Move-in day is a happy one for multifamily managers, but as anyone who has moved recently knows, it can be very stressful for the new resident. I have moved many times and have become something of a pro at having the “day one” box ready with everything I’ll need for the first night in my new home, but most residents haven’t moved enough to foresee everything they’ll need, making the first day or two very stressful while they rip through boxes looking for a sponge or a Kleenex, or making the third trip to Target to get a needed item.
You can help your residents adjust to their new surroundings and start their residency on the right foot with a welcome basket. As someone who has been the recipient of a thoughtful basket provided by a property a few years ago, I cannot tell you what a great impression that property made on me, and how many snafus I was willing to overlook as a result of that gesture.
A welcome basket is designed to be useful, not to impress, so you don’t need to spend a lot or be over the top. You can stock up in the travel section of the drug store or on Amazon. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can customize baskets for single people, couples, or families with children.
Here are some ideas for items to include to make the first day or two pleasant and comfortable:
- Instructions for the resident portal
- A card from the on-site team with names and contact info
- How to connect utilities, what utilities must be connected, and when
- A coupon to a nearby restaurant (your nearby establishments will be more than happy to give these to you)
- A listing of nearby services
- A roll of toilet paper (!)
- Pocket pack of Kleenex
- A pocket first-aid kit
- A few bottles of water
- A sponge
- Command strips (so they don’t damage your freshly painted walls)
- Felt furniture pads, if your properties have hardwood floors
- Travel toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, shampoo
- A trash bag or two
- Some small mementos like a picture frame, keychain, or coffee mug
- Antibacterial wipes
- A small “grab and go” snack that doesn’t require refrigeration
Sometime in the first couple of days after move-in, they are likely to visit the office, make sure to ask how move-in went and if they have any questions. Making move-in day great for your new resident goes a long way to starting your relationship on the right foot.