If we’re going to talk about setting up shop in a new condo community today, let’s start from a place of honesty and be real for a second: moving can be a scary, intimidating endeavour. Even just moving across town to a new neighbourhood can be an anxiety-inducing experience – forget about 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 certainly steps that condo communities can take. to take the edge off this sometimes-fun, oftentimes-terrifying process. Not only will your new neighbours appreciate the sentiment, but rolling out the welcoming mat has benefits for your greater condo community as well – read on to learn more!
Helping New Arrivals Feel Right at Home
1. Send Out the Welcoming Committee (No – Really)
Alright, so. We’ve established that moving is an exciting, if not anxiety-inducing process. The next step, then, is sorting out a way to help make move-ins feel comfortable in their new surroundings. This might seem like a tough ask, but we’ve got just the solution: a bona fide welcoming committee.
Wait, wait! We know it sounds a bit cheesy – but take it from us: having a group of people engaged to roll out the red carpet for new condo residents is a great way to get people connected to the condo community and offers a helpful liaison for communicating policies, AGM meeting dates, etc.
Now, that said, keeping up a fulltime Welcoming Committee can be a bit tough. If you take a look around the internet, you’ll find lots of folks recommending the formation of an official Welcoming Committee to help make new owners feel at home, but from our experience, the time and commitment required to maintain an ongoing committee of any sort is difficult, and that these sorts of niche efforts tend to fall apart quite frequently. Don’t let this small roadblock keep you from making your Welcoming Committee dreams a reality, though. Simply approach the issue from a bit more of a strategic angle. If your condo community maintains another sort of similarly-minded committee, for example – say, a Social Committee, an Events Planning Committee, or something similar – this could certainly be an initiative that falls under their scope (typically assuring a much greater shot at success as a result).
2. A Little Welcome Package Goes a Long Way
Moving into a brand-new community is tough but moving into an established and tight knit community can be downright intimidating. Everybody knows everybody else, there’s all sorts of history that new condo residents don’t have any connection with, and it can be difficult for even the most extroverted of individuals to find a way in.
For this reason, having a nice, robust welcoming package waiting on-deck to be sent over or emailed out whenever a new resident moves in can be incredibly beneficial. Not only will this help break the ice right away and make new condo residents 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’t’s
- Building culture and events
- AGM information
- Condo Community news
- Maintenance activities
- Essential contact information for property manager, condo manager, and others
- Local hotspots
- And much, much more
This approach is beneficial because it helps the new resident feel seen and welcomed with all the information they need in a handy, easy-to-reference package – while at the same time giving them the space they need to settle in without feeling like they need to make a great first impression during the chaos that can often accompany a big move. It’s all about striking that fine balance between making someone feel welcomed and giving them the opportunity to get settled into their new home, and in our opinion, a great welcome package does just that.
3. Encourage New Residents to Make Themselves at Home
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 residents do their due diligence. New owners should be encouraged (by the welcoming committee, even!) to be proactive and feel empowered in exploring the building’s policies and bylaws, learning about things like pet restrictions, renovations rules and requirements, and the like.
Realistically, prospective buyers should be sussing out these details in advance to signing off on a mortgage as a rule of thumb, but if there’s any murkiness or uncertainty around these sorts of policies or regulations, new residents should take the steps to clarify things immediately upon moving in. After all, it’s all about being a good neighbour, right? ?
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’ve had the pleasure of helping to welcome plenty of individuals into countless new condo communities, and are happy to share some of our success stories with you to help make your building warm and inviting for next new folks who decide to call it “home.”