It’s that time of year again where we are working around the clock to make sure our upcoming residents and transfers new homes are ready to go for their big day! If only our residents knew what our teams go through in a short 15 day period to turn their units from looking like a frat house, to a never lived in apartment….but they don’t, so keep this in mind when move-in day rolls around. Your new residents are very unaware of all the hard work it took and the lack of sleep you have experienced, but try looking at things from their perspective.
How would you like it if you were a student who looked forward to this day and you get to the community and someone hands you a key packet with a number on it, a folder with some FAQ’s and sent you on your way with no smile and nothing to make your experience special? You are basically letting all the hard work you did from leasing through the year to turning units go down the drain if you don’t deliver a positive experience on move-in day.
**First Impressions Matter People!
So how do we achieve a memorable move in experience that our residents will share with their friends? The easiest way to do this is to offer something exciting the day of that gets people talking and more importantly “posting.” If we can capture our residents on social platforms the day they move in then we won’t have to work as hard during the year to build our audience, which will help make our marketing and retention efforts much easier.
Move in day should be looked at as a fresh start, not a daunting task that you dread year after year. I’ve rounded up some easy ways to provide an experience that will get your new residents following and posting their move-in day experience on social media.
Rent A Photo Booth
This is a great way to get people excited to pick up their keys! Contact a local company and have them set up in your move in center for the day. While people are standing around waiting they can play around in the photo booth with their new roommates or maybe even their parents? Make sure to get one that requires little staff involvement and one that also allows the photo’s to be shared digitally to social media outlets. Come up with a creative hashtag and encourage residents to tag your community in these photos. These booths can range anywhere from $350-$800 in most markets. (Call and schedule them, before your comps do!)
Fun Food Display
Having something “instaworthy” on the day of your move in will definitely get your new residents buzzing about your community. Think of something unique that pertains to your community, market, university, or state and go with it! People love food, so think outside of the box (literally, do not lay out pizza boxes, this isn’t memorable) GET CREATIVE!
(These cookies can be customized with your logo and ordered on etsy. Make sure to place your orders to get these in time for move-in day!)
(Have a creative team member or maintenance lead? Buy a peg board and create a custom designed donut wall!)
Ice Cream Or Popscicle Delivery
Continue the customer service experience after you’ve handed out keys by offering your new residents a tasty treat or drink while they are moving in. Typically August is a hot month and moving can be stressful so try to make this experience more enjoyable by assigning a few of your team members (temp help or hire a company) to go around and deliver popsicles, ice cream, or smoothies while people are moving in. This is just another level of customer service that’s cheap and easy to do. Your new residents and their parents are more likely to remember the amazing move in experience that you created which makes them less likely to find things to complain about within their unit. (Everyone Wins!)
Always remember to keep first impressions in mind when you are prepping for move-in day! If you create a memorable move in experience, you are setting yourself up for a successful year!
Feel free to reach out to your PSM’s or GMM to brainstorm ways to make sure you are prepared to make your move-in day unforgettable!