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How to Create a Great Move-in Experience for Apartment Residents

Here are five ways to make the move-in process more like a well-organized tower of boxes instead of a haphazardly-packed moving van.

Did you know that moving ranks as the most stressful life event—even above divorce and having children? What an open door to welcome our new residents with simple solutions and a less-stressful moving experience! 

Here are five ways to make the move-in process more like a well-organized tower of boxes instead of a haphazardly-packed moving van. Plus, a smoother resident experience will boost resident satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and heighten your community’s reputation.

1. A modern welcome

There’s no way around the sweat, organization, and back-bending work of moving. But there is a way around boring welcome letters, outdated paper maps, and stale welcome gifts. Your renters want a modern move-in experience, and this sets the stage for how much they will enjoy life in your community—so give them something memorable!

Welcome basket:

Leave a thoughtful welcome basket of local gift cards, snacks and drinks, or a vase of fresh flowers.

Welcome gift:

Give a practical welcome gift like moving supplies, cleaning products, or even a neighborhood guidebook.

Welcome swag:

Pop a magnet on their fridge, koozie in the drawer, tote bag in the closet. Or drop sunglasses, a water bottle, and a community t-shirt on the counter. People like free stuff, and that’s a nice custom touch to an empty apartment.

Welcome video:

Nothing says modern better than a welcome video! Text or email your new resident a friendly welcome video from your staff team. Try something short and sweet, such as, “Welcome to [our community]! You’re going to make a great neighbor. See you around soon!”

2. A digital community directory

We’ve all seen the daunting folder (or binder) left on the kitchen counter, stuffed with hundreds of papers. Or worse, a hard-to-read printed map. In the midst of moving, that amount of information is too overwhelming. But tapping one element at a time on a digital screen feels much more approachable. Before your new resident even arrives, send them a link to your digital community directory.

Move-in experience:

An easy-to-use interactive community map details the new resident’s unit, parking space(s), mailbox, and nearby garbage facilities.


Pinpoint all of your amenities and points of interest.


Label staff offices, guest services, and security for increased community knowledge and access.


Now residents know exactly how to share guest parking spaces, amenity locations, and delivery destinations with visitors. Listen to this Boss Talks podcast episode for more tips about using community maps for deliveries.


Find a community directory that includes geolocation services so they can follow their movements via the blue dot—just like Google Maps!

3. Community events

The resident experience begins on the day they sign their lease. If they immediately feel welcomed, they’re more likely to stick around and engage in your community. Show a new resident that they’re welcomed with open arms by sharing a community event calendar with them.


Here’s one area where paper isn’t completely outdated. Use a custom community magnet to stick a paper event calendar on their fridge. (Bonus if your calendar pages include helpful community tips, gift certificates, or local hotspot suggestions.)


70% of people utilize a digital calendar, so let’s meet our residents where they are. Send a digital calendar with an option to add specific events to their personal calendar.

Resident experience app:

If your apartment community has an app, make sure your new residents know all about it! This is the best place for them to view the calendar, chat in the forum, and become a part of your community.

Social media:

Invite your new residents to follow you on social media. Gain more inspiration about social media for your community from our Boss Talks episode with Veronica Soto at Brandywine Apartments.

4. Nearby attractions

We all know what it’s like to move to a new place, whether that’s a new apartment community or a new town altogether. Smooth out the move-in process by sharing helpful tips, your favorite locations, and practical information.

Entertainment & dining:

Think restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, parks, museums, etc. See if you can partner with these local spots to provide a mini booklet of coupons or discount codes.

Practical places:

Include nearby grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, vet clinics, banks, etc.

Must-know info:

Even things like internet service providers, cell phone companies, and house cleaners are beneficial for a new resident.

Top amenities:

But not all attractions are outside of your apartment! Remind residents of your most popular amenities, such as pool cabanas, a dog park, and co-working spaces, with an interactive community map.

5. Self-service options

We know that the move-in information naturally feels stressful and overwhelming. The easiest way to combat that: offer hassle-free self-service options! This feels like a mini victory amidst the cardboard boxes and misplaced rolls of tape.

Highlight amenities:

One of the reasons residents choose your community is the great amenities you offer. Make it easy for residents to find them and reserve their time! With an interactive directory map, residents can easily find amenities and register time to use them, all from the comfort of their new home.

Pick your parking spot:

Let your new resident pick their own parking space for more convenience. Plus, if they made the choice, they’re more likely to be satisfied! This also provides the option to upgrade to a premium parking spot, covered space, or a garage. In fact, if you have available elevators, allow new residents to reserve them while moving their belongings too.

Guest parking:

Family members often help during the move-in process. Give them a convenient and seamless parking experience with clearly marked guest parking and self-service guest permits. If you’re able, designate a space or zone for unloading.

Welcome new residents like a boss!

Did you know that you can simplify resident move-ins even more with Welcome Boss? This means faster move-ins for both residents and staff, quick and easy information for new residents, and less paper-wasting.

Welcome Boss:

Send new residents a move-in link before their move-in day. That way they know exactly where to park their moving truck, which stairwells/elevators lead to their new front door, where their family/friends can park to help unload, and where to dispose of their moving boxes.

Community Directory:

This details their specific unit, parking spot(s), mailbox, amenities, and more on a Google-like interactive map. As soon as they’re ready to explore, the information is right at their fingertips!

Self-guided move-ins:

A digital move-in guide is the hands-off, high-tech solution that today’s residents want.


Integrates with Parking Boss and Amenity Boss.

See how Welcome Boss works today by scheduling a demo!