Moving In

How managers can facilitate a smooth experience for residents.

By Philip Shea, Associate Editor

This month, MHN again teamed up with research and consulting services firm Kingsley Associates to discover what residents appreciate (and would prefer not to deal with) when moving into a new apartment. Simple gestures of hospitality are always nice, yet these alone cannot serve as replacements for sound policy and easy access to resources. Making sure that incoming residents have a clear understanding of the hours of operation and availability of necessary tools will make for a more streamlined process that benefits both parties. Additionally, honoring the move-in date by having the unit clean and ready to use is a must that managers cannot afford to overlook. Obviously, first impressions can be make-or-break and greatly affect the possibility of retention and renewal.

Resident feedback from Kingsley Associates.

“Move-in day was very easy and carefree. Not too many rules, which made it much, much more enjoyable.” —College Park, Md.

“When I moved in, the welcome package with the free pizza coupon and first-aid stuff was an unexpected delight.” —Independence, Md.

“Moving from a different state was challenging as I did not know the city at all. The leasing team has been beyond helpful as they have helped me find everything from dry cleaners to restaurants to the best shopping.” —Colorado Springs, Colo.

“This property is very hard to move in [and] out of. You can’t drive a moving truck into the parking garage. The elevators in the garage are very slow, and they’re unable to be locked on a floor to load the elevator.” Arlington, Va.

“I moved here from California, and although the leasing agent said she had an apartment that would be ready for me on time, it was not. I lived in a hotel for two days waiting for the apartment to become ready and it still needed a lot of work.” —Plano, Texas

“I moved in over the weekend and my gate cards did not work. The person responsible for coding was out until Monday. Since the move-in process was known ahead of time, a quality check should have been performed to ensure all gate keys were working properly.” —Pembroke Pines, Fla.

“Freight elevator reservations should be available to tenants past 6 p.m. to accommodate after-work moving efforts.” —Seattle

“When I initially moved in, my apartment was not ready. I had several movers who I lost because of the setback.” —Conshohocken, Pa.

“The move-in present was a little strange. We received a bag with a half-empty bag of toilet paper and a box of tissues. I appreciate the gesture… but half a bag of toilet paper?” —Atlanta

“My apartment set vacant for a couple of months before move-in. [It would be] good to have a cleaning team go through [the] week before resident move-in if the apartment has been on the market for a little while.” —Lewisville, Texas

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