football on the weekends. Similar to the outdoor movie party, pick your local college or NFL team and put it on for residents to cheer on the team together. You can easily offer popcorn and drinks for those to indulge in or celebrate potluck-style, letting people bring their own football-favorite treats and meals to enjoy while they watch.  

Ornament or Cookie Decorating Competition 

Whether you host it at your property or let participants get creative on their own, an ornament decorating contest will give families and residents the chance to DIY together. Let them submit pictures or bring the ornaments into the office to decorate a tree for the front office to add some flair to those coming in to check out your property. If ornaments aren’t a great option, decorating cookies can be a great alternative! 

Photos with Santa 

If Christmas is a widely celebrated holiday for your residents, this one will be a favorite. Have a time after school or on the weekend when kids or pets can come get a photo with Santa. Set an easy backdrop in the leasing office for those to come and go to ask Santa what they want for Christmas and snap a photo with a high-quality phone or DSLR camera on hand. Make the photos available in a Dropbox via email or post the photos on your Facebook for residents to snag for themselves. 

Patio Decorating Contest 

A classic and easy event to host, a front door, window or patio-decorating contest is sure to bring out creativity and excitement for residents as they decorate for Halloween or the December holidays. You can also offer small or more incentivizing prizes for Most Creative, Spookiest Décor, and more. 

Gift Wrapping at the Office 

Many know the struggle of wrapping a multitude of gifts – and doing it well. Offer a handful of days for residents to come by with their gifts to wrap. You can provide wrapping paper, nametags, bows, ribbons, and other supplies needed to wrap gifts for the holidays. Have employees in the front office help those who struggle with the gift wrapping. This is a creative and useful way to enhance relationships between the property managers and their residents.  

Holiday Clean Out & Give Back 

Nothing says holiday season like sharing kindness with others. Encourage residents to clean out their closets and pantries filled with dry goods to create a clothing or food drive for a local charity to donate to instead of holding onto unneeded items. This not only promotes giving back but also checks off a common New Year’s Resolution: decluttering their space.  

(Legal and Safe) Fireworks for NYE 

If it’s legal in your municipality and there is a safe area to do so, fireworks are a great way to get people together to ring in the New Year. Provide sparklers for kids and a water bucket to put them out in. Set up a campfire pit and let kids make s’mores. Offer hot cocoa to stay warm, too. And don’t worry, this can be family friendly. No one will notice if you set the fireworks a bit early for the young ones. 

It’s a great misconception to think the fall and winter months aren’t a perfectly opportune time to connect with residents and prospective tenants. Encouraging residents to invite their friends will also create an inviting living experience for those looking for a place in the near future, proving to those interested that there is more than just housing that you are providing, but also a community.