With the continued need for social distancing to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus, now more than ever, apartment owners and operators have a great opportunity to provide value by helping tenants feel and stay connected. The use of technology is, in my opinion, the best tool to use in this situation. In this series, I’ll share six inexpensive online ideas to help your tenants combat loneliness and depression and strengthen your people-driven apartment business.

Book Club

Create and host an online monthly book club. Let tenants vote on a book to read online or listen to on a paid platform like Audible or free platforms like LibriVox, Lit2Go or Loyal Books. Tenants can interact via Zoom or Facebook Live to discuss the book virtually once a week as they read along together. You can expand on this idea by hosting separate clubs for different age groups, genre, topics and interests.

Fitness Challenge

Whether your apartment community has a fitness center that is closed or none at all, you can encourage your tenants to start or continue putting their health at the forefront of their quarantine. Recommending online fitness apps, such as Peloton or the 14-day free Beachbody trial, the free fitness channel within their cable subscription or a free YouTube exercise playlist is a great way to inspire tenants to get active. Take it a step further by creating a 30-day fitness challenge where residents workout together via a community only Facebook Live or Zoom. They can also compete for online gift cards or prizes. Consider gifting a one-year Beachbody On-Demand subscription to one lucky resident who loses a targeted weight within the 30 days.


Encourage healthy competition at an online game center; nothing beats a competitive game of neighborhood Scrabble! There are thousands of apps, online board games and virtual reality games your residents could play together online. Skribbl, Playingcards, Cards Against Humanity, Plato, Chess and Checkers, Scattergories and Boggle to name a few. Get creative and make your own crossword puzzle using words from your community. Create a photo scavenger hunt online. List missions in different categories to allow residents to post pictures of objects they find inside their apartment homes. Residents can also solve riddles, solve daily trivia, and complete fun photo challenges to share with neighbors. Make it rewarding by posting a weekly leaderboard or scoreboard for each game where winners win prizes and online gift cards.

Community Cookbook

There’s no doubt everyone has been eating more often. Home cook meals and trying different recipes are on the rise. Why not design your own community potluck cookbook. This is an awesome twist on a classic resident event. Have residents submit recipes for their favorite dinner. Then, compile the recipes into a community cookbook and share all recipes via Dropbox or Google Drive.


Take your neighborhood or community watch online. Utilize the power of social media platforms with daily or weekly check-ins. Use platforms, such as Instagram Stories or Facebook Live to post a daily community vlog. Keep your apartment community safe and aware. People love to feel important and a part of their community. Check-in on how everyone is doing and keep them updated on current events and neighborhood information. Have residents take turn touring the community making notes and alerting neighbors of any changes or issues they discover.


Consider gifting subscriptions to well-known and popular services like Netflix, Spotify or Disney+. This will assist with the boredom your residents may enter while being confined to their apartment and increase community participation. Music can help motivate tenants to clean, exercise, and even dance around the house. Encourage tenants to make recommendations and start online discussions via private community social media groups about great movies and shows to binge watch or share music playlists.

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