How property managers can make a good first impression

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Businesspeople shaking hands and smiling

Property managers: tenants are the lifeblood of the residential rental market, so first impressions count every bit as much with them as with property owners. A positive initial experience sets the tone for the entire leasing relationship, influencing tenant satisfaction and the likelihood of lease renewals.

Let’s delve into the specifics of how to welcome new tenants effectively and ensure they feel at home from day one.

Prioritize cleanliness

First things first: take a good look around the rental property. Is it squeaky clean? Ensure there are no unsightly stains, all light bulbs are working, and there are no lingering odors.

Appearance is the first thing a new tenant will notice, and a well-maintained property signals that you are attentive, responsive to maintenance requests, and employ reliable contractors.

In short, cleanliness speaks volumes about your professionalism.

Small gestures go a long way

Because of their efficiency and low cost, welcome baskets are a popular housewarming surprise for new tenants.

Stock the basket with necessities for their first week in a new home, such as replacement light bulbs, batteries, sponges, dish soap, trash bags, and toilet paper. You can elevate the gesture by adding candy or a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

As much a generous gift as it is a tenant retention strategy, new tenant welcome baskets are a practical and thoughtful way to kickstart a positive relationship.

Welcome packets that work

Moving into a new rental is stressful, and tenants have a lot on their plate – from unpacking to changing addresses to possibly enrolling children in new schools. Amid the chaos, the last thing they want is a thick packet full of overwhelming information. 

To ease this burden, keep welcome packets short and concise. If your current welcome packet rivals the length of a college textbook, it might be time for a trim.

In addition to essential information about the property, make sure to highlight the cutting-edge PropTech solutions that will make life easy for tenants needing to do the basics like pay the rent, track their account balances, and submit maintenance tickets.

Leveraging PropTech not only streamlines back- and front-end processes, but also sends a clear message that you are committed to making their tenancy as smooth as possible. Your tenant appreciates great service as much as any other consumer, and property management businesses live or die by return business!

What about owners?

The key to making a good first impression on new owners is to showcase your expertise, with evidence to back it up. Owners need to be able to trust that you are well-informed and have experience handling challenges effectively.

This is why it’s important to highlight certain key performance indicators during your earliest meetings with them: impressive occupancy rates, average arrears, and tenant turnover rates emphasize the success of your business.

Having the answers to owners’ questions also demonstrates your skill as a property manager. Review previous onboarding interactions: what were the common inquiries and challenges raised? Use these insights to proactively address questions from new owners before they even come in.

Go beyond delivering a standard information packet – ask if they prefer email, text, or phone calls. And keep short-form videos ready if you find clients aren’t engaging with text-based communication.

First impressions are the most lasting

Welcoming new tenants (and owners) isn't just a matter of a handshake and a set of keys. It's about creating an environment where they feel valued and supported. A clean and safe property, a thoughtful gift basket, and streamlined PropTech solutions all contribute to that positive first impression.

You only have one chance to make it great, so seize the opportunity and set the stage for a harmonious leasing experience.

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