Every relationship starts the same way—people getting to know each other and moving into a new condo or co-op is no different. It’s actually a lot like moving into a new town; there are new neighbors, new rules and new community leaders. Some buildings might go to great lengths to welcome newcomers into the community, but for the most part, most boards are hands-off when it comes to the red-carpet treatment.
When Jodi Lipper was asked how she was welcomed when she moved into her New York City co-op, she replied “I got squat; nada.” Similarly, Manhattan shareholder Laura Barillaro says when moved into her co-op, she wasn’t welcomed with a bottle of champagne and a map to the neighborhood. “Instead, I was welcomed with a $1,000 move-in fee—followed by a capital assessment,” she remembers.
It's Nothing Personal...
This is not unusual, say those in the industry. “The boards in our buildings are usually on more of a professional level with the residents, not a personal level and that’s pretty standard,” says Robert Rinaldo, vice president of D&J Property Management in Forest Hills. “The board doesn’t send any gift baskets or anything like that when a new resident moves in. They handle the residents’ move-in more like a business transaction.”
When a new shareholder/owner moves into a building, they should know what’s required on their part when they sign the lease, but since they are moving into a building with other neighbors, a welcome gift might be just what they need to feel like they are home.
Paul Purcell, managing director of William Raveis Real Estate in New York City, is also on the board of directors of his co-op and says that even though it’s the not the norm to provide a new resident with any kind of welcome token, he actually would like the idea of welcoming new residents with a little something.