Aug 082013
 
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Moving is super stressful. You have to officially change your address, and still worry that that birthday check from grandma is going to go to the old place. You have to pack up your entire life and start the painful process of getting rid of some of your things so that it’ll fit in the new place (and then after having a soul-searching conversation with yourself, decide that you do in fact still need that pair of jeans that you haven’t worn in 20 years because you are definitely getting back into shape, and what if ripped, faded Kurt Cobain-esque jeans come back in style?). And you have to figure out how to “accidentally” break that ugly lamp from your mother-in-law and how to convince her it was the movers’ fault. So what better way to help your residents de-stress and feel welcome in their new apartment than to provide them with a welcome gift of some sort? Oh, and bonus for you—it’s instant branding for your property management company. Win-win, right?

Totally.

Well, except for one small thing. There seems to be a trend to give cutesy, usually pun-related, gifts. Call it the Pinterest Effect, but it seems like more and more people are giving candy with a little sticker that says “You’re so ‘sweet’ to rent from us!” Or a fortune cookie with a fortune that says “We’re ‘fortunate’ to have you with us.” Or a live monkey holding a note that says “We’re going ‘bananas’ that you’re our new resident.”

Well, my friends, it’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again: Puns are the lowest form of humor. (Except when writing about pets or baseball, of course. Those are purr-fect and grand slams, respectively. Or if you’re Carrie Bradshaw.)

The cutesy gifts for your residents might be taken, because who doesn’t like candy or monkeys? But beyond that, they’ll get an eye roll, or a resounding “meh.” And, honestly, the gift will probably be discarded soon after that.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give a welcome gift to your new renters. Here’s a few things you should definitely include:

A packet with relevant phone numbers, menus and lists of amenities. This will be extremely useful to residents, especially if they’re new to the area. Include numbers for cleaning services, taxis, dog walkers and anything else that could be useful. Give menus and coupons for local restaurants. And provide a list of all your amenities with their hours of operations, etc. Also include ways to pay rent and anything else that could be important. Not the sexiest gift, but certainly useful.

Toilet paper. Seriously. Don’t think I’m crass, but it’s a product everyone needs, everyone uses and everyone forgets to pack in accessible areas in their boxes when they move.

A keychain with the property management company’s name on it. You get your brand recognition, and it’s something that people can actually use. (Sorry, but those branded mouse pads probably end up right in the garbage.)

Candy. You can still include candy. Everyone loves candy. Just don’t attach a pun to it. Keep it short and ‘sweet.’ (See what I did there? Can’t we all agree that it’s terrible?)

What do you think of cutesy gifts for new residents? If you give them, have they been well received? What else should be included in a new resident welcome bag?

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor

Photo credit: Vorobyeva

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  4 Responses to “‘What Renters Want’ with Jessica Fiur: Stop Giving Cutesy Gifts to New Residents”

  1. Agree, Agree, Agree!
    And consider bringing up the same concept regarding many resident parties. So many of them are well intended, but fall far from the mark.

  2. Absolutely agree! I hate things like branded mouse pads, useless trinkets and the like. It’s especially frustrating when you’ve just purged all your belongings when you packed for your move. You’re aware of how much stuff you accumulated and how long it takes to sort it all. You don’t want to start the cycle all over again the day you move in! I like your ideas, functional and practical. Some good coupons from local restaurants, cleaning services and stylists are also a win!

  3. Our new tenants are greeted with a welcome kit with necessities to help them get settled in. 4-pack of toilet paper, roll of paper towels, hand soap, dish soap, dish detergent, Dish Scrubber, Air freshener, Cutting board and a thank you card. Go to the dollar store and make up a kit for under $10. I cant tell you how many new tenants say they have never had such great treatment moving in.

  4. Very much agree….perhaps any such gifts could be tailored to the incoming resident (e.g. residents with children may appreciate something a tad different than a young professional couple, etc?)….have been reading a lot of blogs/articles on resident retention and marketing to new tenants, etc. This is the first blog where I’ve seen it recognized how super stressful moving is….it just is…..at the risk of asking an obvious question…isn’t helping an existing customer (tenant) avoid this stress a retention opportunity?

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