Welcoming New Residents – Little Wows, Big Returns

The decision to move triggers all sorts of emotions for people. Some love to move frequently; while others prefer the security of staying in one familiar place, but in reality, most people will fall somewhere in between.

Where someone falls on the ‘to move or not to move’ scale doesn’t really matter though. Why? Because stress doesn’t discriminate. Virtually everyone understands that moving into a new home, community, or neighborhood in a new area is a fast track to stress. Taking time and making an effort to welcome new residents can help ease some pressure for them.

From a low budget community to an upscale luxury apartment, it’s important for residents’ welcome packages to be thoughtful, informative and useful. Show new occupants that they are welcome, and that management cares enough to try to ease the stress of moving in by anticipating some of their needs.

New residents need to learn how things ‘work’ in their newfound surroundings, and where everything is located. They need information about their latest home and the neighborhood around them, so they can begin to settle in.

The Essentials Welcome Packet

Start by creating a binder or info-folder that’s easily updated – a great foundation for a resident welcome package. Inside, provide details of locations for trash disposal, recycling, mailboxes, laundry, amenities, as well as parking and guest parking.

Make sure to include clear instructions on how to pay rent – whether payments are made through a traditional drop box or by mail, or through an electronic portal. Also be sure to include local emergency numbers, as well as how to contact maintenance.

Online resident portals are a great place to establish a dedicated area just for new residents, as well as secure areas that include a copy of important papers like the lease agreements, insurance policies, internet services, etc.

Take Welcome Information to the Next Level

Provide the insider’s guide to the local community that includes information about local grocery stores, coffee shops and markets, public transportation hubs or stops, hospitals, and Urgent Care clinics, movie theaters, etc. Don’t forget the pets – include a list of local dog parks, groomers, veterinarians and pet-friendly businesses.

Give Them Something They’ll Need

Remember, everything the residents own is packed in moving boxes. When you gotta go, you gotta go, so save them the stress of having to tear into boxes, desperately trying to find the TP. Provide the bare basics- toilet paper, soap, and disposable hand towels for the bath. The kitchen? Paper towels, dish soap and/or dishwasher soap, plus disinfecting wipes or sponges.

Want to Really Wow? Go For It!

People feel dirty and sweaty after a long day of moving and nothing feels better than a hot bath or shower. Bubble bath, Epsom salts or bath bomb, a small candle and a bar of aromatherapy soap and mini-bottles of wine in a basket will be a most welcome surprise for tired residents. Does the bathroom need a shower curtain? Consider supplying a plain shower liner as an interim solution.

Premium Property? Kick It Up a Notch

Welcome new residents with a bottle of bubbly or local wine plus glasses and a note including a toast to their happiness in their new home.

Stock the cupboard and refrigerator with basics like bread, butter, a carton of milk and eggs plus coffee, tea or juice so nobody needs to worry about breakfast. While baked goods, candy or other treats can be great welcome gifts, be sure to consider that some people have allergies or choose to avoid sugar or have other dietary exclusions.

Partner with a favorite local restaurant or eatery and gift new residents with a meal on the house, a coupon or discount. No matter how you slice it, everyone’s a winner. Remember to include a little something for kids and pets (if applicable), and new residents are going to remember the gesture.

At the end of the day, what matters is that a good resident welcome package reinforces to new occupants that they are indeed welcome and have chosen the right place to call home.