Do you include tenant appreciation in your landlording business?
Suppose you give thousands of dollars to a business year in year out, do you like being thanked? I sure do.
Lots of businesses host customer appreciation days. They also offer rewards to their best customers. Part of the reason is to show customer appreciation, but it’s also an effective tactic for fostering customer loyalty. Businesses know that maintaining their customer base is less work and less expensive than finding new ones.
As a landlord, your tenant is a customer that will pay you more over the course of a year than any amount you’ll spend at any single store. So, if successful retailers have learned that showing appreciation is a way to maintain loyalty, doesn’t it make sense for you to do the same thing for your tenants who are paying your mortgage?
There are benefits to showing tenant appreciation.
Here are eight ideas for showing your tenants your appreciation:
A welcome gift basket or gift card for a hardware or grocery store is a way to set the tone for a positive relationship.
Additionally, tenants will thank you and might even offer information about leaky faucets, upcoming vacations, or any number of things that you would like to know.
Small gifts for significant occasions
Little gestures speak volumes. If you know the tenant’s interests, a little surprise on their birthday or anniversary with a gift that matches their interests makes people feel valued and appreciated.
I knew a tenant who was a runner, and his landlords gave him a gift card to The Running Room; he was thrilled.
On the flip side, I once sent a gift basket of chocolate and wine to a former client. When I didn’t hear back, I called to make sure they received it. The client thanked me for the gesture and mentioned that he has diabetes and he and his wife don’t drink. Oops!
If you only hear from your landlord when something negative happens, they’ll dread your calls/texts. That’s a negative hit to your tenant’s emotional bank account. If you send a box of chocolates at Christmas, you’re making positive deposits in their emotional bank account, and they will welcome your calls. Holiday gifts that are respectful of religious diversity are something tenants appreciate.
Bonus for lease renewals
Cash incentives or discounts are excellent incentives for lease renewals and are a great way to show tenant appreciation. Mike Butler, in his Landlording on Autopilot book, has an “all-star” program. The gist is to offer tenants bigger and bigger discounts for each year of the first month of their lease renewal, but only if they pay rent on time every month. For example, tenants receive a 10% discount in year one, the 2nd year, a 35% discount, and in the 3rd year, the tenant receives a free month’s rent.
If you’re planning to replace an aging appliance or paint a room, why not turn it into a tenant appreciation incentive? As a reward for paying on time and taking good care of your property, offer to paint a room the colour of the tenant’s choice or replace a kitchen appliance with a new stainless-steel fridge or stove.
I know of landlords who surprise renewing tenants with a new TV at the annual maintenance inspection and bigger gifts at the renewal of three-year leases. They believe the money spent on a TV or new computer is a much smaller expense than finding a new tenant. The gifts never cost more than $500, which is considerably less than a couple of vacant months. The tenants love it and look forward to the following year’s gift.
Celebrating Family Day with a barbeque and kid’s games is a stellar way to gather families who can visit with each other, create memories, and create a sense of community and loyalty towards you/your property.
Thanking the tenant for notifying you of repairs
You never save money by letting your property slide. Taking an appreciative stance when tenants call you about repairs is a great way to differentiate yourself from many landlords. Although it may not be the only reason tenants renew, tenants will know you are grateful for staying on top of the maintenance. While you’re taking good care of the tenants, give yourself a buffer by budgeting at least 5% of your property’s value for yearly repairs. Whether you show tenant appreciation by being thankful for day-to-day maintenance issues, offer welcome gifts, annual gifts, family BBQs, new appliances, or lease renewal discounts; showing tenant appreciation is a sure-fire way to build loyalty, trust, and mutual appreciation.
What are your best tenant appreciation tips?
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I am a property investor who is passionate about helping investors who self-manage to have profitable investment properties through resources and education. If you struggle with the wrong landlord forms, or worse yet, no landlord forms check out my 10 Essential Editable Landlord Forms that help you separate the good tenants from the bad and increase your property’s profitability.