Whether you rent one apartment or hundreds of units, a good landlord doesn’t stop working once the lease has been signed. The best landlords do more than making repairs throughout the duration of the lease. They also take special care to make the move-in process as easy as possible. After all, a happy tenant will often make referrals to potential future residents.
The best way to retain great tenants is to treat them like valued customers. The move-in process is the best place to start to build that relationship. Here are our 6 expert secrets to for landlords to provide an unforgettable move-in experience for new tenants.
Check Off the Checklist
Have a move-in checklist ready and make sure you tick off every box. This is different from the checklist you use for your final walk-through. Your final walk-through consists of looking for things that your prior resident did or didn’t do to the apartment.
The move-in checklist is a list of things that you need to do before your next tenant moves in. Bring in a professional cleaning crew. Repair damages. Replace missing items. Make sure that all appliances and amenities are functioning properly. Confirm that all window and door locks are functioning. This is your last chance to make sure that everything is perfect before your new tenant moves in.
If your apartment is furnished, make sure any missing furniture has been replaced. If your apartment building includes specific amenities, make sure they are accessible. Ensure that you’ve kept all promises to the new tenant on their move-in day
Welcome Your New Tenant with a Handwritten Note
We’re all used to texting and emailing. Why not make an unforgettable first impression and leave a handwritten note for your new resident? Take a moment or two to greet your new tenant with a personal message. Welcome them to their new home. Show some excitement for them moving into their new place and beginning the next chapter in life. It doesn’t have to be long, but it should be heartfelt.
Conclude your note by thanking them for choosing your property as their next home. This interaction will make your tenants know you value and appreciate their business. It’s this type of personal relationship that can help you keep long-term renters or enjoy referrals when they move out.
Be Proactive in Providing Information
A simple welcome packet will make moving in easier for your tenant. It will also save you time from having to answer commonly asked questions. Give each new tenant a welcome packet that includes keys, wi-fi passwords, and parking information. Include a list of emergency numbers and hours of availability for your rental office. You can also provide contacts for various amenities in the building or complex.
Moving into a new apartment is no easy feat. Between packing and unpacking, most tenants don’t want to do research on the building. Save your tenant the aggravation of having to ask these questions and save yourself the time from having to answer them. A simple welcome packet makes it easier for all parties.
Provide a Few Basic Essentials
Most tenants get their new keys, unload their boxes, and immediately start unpacking. Then they realize that they need to go shopping because they don’t have any of the essentials on hand. Landlords, here is where a few dollars can really go a long way.
Spend $20 to provide your new tenant with a welcome basket of the bare necessities. Include a few rolls of toilet paper, a few bars of soap, and a few bottles of water. These basic items don’t cost much and they certainly won’t go to waste. A few dollars can make your tenants’ first night in their new home a much more enjoyable experience. If they’ve forgotten to pack those items themselves, they’ll be grateful that you thought of it.
Provide Some Insight into Your Favorite Neighborhood Spots
Some new residents may already be familiar with the neighborhood. However, many will be new to the area. Provide a list of your favorite nearby locations to introduce them to the neighborhood. Let your tenants know about local bars, affordable restaurants, and delivery services. Give them a list of convenience stores, grocery stores, and nearby gas stations. If you can include restaurant menus or easy-to-read maps to the locations, even better.
This could be part of the welcome packet or it could be a separate listing of locales that you can tack on the fridge. Even if the list is brief, it will make it easier for out-of-town tenants to get acclimated to the area. To go a step further, ask some of your favorite shops and restaurants if they can provide move-in discounts or coupons for new tenants. If so, include that information with your neighborhood guide.
Use Digital Technology to Create an Ongoing Relationship
A successful move in experience can be the beginning of a beautiful relationship with your tenants. Digital technology can help ensure it stays that way by letting you easily stay in touch and connect on matters of shared importance – like the rent.
Tenant apps like Rentigo also offer your tenants the added convenience of paying monthly rent or making maintenance requests straight from their smartphone. The perks of going digital extend to landlords on the backend by simplifying the process of managing vendors, tracking rental payments and avoiding vacancies.
As mobile apps like Rentigo become the norm for doing just about anything online, your tenants will appreciate knowing you’re still accessible to address any questions or issues once they settle in – hopefully for the long term.
Every landlord wants good tenants to stay on as long-term renters. If your leaser likes your apartment and likes the neighborhood, they’re much more likely to feel at home. If they feel at home, it’s more likely that they’ll stay for an extended period of time.
Trying to make a new tenant happy shouldn’t end once you’ve signed a lease. Take the time to welcome them to the building. Educate them on the neighborhood. Make them aware of essential services and amenities. Provide a few basic necessities for that first night in their new home. Respond to questions or issues as quickly as possible throughout their stay.
Your apartment is about to become their new home, even if only for a year or two. Help make the transition to the next stage of their life as smooth as possible. A happy tenant is likely to re-rent or, at the very least, refer someone new to live in your space.
Chestnut Portland is a quiet community of one, two and three bedroom townhomes in Portland and Scarborough, Maine. Chestnut Portland is perfect for anyone looking for easy access to town, as well as a little fresh air and breathing room.