Apartment owners and residents are increasingly looking at new ways to foster a greater sense of community in their blocks and get things done more efficiently.
A great example of a successful community-building exercise is her Towers of Support group, a sub-committee borne out of an active social group for residents of Regency Towers in Melbourne. Members pay a one-off joining fee and receive a card with the phone numbers of other residents to contact in times of need. Through Towers of Support, residents have found solidarity and support in times of need, not to mention a strengthened sense of community and belonging.
Another example is City Gardens, which started as a project to create a community garden but ended up morphing into a large community project linked to a local residents’ association, a youth outreach facility and a permaculture project. Other examples of community projects include community libraries, time banking and resident mailing lists to keep everyone informed about issues in the building are among other ideas explored at the 2016 High Life Expo.
Both are great examples of community engagement, which may be facilitated by emerging social media apps and websites. Social media are computer mediated technologies such as websites or smartphone applications that allow users to communicate with each other and create virtual communities and networks. Social media trends are making headway into residential communities, with emerging 'hyper local' social media platforms such as Nabo that attempt to cover whole neighborhoods. The are also more strata oriented services like OurPlace, MyCoop and MyStrata allowing residents to contact each other, share information and create events.
Strata managers and OCs can play an active role in this emerging social media space using services such as Equiem or Strata.chat. Equiem is a platform for property management and aims to help strata managers and OCs engage with residents. Strata.chat, which is still in beta, is a unified chat platform that allows key strata stakeholders to communicate with one another via chat. Chat and texting platforms will help with engagement because they are popular and simple communication methods favoured by many gen X-ers and millennials.
These are just a few examples among a plethora of services and mobile apps that can help a strata manager or OC dive into the social media trend and take a leading role among strata communities. This is an emerging and competitive market, so it's important to keep an eye on the features they are offering and commercial models available.
For further reading about the topics covered in this article, try Social connection for better buildings, Towers of Support and Green is the New Black.
Contributor, Strata Energy News
Strata Energy News
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Contact Editor: Ross McIntyre