Fifty years ago, residents new to a neighborhood might be greeted by a Welcome Wagon hostess in an A-line skirt and perfect matte lipstick bearing a basket full of goodies from local merchants. She'd give the homeowners the lowdown on who's who, what's what and leave the new neighbors with the warm and fuzzy feeling that their new community, especially the local merchants, really cared.
Now, with the proliferation of the two-income family, no one's home to receive the Welcome Wagon hostess (she has her MBA and a six-figure job at a consulting firm anyway). So who's responsible for the orientation of the new residents in today's busy co-op and condo buildings? The answer varies as much as the buildings and homeowners do.
"Typically, the buildings that we have that go the extra step and welcome new residents into the building has been by way of a board-appointed committee," says Mark Levine of Excel Bradshaw Management Group in Carle Place."Not every building does this but it adds a nice touch and an extra level of service from the building."
"The managing agent and the superintendent are the welcoming committee," says Steven Gold, president of Hudson View Associates in Manhattan. "They are the first people to meet the new shareholders as they are moving in."
A Welcome Wagon?
"Our buildings don't really do a welcome wagon thing. Most of the orientation is done at the initial interview," says Peter Lehr of Kaled Management in Westbury. "If we take on a new account, a new building, we might hold a meet-and-greet. We put out a spread and make our presence known to the residents, answer their questions and concerns. But otherwise we leave orientation to management. We send out a letter identifying who the building manager is."