As a property manager, it is to your advantage to ensure your residents are engaged with one another and their surroundings. If your residents form friendships and develop a sense of community, they'll be happier in their homes, and your property's reputation as an enjoyable place to live will grow. One way to create a greater sense of community among your residents is through a furniture exchange program, in which residents can swap or sell their unwanted furniture.
The Basic Structure of a Furniture Exchange Program
To set up a furniture exchange program, all you really need is an empty room and a little time. Residents who have furniture they no longer want or need can bring it to a certain room in your community building and place a price tag and their phone number on it. Residents who are looking for new furniture can browse the selections. If they find something they like, they can call the owner of the furniture and make plans to purchase it, or to exchange if for something else they're trying to get rid of.
To include residents who are moving in the exchange program, consider allowing one of your staff members to collect money for furniture in the absence of its owner. Residents who are moving can leave their unwanted furniture in the furniture exchange room, and if it sells within a month or two, the staff can forward them the proceeds. If it does not sell within this specified time, you can give them the option of picking the furniture back up, or allowing you to donate it to charity.
Tips for Organizing the Program
To ensure your furniture exchange program runs smoothly, follow these tips:
- Give residents information about the program before they even sign a lease, so they don't get rid of their unwanted furniture or buy new furniture prematurely.
- Include information about the program on your social media pages and send emails to existing residents about the program when you're first organizing it.
- Specify to your residents that only furniture in good, working condition should be brought to the exchange room.
- Set a policy as to how long unsold furniture can remain in the exchange. Two or three months is likely sufficient. Consider recommending that your residents donate unpurchased furniture to charity.
Organizing your furniture exchange program may take a bit of legwork in the beginning, but once it is up and running, it will be a valuable way for your tenants to not only get what they need, but also to meet one another and feel a greater sense of belonging in the community.
For more information about tenant services, contact a company like Two Rivers Investment.