3 Tips for Creating Move-In Magic

They say you only have one chance to make a good first impression, but for better or worse, at move-ins we actually have three chances that make or break a good first impression—and, ultimately, resident satisfaction.

Think of how fun it is to move (not!). There’s the planning, the packing, the coordinating, the calling, the scheduling, the rescheduling, and more packing. Then there’s the heavy lifting, the loading, the unloading, the floor planning… and then there are all the people – Family, roommates, significant others, movers, well-meaning friends, and the property management team.

Most or all of the mayhem tends to fall on move-in day, so when the new resident sets foot in the leasing office to sign whatever final documents are needed and collect the keys, you can be sure that new resident is running full steam ahead.

The best thing a property management team can do is help them maintain that momentum by creating some move-in magic with these three first impression moments:

1. Keys are Available and the Lease is Prepared

The team has most likely had days or even weeks to prepare for this new resident, however, on average, 1 out of 16 new residents has to wait for their keys or lease when they arrive at their move-in appointment. Demonstrate how valuable their choice is to you by being ready and waiting for their arrival. Everything they need from you should be prepared the day before to ensure a smooth “Welcome Home!”

2. The Apartment Unit is Clean

According to the 2014 SatisFacts Move-In Index, 1 in 10 new residents find that their new home is not clean when they arrive. Not only does this create one more chore for the resident before they can start unpacking and making the place their home, the lack of preparation makes them wonder about the attentiveness and follow-through of their leasing consultant.

3. Appliances and Fixtures Work Properly

When you buy a used car and drive it off the lot, you expect that the basic features will be in decent working order. The brakes will slow the car down, the headlights will illuminate when turned on, the steering wheel will guide the direction of the car. New residents expect nothing less. They expect that the basic features of their home will be in decent working order: the dishwasher cleans the dishes, the light switches illuminate the light bulbs, the burners on the stove heat up. And yet across our great nation, 1 in 5 new residents encounters an appliance or fixture that does not work.

The most troubling aspect of this data is that each of these first impressions are entirely within our team’s control. It’s a matter of focus and allocating proper time and resources. Final inspections and spiffs take time, and that time needs to be factored in, not glossed over. Additionally, office team members can take on some of the final preparations, such as learning how to cut keys, conducting the final walk-through and testing each fixture and appliance.

By paying attention to these important details, you’ll achieve the move-in magic new residents are looking for while basking in the excitement of their new home, and not pondering if they made the right choice. You’ll also lay the groundwork for long-term resident satisfaction.

 

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

 


Senior Vice President of Education and Consulting, SatisFacts Research

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Jen Piccotti, Senior vice President of Education and Consulting at SatisFacts Research, has over a decade of experience in customer loyalty, quality assurance programs and process efficiency, and has worked in the apartment industry since 2000. She heads up special projects for SatisFacts, including satisfaction survey action planning, work-time analyses, special studies, quality assurance, process evaluations, and educational services. Jen holds a Master of Science – Quality Assurance degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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