We’re all adults here, fully grown-up and leading (mostly) productive, independent lives – but, that said, we’ll be the first to admit it: moving can be a scary, intimidating thing! Even just moving across town to a new condo community can be an anxiety-inducing experience, never mind those brave souls who move cities or even countries away from where they were comfortably settled before. For those about to move: we salute you!
Keeping in mind all of the nerves, stress, and tension that can come along with moving, there are certain steps that condo communities can take to take the edge off this sometimes-fun, oftentimes-overwhelming process. Not only will your new neighbors appreciate the sentiment, but putting out the welcoming mat also works to benefit your greater condo community, as well.
Helping New Condo Residents Feel at Home
Moving into a brand-new community can be an intimidating endeavor. Everybody knows everybody else, there are all sorts of history that new residents don’t have any connection with, and it can be tough for even the most extroverted of individuals to find a way in edge-wise. For this reason, having some sort of an established welcoming practice in place can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will this help to break the ice right away and make the new condo owners feel all warm and fuzzy, but it’s a great way to communicate all sorts of essential information right off the bat, including:
- Current policies
- Resident do’s and don’ts
- Building culture and events
- AGM information
- Board meeting schedules and news
- Essential contact information for a property manager, condo manager, and others
- Much, much more!
There’s no shortage of details and particulars for new folks to get caught up on, and having what is essentially a crash-course for all residents to go through with an established welcoming procedure is a great way to make new owners feel right at home while giving them all the info they need to feel comfortable and caught-up with the goings-on around the condo community, all in one fell swoop.
Encourage New Residents to Do Their Part, Too
While we believe it’s certainly important for condo communities to do what they can to make new residents feel at ease, it’s also important that new members do their due diligence in working to fit in within their new home, too. New owners should be proactive and take the initiative to read up on and abide by the building’s policies and bylaws, and really should take the onus in learning about things like pet restrictions, renovations rules and requirements, and the like.
Realistically, prospective buyers should be sussing out these details well in advance to signing off on a mortgage as a rule of thumb anyway, but if there exists any murkiness or uncertainty around these sorts of rules or regulations, a good new neighbor will take the steps to clarify things immediately upon moving in.
How to Roll Out the Welcome Wagon
If you take a look around the internet, you’ll find lots of folks recommending the formation and maintenance of an official Welcoming Committee to be responsible for making all new owners feel right at home upon moving in. While this might sound like a good idea, in theory, we’ve actually found that this is often very challenging to keep up in practice. The time and commitment required to maintain an ongoing team of any sort are always difficult, and we’ve found that these sorts of specific, niche committees tend to fall apart as often as not. That said, if your condo community maintains another sort of similarly-minded committee (a Social Committee, an Events Planning Committee, or something similar), this could certainly be an initiative that falls under their scope and will typically have a much greater shot at success as a result.
Just as helpful is having a nice, robust welcoming package waiting for on-deck to be emailed out whenever a new community member moves in. This approach is beneficial because it gets that new resident all the information they need in a handy, easy-to-reference package and helps them feel welcomed, while at the same time giving them the space they need to settle in without feeling like they need to make a brilliant first impression during the wild chaos that can often accompany a big move. It’s all about striking that fine balance between making someone feel welcome and giving them the opportunity to get comfortable in their new home – and in our opinion, a nice, emailed welcome package does just that.
Looking for additional ideas or insights when it comes to welcoming new folks to your condo community? Reach out to us today at Catalyst Condo Management – we’re happy to share some of the ideas for building a unique welcome package.