In an article titled Condo residents break the ice on the Internet in today’s Globe and Mail, Jamie Komarnicki recounts the story of a downtown Toronto tower dweller attempting to meet fellow residents offline and on.
In April, Alex Kahnjian started a Facebook group for his Pantages Tower building. Its mission? “To unite our building. To secure our building. Most importantly … to party it up in our building!” the site says. “This is a good way to familiarize ourselves with one another and to abolish those awkward moments in the elevator … cause, hey, we now know one another.” The group now has more than 40 members and recently held an inaugural martini social in the downstairs bar. But even before the gathering, the Facebook site had prompted “a lot of mingling,” says Mr. Khanjian, 24.
Hopefully for web start-ups like Vancouver’s Inhabit Street, this kind of initiative isn’t lost on real estate developers. Inhabit Street helps residents of apartment buildings and condominiums create an online community where users can meet their neighbours, manage their strata, and find out what’s going on in their neighbourhood. Why couldn’t real estate developers flip the switch on their building-specific marketing websites (e.g. Millennium Water in Vancouver) to a web service like Inhabit Street once a building is sold-out? Adding this online community element to their developments would go a long way in fostering customer loyalty. Better yet, the online element might be considered an ‘ammenity’ for future residents, increasing the resale-ability of the units in such a complex. Sounds like a win-win all-around. Bob Rennie – are you listening?