“Ask Kari!”

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Dear Kari, Someone Suggested That I Should I Give My New Tenant a Welcome Gift – What Do You Think?

First Impressions Matter: The Power of a Thoughtful Welcome Gift

By Kari Negri, Chief Executive Officer, SKY Properties, Inc.

Have you been looking to add a special touch to your move-ins? Consider the impact of a thoughtful welcome basket. A warm welcome basket not only leaves a fantastic first impression but also helps your tenants settle into their new home with ease. It’s a small but meaningful gesture that shows you value and care for them. Plus, it can go a long way in making them feel at home in both their new space and neighborhood.  Moreover, if you do it right, it can save you money. Here are some questions you need to answer when putting together the perfect welcome tote bag:

What is Your Purpose?

Picture a resident walking into their new, empty home on moving day. They spot a large canvas gift bag waiting on the kitchen counter – an instant “Hey, we’re glad you’re here!” As the property manager, it’s our way of saying thanks for choosing us and if the bag’s packed with handy items for the move-in, it’s like saying, “We’ve got your back! We’re all about making moving day a tad less hectic for you.”  Keep in mind that something like this can go a long way on moving day which is a very stressful day indeed – right up there with divorce!

Keep in mind that welcome baskets aren’t just a nice gesture; They are also a powerful tool for tenant appreciation and business success. It boosts loyalty and satisfaction, leading to higher tenant retention rates and positive reviews.

How Much Do You Want to Spend?

There is no definitive answer on how much you should spend for a welcome gift, as it depends on several factors, such as your budget, your property type, your tenants’ preferences, and your location. Think of the gift bag as an investment in unit turnover or leasing. They are a small investment that can yield big returns in the long run. In my experience, allocating a budget of about $100 to $125 per gift bag strikes a good balance. This range enables you to include a diverse selection of items that are not only practical, but also convey genuine appreciation. A budget at this level allows for a wide enough range of items to be both useful but can also include money savers for you like a toilet plunger which is a practical and useful item that can also save your tenants embarrassment. 

What Should You Put in Your Gift Bag?

Imagine the last time you moved and what small essentials would have been a game-changer on that hectic day – items tucked away in a box somewhere. A great option is essentials and toiletries, such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, toothpaste, and a few cleaning supplies and some trash bags which are pretty basic necessities on moving day. Snacks and drinks are also important so throw in a couple of bottles of water and granola bars.  Include local store coupons like coffee, tea, and the always needed pizza after a long day of moving. In addition to all these items, consider adding the following thoughtful touches:

  • A handwritten welcome note: This simple, personal gesture can convey your genuine appreciation and care for your tenants. Take a moment to write a few warm sentences welcoming them, expressing gratitude for choosing your property, and wishing them a comfortable and happy stay.
  • A map of the local stores: This handy guide can be a lifeline for tenants new to the area or those eager to explore more. Highlight key spots like grocery stores, dry cleaners, gyms, parks, and more to help them get acquainted with their new surroundings.
  • Local gift cards: Support the community and introduce your tenants to some of your favorite places with a gift card to a local business. Whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, grocery store, or hardware shop, this gesture can go a long way in making them feel welcomed.
  • Coupons and menus: Help your tenants explore the local scene by providing them with coupons and menus from nearby businesses. This can save them both money and time when it comes to ordering food or shopping for essentials. Consider adding a list of your personal recommendations or reviews to enhance their experience.

Finally, consider the valuable opportunity to incorporate your company or building’s name and logo onto the tote bag or other items. Nowadays, it’s a cost-effective option to enhance brand visibility and leave a lasting impression on your tenants.

These are just some examples of what you can put in a welcome gift for your new tenants. Of course, you can customize it according to your own style and preferences. The main thing is to show your tenants that you care about them and want them to have a pleasant experience on your property.   At SKY we also like to include what to do in case of an earthquake and how to make homemade cleaning supplies without chemicals and also provide the supplies to make it.

Kari Negri is the Chief Executive Officer of Sky Property Management and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.  Do you have a question for me?  Please send your questions and comments to me at Kari@SKYprop.LA.