Moving to a new place is a stressful experience, both physically and emotionally. There’s the labor-intensive aspect of carrying boxes and furniture, of course, but there’s also the melancholy that comes with leaving friends and loved ones behind. While it’s exciting to start fresh, that nervousness is hard to shake.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways landlords can alleviate the burden on new tenants. It’s nothing major, but some assistance or thoughtfulness can help a new tenant feel at home right away. You’re laying the foundation for the relationship you’ll build over time.
When a tenant feels welcome and sees you’re a competent, capable landlord, their confidence in you reflects in more lease renewals, better behavior and fewer complaints. They trust in your ability, and while it pays just to be a good person, there are very real benefits in keeping tenants content.
We’ll walk you through the process for making a new tenant feel at home. From properly preparing a unit to offering a welcome basket, here are a few ways you can help make a tenant’s transition to your property one that’s quick, easy and relatively painless.
Clean the Unit and Repair Damage
After an old tenant moves out, you need to scour their unit of any mold, mildew or buildup. That’s par for the course. If it’s been a while since the unit has been occupied, however, freshen it up again right before the new tenant is expected. A newly polished apartment is just what a fatigued renter is happy to see after a long day of moving.
You should also inspect the unit for any small damages that could use repair. To ready your property for renting, tend to holes in the drywall and replace frayed window screens, moving from room to room as you assess and address any issues. Make sure all the appliances function before concluding your work.
Provide Information About Utilities
It’s best to provide a new tenant with information about utilities at least a week in advance of move-in day. They’ll have the option of calling the utility companies ahead of time and working out the details, setting up their services before they arrive. It’s a small convenience that allows them to settle in without any more frantic research.
Beyond the essential benefits for a tenant — like a hot shower at the end of a long day of lugging furniture — you enjoy the advantages of this preliminary measure as well. The faster a tenant can place the utilities under their own name and contact info, the less you have to stress. Everyone wins.
Assemble a Welcome Package
A new tenant walks through the door of their unit expecting to find an empty space. Surprise them with a welcome package, a small collection of food, drink and miscellaneous items to reinforce their confidence that choosing your rental was the correct decision. It’s a thoughtful gesture, and not necessarily an expensive one.
You can fill the basket with necessities like inexpensive toiletries, cleaning supplies and bottled water. If you’re willing to spend a little more, consider a bottle of champagne or a gift certificate to a local coffee shop. Either way, the welcome package you assemble should include a packet containing relevant information about the building and area.
Help With Logistics During the Move
The logistics of moving can be somewhat complicated. You can simplify them, acting as a resource for your new tenant if they have any questions concerning their move. Take time to learn more about the subject to prepare yourself for any questions they might ask, and pay attention to the tiny details.
To provide just one example, tenants can avoid tickets and violations as long as they secure a permit for their moving truck to park on your street the day of the move. Since you know your property best, let them know if there are any parking or moving tips that will make their lives easier on moving day.
If you can supply this information ahead of time, it solidifies your reputation as a reliable landlord dedicated to those who lease with them.
A Warm Welcome for Your Tenant
When move-in day arrives, you want your new tenant to feel comfortable in their new accommodations and confident in their decision. A few thoughtful gestures can help them adapt and adjust from day one.
Whether you help them through providing logistics during their move, or you make the extra effort to assemble a welcome package with a few essential items, every gesture — however small — makes a difference.
After all, if you help them make moving a bit easier, why would they ever want to move out?
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