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10 Ways to Use Halloween to Boost Resident Retention

When it comes time to decide whether it’s time to re-sign the lease or start looking for new places to live, many residents will look back on their time at the property and ask themselves: “Did I have fun here? Did I feel like part of a community?”

As a property manager, you have the opportunity to answer those questions with a resounding “Yes!” – and Halloween is the perfect time to do it.

Think beyond simply handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Use this spooky holiday as an opportunity to engage your residents, create a sense of community and – most importantly – increase resident retention.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 ways to use Halloween for resident events that could boost your retention rate:

trick or treat pumpkins

1. Decorate!

Celebrate Halloween with your residents by decorating your common areas and leasing office! This is an easy way to show excitement for the holiday. By having a festive atmosphere, it will create positive experiences not only for current residents but also potential leasing prospects. An overflowing candy bowl is always a favorite for residents and staff alike. Just be mindful of avoiding anything that could come across as offensive or insensitive.

2. Host A Costume Contest

Hosting a costume contest is a great way to get residents involved and engaged. Offer prizes for the best costumes, and make sure to take plenty of pictures to document the event to use as part of your marketing strategy down the road. Prospects love seeing that a property’s community is fun and active.

If you manage an especially pet-friendly property, you can even extend this contest to pets! This is an awesome way to get residents socializing with each other and build a sense of community while letting them know you care about their furry friends too.

Wondering how you’d get enough residents to participate? While not everyone loves Halloween, everyone loves discounted rent. Host the contest and offer a month’s free rent to the winners in addition to any other prizes you might be offering.

couple watching a movie

3. Plan A Spooky Movie Night

What’s more enjoyable than cuddling up with some popcorn and watching a scary movie? Host a spooky movie night in your common area and invite residents to join in on the fun. You could even send out a poll to let residents choose which movie you’ll be playing.

4. Organize a Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Get residents out and about with a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt. Hide spooky items around the property and give residents a list of things to find. Let residents submit photos of items from the list until the first person to find all the items wins a prize.

This is a great way to get residents exploring their surroundings and getting to know their fellow neighbors. It’s also a perfect opportunity to show off any recent renovations or property upgrades you’ve made.

5. Turn An Amenity Space into A Haunted House

If you have any underutilized amenity spaces, this is your chance to get creative and turn them into a haunted house experience for residents. This is a unique way to add some extra excitement for the holiday while also promoting your amenities. 

Decorate with creepy crawlers, spooky lighting, and cobwebs. You can even get residents involved by asking them to help with the decorating. Make sure to promote the event ahead of time so residents can come prepared to be scared!

carved pumpkins

6. Host A Pumpkin Carving and Decorating Contest

Encourage residents to get creative and host a pumpkin decorating contest. This is a delightful activity for families with kids or anyone who wants to get into the Halloween spirit. You can provide the pumpkins and supplies, or residents can bring their own. Be sure to take plenty of pictures to use in your marketing efforts later on.

This is a great way to get your property in the Halloween spirit, too, because by the end of it, your whole property will be covered in pumpkins!

7. Make It A Charitable Event

Turn your Halloween festivities into a charitable resident event by hosting a food or clothing drive. Give back to the community while also promoting goodwill amongst your residents! Make sure to publicize the event ahead of time and include information about where donations can be dropped off.

8. Hold a Door Decorating Contest

Get residents involved by holding a door decorating contest. If you think costume contests are fun, just wait until you see the amazing (and sometimes bizarre) things residents will do to their doors. You can even extend this contest to include the best-decorated apartment or have a prize for the scariest door. Just make sure to communicate with residents about appropriate guidelines for your property’s fire codes.

spooky cupcakes

9. Plan a Halloween-Themed Social

Halloween is the perfect opportunity to get residents socializing with one another. Plan a Halloween-themed social, like a costume party or pumpkin painting event, and encourage residents to interact with one another.

Be sure to provide plenty of treats and activities! From apple bobbing and pumpkin bowling to Mummy wrap races, there are tons of options to choose from. And don’t forget the music! Make a spooky playlist to get everyone in the Halloween spirit.

10. Start a Halloween Hashtag

Get residents involved and excited about Halloween by starting a property-wide hashtag. Encourage residents to share pictures of their costumes, decorations, and Halloween experiences using the hashtag. If you’re short on time and don’t think this is the year for a full-blown Halloween party, you can still take advantage of the holiday by using a hashtag to get residents engaged on social media and give them the opportunity to show off all their spooky efforts. Maybe they’ll even let your team repost them on your property socials!

By trying out any of these eerie ideas, you can make Halloween the best resident retention tool in your multifamily marketing arsenal. At the end of the day, what matters is that your residents feel like they’re part of a community. And what better way to build a sense of community than by coming together to celebrate (or survive) Halloween? So get creative with your resident events, have fun and watch your retention numbers soar!


Running out of ideas for resident retention? It’s worth taking a second look at your marketing strategy. If you’re searching for multifamily digital marketing services, contact our experts at Resi for a multifamily marketing plan review with actionable insights to help improve your multifamily marketing efforts and boost resident retention.

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