How to Improve Your Tenants' Move-in Process

By Kaitlin Hurtado on February 8, 2024

As a property manager, one of your priorities is making sure that your tenants’ experience with your rental property is a good one, from start to finish. Why wouldn’t you want to start things off on a good note by helping make sure their initial move-in is a breeze? It’s no secret that any move can be stressful for various reasons, and helping your tenants out with the stressful journey ahead can do plenty to shape a positive experience for them.

Keep reading for ideas on how to improve your tenants’ move-in process.

Photo: Pexels

Get lease agreements signed and affairs in order

Prior to move-in day, you want to make sure that all paperwork is signed. You may be thinking just to get things done in the morning of a tenant’s move-in day, but this can take away precious moving time in the morning.

Remind tenants to get their utility bills under their name before their official lease start date so there are no issues come move-in day. Send your tenants move-in day instructions, which should include the time and location to pick up keys, move-in inspection information, and property and moving day rules. Point out where trash bins are located so the tenant knows where to properly dispose of their move-in day waste. Send this information as soon as you can so that your tenant has the time to plan out their move-in day accordingly.

Designate a loading zone 

Depending on your rental property, the layout of the complex or parking lot can make the initial move-in hard. For example, the new tenant may have an assigned parking lot that is a bit of a walk away from their individual unit. This can mean that their only secured parking space can be the only place they can safely unload their belongings during move-in.

Be sure to remind tenants of any possible restrictions to avoid tickets or tows, and upset tenants. If possible, try to designate a loading zone off a sidewalk or a parking spot closer to their unit during their move-in day.

Leave a welcome kit 

With full awareness that move-in day can be hectic, preparing a small welcome kit to help your tenants settle into their space can be a small gesture in your eyes, but have a bigger positive impact on your tenant than you would expect.

Common household items such as a small pack of toilet paper, Clorox wipes, paper towels, and hand soap are items that the tenant will need right away and can help the tenant avoid a situation where they can’t find those items among their personal belongings that are all packed up.

You can also include a few bottles of water and some snacks, or even a gift card to a local restaurant to keep them fueled during a long move-in day.

Offer documentation to help them settle in

Move-in day can be overwhelming, and it can be hard for tenants to keep track of all the information associated with their new home. To help them settle in, provide a folder containing all the essential information about their new home.

The documentation you may want to consider includes:

- Contact information for property management and maintenance, or security if it is on-site

- Map of the property with amenities highlighted

- When and where to pay rent

- How to submit maintenance requests

- Tips for accessing the tenant portal

- Rules about their rental unit (including interior and exterior decor)

Be available and communicative

While you’re not going to be there in person to oversee the tenant moving in, you will want to make yourself available should any issues come up. For example, the tenant may be moving in and discover an issue that was previously not reported, from a small leak to a broken lock.

Be sure that you or staff are available to address any concerns as they come up — you definitely do not want to leave issues unattended and start your tenants’ residency out on the wrong foot.

Follow up after move-in day

After your tenant’s move-in day, reach out to them to see if they have any questions or concerns about their unit. This can help alleviate initial worries on their end, and help minimize the chances of small concerns escalating into larger issues.

Move-in day should be exciting for tenants as it’s a brand new step in their life, however, stress is easy to come by. By taking any of these steps as a property manager, you can help improve your tenant’s move-in process and get everything going on a positive note.

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