It's Thanksgiving, and it can pay landlords to give thanks to tenants. They pay their rent on time, they look after their home, and some of them have been tenants for a long time. As we get into the Holiday Season, there are so many ways we show our appreciation to so many people. We send cards to friends and family, we arrange a Thanksgiving dinner, we go to social events with colleagues and business associates, because they are fun and to show everyone that we do care about them.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs show their customers and clients they value them by doing something a little special. As landlords, our tenants are our clients, in a way. They provide us with regular income to fund the investment property's mortgage or to simply increase our wealth. Good tenants are business assets, so it pays to say "Thank you" to them.
That "thanks" may be expensive or inexpensive. It may be purely one-way, from you to them, or it may be a thank you that benefits the giver as well as the receiver. The very least it will do is to bind the relationship a little tighter. That may just encourage a good tenant to stay on a little longer, so you both benefit. Let's look at ten ways to show your tenants some gratitude on Thanksgiving Day.
1. Send a Small Gift
Let's begin with the obvious. A Thanksgiving card with a little something inside is always welcome. There are two ways of doing this. If your tenants mingle with each other because they all live in one of your multi-family properties, then it may make sense to give everyone the same thing or different things but of the same value. If you own single family homes, and the tenants never meet, then your gift can be unique and based on the tenancy benefit to you. If some have children, then you may want to give the gift to their children, and if they do not, then make the gift personal to the tenant.
How much should each gift be? Work out what the tenancies, or tenancy, is worth, and decide accordingly. It may be a $10, a $50, or a $100 gift card for Amazon so they can buy what they want.
2. Personally Deliver a Gift Basket
You, or your property manager, can make the monthly visit a fun visit. Fruit, cookies, turkey dinner – you choose. By making it a personal handover, it will add value in your tenant's mind. They will already have received your card in the mail and, now, they get to thank you for it while you give them something they really didn't expect. That adds to the pleasure and ties the bond a little tighter.
3. Arrange a Get-Together
If you rent to a number of tenants, you could arrange a brunch for everyone at a local patisserie, a burger joint or other suitable venue. It gives everyone a chance to talk with each other and with you, their landlord. You may pick up on something important, they may all tell each other how great it is to get a Thanksgiving gift, and what it is about their home they enjoy.
Some restaurants may arrange a discount for the event. It costs you less than it would, but the enjoyment is still high. And the place you all go to may get some new customers – so it pays them to offer a discount on the meal.
4. Tickets for a Show
Plays, musicals and films all say "Holiday Season" at this time of year, so one ticket for each family member may be a great way to get them to go and enjoy their free time together and do it on behalf of their landlord. The family fun they have will be worth so much more than the price of the tickets.
5. Lottery Tickets
It costs a dollar, but it may be worth a million. Giving your tenant 50 lottery tickets is not to be sneezed at. The idea they could become millionaires is an amazing feeling. Even if they don't get all six numbers, they may get three or four. It's still free money. If they win nothing – well, it's the thought that counts.
Scratch-offs are even more fun. They know they won't become millionaires, but a family sitting around their own Thanksgiving table taking it in turns to scratch off to see what they have won is real fun. The odds of winning are higher, so the cheers should be more frequent!
7. Marketing Materials Are Great Free Gifts
Gyms, new restaurants, massage parlors often give away free vouchers to attract new business. Collect as many as makes sense – a month's membership, a free facial, a discounted mani-pedi, all go into the envelope with the Thanksgiving card. Add in your own $20 gift card, and it all adds up. If you have a circle of business associates who offer seasonal gifts, ask them to "up them" a little for your tenants, so the gift you give is greater than it may have been. If they get a new customer out of it, they will thank you, and so will your tenant.
8. Delay the New Rent Increase
After a year, the rent will go up. That year may be a calendar year. Who likes to see a rent increase at the same time they are paying off the Christmas expense? So, your Thanksgiving gift to your tenant could be a one or two month delay in raising their rent. No money out of your pocket, but it will be so appreciated.
9. Discount the Renewal Agreement
Not all tenants will stay for another year, but some will. Off a discount or a bonus with the new agreement. It will encourage good tenants to stay, and it saves you from finding another tenant. If they do not stay, then "it's the thought that counts."
10. Clean or Paint
You may need to clean the carpets at some point or repaint one of the rooms, so offer to do it now as a Thanksgiving gift.
11. Be Respectful All Year Long
Yes, we said only 10 ideas, but it is Thanksgiving! Give your tenants more than one gift. All year there are simple ways to show your tenants you are thankful for them. Many landlords let professionalism and courtesy slip; they turn up withut due notice, they are slow to respond to requests, they give excuses for not doing maintenance work properly, ec, etc, etc.
Be different. Be the landlord your tenants want to have as a landlord. They will stay longer, respect your propery better, and they will tell others. Word of mouth advertising is powerful, especially if you invest in another property and you want a good tenant to move in quickly. Unexpected gifts help good tenants to stay on and to tell other people you are the landlord to know.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! And remember, if you need advice, assistance or other property management ideas, please just lick here to ccontact us.
About the author
Matt Angerer is the Founder and President of VerticalRent. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics that help Landlords, Property Managers, and Renters across America. He is particularly interested in helping renters understand their local marketplace, pick the best places to live, and find an awesome roommate. Since 2011, VerticalRent has grown to service over 100,000 landlords and renters across America.