7 Secrets to Create an Engaged Residential Community
Here are 7 tips for you as a coliving operator to keep in mind when you wonder how to turn your residents from vastly different backgrounds into a thriving community.
#1 — Get your timing right
When it comes to engaging your residential community, getting your timing right is critical. Onboarding is the best moment to first create connections among your residents, as that is when your new members are most likely to experience the highest need for connection. Identifying this and other key moments and offering timely solutions in response to this need is an important prerequisite to boosting engagement in your community.
#2 — Focus on connecting people first
Building an engaged residential community starts with facilitating individual introductions and connections. That way people can connect with each other first and like that start to care about one another and the community as a whole. For coliving this means one of the best ways of connecting individual people is to allow them to discover similarities between them — such as shared interests, hobbies, backgrounds — and to nurture individual connections and prepare the ground for broader community engagement.
#3 — Build a community before it’s even needed
Building an engaged residential community takes time. Laying the foundations to your community even before you need it allows you to get a headstart later on. For coliving, this means introducing someone into the community even before their arrival and connecting them with other members already then helps you to ensure that they feel part of your community from day 1.
#4 — Use a scalpel not an ax
It is easy to look at your residential community as one big group of people. In reality, however, this community is a set-up of a multitude of smaller subgroups and communities. That is why offering generic community events will not create the thriving community you are looking for. In a coliving setup, the best way of bringing your community together is to focus on helping your sub-communities to form and shape your role around supporting them to come to life by providing either the infrastructure, financial means, or even ideas they need to flourish.
#5 — Find and empower your community stars
Engagement between your residents varies and depends on personality types, personal needs, community lifecycle stage, and the overall phase of life your residents are in. Finding and empowering your community stars will create important engagement multipliers, which in turn will help you bring your communities to life faster.
#6 — Move beyond the digital world
When using digital tools to help engage your residential community, it is easy to forget that the real purpose of these tools should extend beyond digital connections, into bringing people together in real life. While lots of tech is focused on keeping your residents glued to the screen, the real value of technology in building residential communities is to facilitate real-life connections.
#7 — Support, don’t lead
The big difference between a group and a community is that a group has a leader, unlike a community which is created among equals. For you, as an operator, this means that you need to learn to step back, let go, and trust and empower your community by giving them the space to step in and take ownership for their community themselves. This is when true community creating happens and you have discovered and understood the magic of turning a group of unrelated residents into a thriving community.
Over to you
What are your most important tactics to build a thriving residential commmunity?
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About the author
Michael Steinmann is the Co-Founder and CEO of Obeyo. With more than 15 years of experience in growing and scaling SaaS companies, he is always up for connecting and conversing about the present and the future of residential community building.