Your job, as an owner, manager or leasing agent, isn’t over when the prospective resident signs their lease. When key staff members consider their job complete after securing a signed lease, that property management company is going to have a hard time keeping residents happy —and an even harder time getting residents to renew for another year.
Creating a memorable move-in experience is one way to show residents that you’re prepared to take care of them even after you’ve secured their signed lease.
Whether you’re marketing to students and parents at an off-campus community or communicating with young professionals and empty nesters at a luxury complex, it’s important to send emails explaining the move-in process. You don’t have to talk down to residents, but make sure to give them explicit instructions on what to expect come move-in day. Here at Threshold, we see hundreds of reviews come in on Yelp and Apartments.com from new residents complaining about the move-in process. Generally, they’re complaining about things that could have been resolved with a little more communication.
You can prevent negative reviews for your property by sending emails ahead of time. We promise, new residents won’t get tired of them. Everyone would rather be over prepared for a big-move than underprepared, and your new residents will appreciate the fact that you gave them all the necessary information.
Student housing is unique in that the properties generally have everyone move in on the same day, but conventional apartment communities can have move-in days too, such as on the first day of the month or, for new developments, on the first day the property opens. If you’re anticipating lots of move-ins, take some time to create signage for your community. You can point people towards their building, parking, dumpsters and identify points of interest near the community. Here at The Anti-Vacancy Agency, we believe that properties should take advantage of branding their apartment marketing ideas whenever possible. People want to feel like they belong to a community, and branded signage is an easy way to help them feel that why while you promote your company.
Move-in day is the perfect time to get residents to follow your property’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Have a computer open in the lobby so they can sign into their account and follow you as they pick up their keys. You can even offer free swag to everyone who takes a couple minutes to sign in.
The most successful properties engage residents with events, giveaways, free food and other promotions. The easiest way to let residents know about these promotions is through social media. Just tell residents that your property’s social media followers are the first to know about events and giveaways. Maybe even offer residents the chance to snap a picture while they’re moving in, and have it featured on the property’s social media pages. It’s all about driving engagement early on.
Residents will appreciate anything you can do to make their transitional period easier. Consider assembling a move-in packet and placing it on the kitchen counter so they’ll see it when they walk into their apartment for the first time. In the packet, you can include magnets with helpful phone numbers (maintenance, front office, etc.), a list of nearby restaurants and coupons to those restaurants, and tips for local attractions.
It might seem small, but to a resident that’s just moved to the area, it can mean a lot that someone is willing to help them get acquainted. Make sure residents know how to access the event calendar for your community, or that they’re following you on social media so they can see when you’ll be having resident events. Most people who move into a new community are hoping to make some friends and meet their neighbors, so it’s important to provide them with the opportunity to do so!
If you’re going to run a renewal special, it’s a great idea to do it within the first couple weeks after your new residents move-in. They probably have good feelings about their new place, and they’re likely tired of the entire moving process, maybe so much so that they’ll commit to living in the same place for the next couple years.
Threshold is the industry leader in student housing marketing and leasing marketing ideas. If you’re in need of creative work, promotional products or just some sound strategy for your property, give us a call to set up a consultation.