It is no secret that first impressions are a big deal when it comes to anything business-related. In fact, the impression you give your Baltimore City tenants upon first meeting them may just have enough of an impact to convince them to renew at the end of their lease term.
So why not put your best foot forward and really “wow” your tenants upon move-in?
Providing your new tenants with a welcome package as they accept the keys to your Baltimore City rental property can help set the tone for the rest of the lease term. It is a friendly gesture and helps build a solid relationship between you, your property management company, and new tenants. It can even help your tenant navigate through minor issues throughout the lease term.
In all, putting together a simple tenant welcome package isn’t going to cost you much and will not take that much effort, yet it can end up being one of the best things you ever do for your tenants as they take that first step into your investment property.
Today, we are going to look at some key things to include in your tenant welcome packages, as recommended by Baltimore’s best property management company, Bay Management Group.
Important Things to Include in Your Baltimore City Tenant Welcome Package
1. Vital Contact Information
Before your new tenants move into your rental property, ensure they have all the contact information they could possibly need throughout their lease term.
In fact, discussing this information directly with your tenants, as well as including it in your tenant welcome package, will help clarify for them exactly who and when to call regarding general inquiries, maintenance issues, and emergencies.
Detail for them in the welcome package information, such as names, phone numbers, emails, and office hours. Make sure to set clear expectations for your tenants from the start, so they understand what type of responses to expect from each point of contact. In addition, consider forwarding this contact information to them via email, should your tenant prefer communicating that way.
Giving your tenants necessary contact information ahead of time will help them in times of need and lessen the stress and hassle everyone experiences when a serious maintenance issue or emergency happens.
2. The Paperwork
No one wants to deal with excessive amounts of paperwork. However, including all of the important documents your tenant should have during the lease term in a small binder in your welcome package is a great idea. Here are some things to add to your paperwork binder:
- A copy of the signed lease agreement
- Rent payment procedures outlining how much to pay and when
- Utilities included with the rent and the ones your tenant is responsible for, along with contact information for setting the utilities up
- Maintenance and repair request procedures, including who to contact and how, especially if your property management company requires specific forms to be filled out
- Move-in inspection papers and scheduled routine inspections that you plan on making
- Any important restrictions you would like to emphasize, such as decorating rules and pet policies
3. All Small Necessities
One of the best ways to become a successful landlord is to provide your tenants with everything they need right at move-in.
So, why not add these small items in your tenant welcome package so that you know for sure your tenant receives them, as suggested by Rentalutions:
- Give your tenant all the keys to your rental property immediately upon move-in. This way, you don’t end up with a call in the middle of your day off because your tenant doesn’t have a key to the backyard shed. House keys, pool keys, shed or storage unit keys, and any other keys that could be used while residing in your property should be given as a set to your tenants. It is also a good idea to have the number of keys and what they are used for documented in the written lease agreement, so your tenant knows exactly what is to be returned at the end of the lease.
- Gates, alarms, garages, and even pool or gym rooms often require codes to access them. Make sure any codes your tenants need to know are clearly written down and included in your tenant welcome package. After all, your tenant wants to live in your property because it is safe and secure, among many other things. Not being able to enjoy this security because you fail to provide the codes to them is a poor customer service move on your part. Plus, it can cause a lot of frustration for your tenant when they realize they don’t have the code to access something important.
- Sometimes the neighborhood gate or garage door requires a remote control, and making sure you give your tenants the proper openers upon move-in will prevent problems in the future. After all, a tenant that cannot access the garage, especially at move-in time, is going to be a problem.
Save yourself a great deal of hassle, and include all the small necessities your renter needs in the tenant welcome package to ensure nothing is overlooked or forgotten.
4. A Gift Card to a Local Restaurant
One great thing to add into your tenant welcome package is a gift card to a local restaurant. Moving is tough and is often very time consuming. Think about it: How many times have you moved into a new home and had everything put away by the end of the first day? We’re guessing your answer is “never.”
And even if you did, by some miracle, get everything put in its place on the first day, who really wants to cook after a long day of moving and organizing?
Giving the gift of dinner to your new tenants is a sweet gesture that shows you care. Not only that, but it gets your tenants to one of the nearby amenities you surely promoted while your property was vacant; one that is sure to convince your tenants that their new rental home is in a prime location. Can you say lower turnover rate?
5. Other Great Options
In addition to getting your tenant settled in with all of the important contact information, small necessities, and dinner for the first night, you might want to consider adding some of the following items in your welcome package:
- A handwritten welcome letter and an information packet that includes local amenities, such as restaurants, schools, places of entertainment, and nearby stores
- Bathroom staples, such as toilet paper, bar soap, tissues, and even a curtain liner so that your tenants can freshen up after a long day of moving without having to rummage through moving boxes
- Cleaning items, such as a mop and bucket, broom, toilet bowl scrubber, and an all-purpose cleaner
- Kitchen items, such as coffee mugs and coffee or tea, baked goods, a box of donuts for their first morning breakfast, or even a nice appliance such as a toaster or blender
- Plants that are easy to care for, don’t typically flower, and are hard to kill
In the end, offering your tenants a welcome package that not only provides the important things like keys to the property, gate codes, and contact information, but fun and helpful things like coupons, gift cards, and bathroom staples can go a long way when it comes to your new tenants’ impression of you and your property management company.
If you are looking for an experienced property management company in Baltimore City that also provides great management tips, such as giving new tenants a welcome package, look no further than Bay Management Group.
Not only do we have Maryland’s top property managers, we are also knowledgeable in how to quickly and efficiently handle all tenant issues, and take all stress away from our Baltimore City property owners.