Making a good first impression is one of the best ways to foster a healthy tenant/landlord relationship. As a landlord, consistently building upon these relationships helps keep tenants happy and in your property for the long haul. This is important since losing a tenant can be costly for your rental property business. So, how can a property owner start their landlord-tenant relationship off on the right foot? How about a move-in gift for your tenant! Continue reading as we describe possible gift ideas and everything to include in your tenant welcome package below.
What is a Tenant Welcome Package?
Moving is a stressful time for tenants. Therefore, whether it is a simple basket or a mix of goodies and necessities, a tenant welcome package is a great way to welcome a new resident. This is a cost-effective and easy way to let tenants know you truly care. So, it should be given to any new tenant as they move into your property. Keep reading to learn everything you should include in a tenant welcome package.
What to Include in a New Tenant Welcome Package?
Building a tenant welcome package is simple and easy. The first step is to decide what to include and how these things benefit the new resident. So, let’s take a look at a few suggestions below.
- A Handwritten Welcome Note
- Maps of the Local Area
- Essentials and Toiletries
- Snacks and Drinks
- Local Gift Cards
- Book of Coupons and Local Take-Out Menus
A Handwritten Welcome Note
Personal touches make all the difference in a tenant welcome package. That said, a welcome note does not have to be too involved. Instead, write a few sentences that tell the tenant how glad you are to have them living in your property. Also, make sure you personalize the note with the tenant’s name and anything else relevant to them specifically – that extra effort to connect with your tenant can go a long way.
Maps of the Local Area
Even if your tenant is not moving from out of town, local maps and guides are beneficial to include in a tenant welcome package. Additionally, circle or highlight important points of interest, like grocery stores and gyms (like Fitness Together in Howard County!). Also, landlords can inquire what kinds of places the tenant is interested in and use that feedback to create a custom list of nearby attractions. Either way, this is a nice touch in a tenant welcome package.
Essentials and Toiletries
Even the most prepared and organized tenant forgets a few things throughout a move, and moving can be stressful. So, how about including a few of the essentials every tenant needs upon moving in, such as –
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Eco-Friendly Disposable Plates and Silverware
- Common Cleaning Items
- Shower Curtain Liner
Snacks and Drinks
Moving means long days of loading and unloading boxes and furniture. Therefore, why not provide your new residents some snacks and cold drinks to help power them through their day! Below are just a few suggestions for refreshments to include in your tenant welcome package.
- Cold Bottles of Water
- Lemonade or Soda
- Trail Mix
- Candy Bars
- Mixed Nuts
- Tea, Instant Coffee, or Cocoa
If you know the tenants are over the age of 21, including a bottle of wine or a 6-pack of your favorite local Maryland beer may seem like a great idea. However, avoid gifting alcohol in your tenant welcome package. Unfortunately, you do not know if the tenant drinks, and it could not be very respectful to some individuals. Instead, include information on local craft breweries in the area or coupon deals, and the tenant can decide for themselves.
Local Gift Cards
Everyone loves a gift card! That said, this creates a great opportunity to introduce tenants to small businesses in the local area. However, that does not mean landlords need to splurge on restaurants. Instead, consider a local coffee shop like Matcha Time Café in Howard County or home goods store. That way, they can get a cup of coffee or a couple of items that will help them spruce up their new home.
Book of Coupons and Local Take-Out Menus
The various costs associated with moving can add up fast! Therefore, your new tenants may stress a bit over their financial situation when they move into your property. So, consider giving them a coupon book. Some local Maryland businesses (like restaurants and retailers) may be willing to give you coupon books for free, so start asking around and see what deals you can find. Often, businesses will be more than willing to give you a coupon packet in the hopes that your tenant will become a loyal customer. Additionally, include local take-out menus in your tenant welcome package.
Additional Small Gift Ideas for a Tenant Welcome Package
- Decorative Greenery – Whether the tenant has a green thumb or not, including a small houseplant in your tenant welcome package is a fun way to brighten up any space. Small succulents are the best option and be sure to avoid anything too large or that could harm children or pets. Also, to air on the side of complete caution, go artificial!
- Hang and Protect – Personalizing the space is important to any renter. However, as the landlord, protecting your walls is critical. So, consider including some damage-free hangers or adhesive hooks in a tenant welcome package.
- Felt Floor Pads – Does your rental unit have hardwood flooring? If so, including some inexpensive felt or rubber furniture coasters is a great idea. This not only helps the tenant but protects the flooring from unwanted damage.
How to Create a Tenant Welcome Package Information Packet?
In addition to all the fun stuff, including critical information in the tenant welcome package is a simple way to remind new residents of the essentials. This helps your tenants by putting all the information they need in one convenient packet. Additionally, it helps landlords by allowing the opportunity to reinforce the important points from when they signed their lease agreement. So, check out the list below of vital information every tenant welcome package should include.
Information to Include in a Tenant Welcome Package
- Property Information – Relevant information about the property, including the address and utility suppliers.
- Signed Lease Agreement – Include a copy of the signed lease agreement and any other addendums.
- Landlord Information – Add in the landlord or property manager’s basic information, including emergency phone numbers, office hours, and email contacts.
- Emergency Maintenance Protocol – Clarify for the tenants exactly who and when to call regarding general inquiries, maintenance issues, and emergencies. Additionally, be sure to list examples of common emergencies and ensure they know where key shut-offs are within the home.
- Move-in inspection – Include move-in inspection paperwork and instructions if needed. Furthermore, if the unit is subject to seasonal inspections, include a tentative schedule for the tenant.
- Other Notes – Add reminders for any other important restrictions you would like to emphasize, such as decorating rules or pet policies
If you give the tenant all the information they need, there is a better chance they will not contact you with questions as often. In turn, this helps save time and stay more productive while running your rental property business.
What Can a Landlord Do to Welcome a New Tenant?
Providing a tenant welcome package is not the only way to make a good first impression as a landlord. Check out a few more ideas to consider below –
- Introduce Tenants to Their New Neighbors – Doing so will help your tenants and neighbors feel safer and more at home. On top of that, troublesome tenants may think twice about creating disruptions if they know their neighbors are watching.
- Clean the Rental Property Thoroughly – Cleaning is a critical last step in the property turnover process. If you do not have the time to get this done, hire a professional Howard County cleaning company to handle it for you.
- Answer All Tenant Questions – Always take the time to answer any questions the tenants may have. They will appreciate the effort to be helpful. Additionally, this cuts down on potential confusion or misunderstandings in the future.
So, by following the tips above and creating a tenant welcome package full of useful items, landlords can effectively start their landlord-tenant relationship off on the right foot. However, if you do not have time to handle landlord duties like those mentioned in this post, consider outsourcing to a professional. A local property management team like Bay Property Management Group can efficiently handle tenant screening, maintenance, rent collection, and other operations, so you don’t have to! We provide full-service rental property management in Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Give us a call or contact us today to find out how the local property management experts in your area can benefit your business!