10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Tenants
Renters Warehouse Blog
As a landlord, it's easy to focus on the tenants that go wrong.
It's only natural. For some reason, bad experiences -like destroyed carpet or unpaid rent, tend to stand out in our minds a lot more than good ones. So it makes sense that we'd dwell on the problem tenants, rather than the ones that quietly go about their lives, faithfully paying the rent on time each month.
Thankfully, the truth is that problem tenants are the exception -not the norm. For every bad tenant out there, there are a dozen more who are worth their weight in gold. You wouldn't be in business if it weren't for your tenants, so it's worth taking some time to show them some appreciation -especially during the festive season!
Fortunately, showing gratitude to your tenants doesn't have to be difficult -or time-consuming. It doesn't have to be costly either. Often, it's the simple things that mean the most. Saying "Thank you," to tenants for paying the rent, along with other gestures of gratitude doesn't cost anything, but can go a long way toward helping to build goodwill between you and your renter. And as we all know, a happy tenant makes your job as a landlord, a lot easier as well.
With this in mind, let's take a look at a few things that you can do to show your renters that you're thankful for them this year!
Few things impress a tenant more than responsiveness.
When a renter calls or emails with a problem, professional landlords will always strive to respond as soon as possible. A fast response time will help to alleviate your tenant's concerns, and will show them that you care. Never brush them off, or tell them that they'll have to wait until an unknown date in the future. Taking their concerns seriously -and addressing issues in a timely manner is extremely valuable to tenants, and can go a long way toward helping them to feel appreciated.
On a similar note, if you're going to be out of town, or otherwise unable to respond to their messages for a few days, make sure you give them a heads up -and provide them with a way to get in touch with you in case of an emergency.
Be Realistic When Raising the Rent
While rent increases are a fact of life -and a necessary part of rental management, it's important to exercise discretion before you send out those notices.
Hiking the rates right around the holidays is guaranteed to rub most people the wrong way. Instead of raising the rent around Christmas -a time when most people tend to be strapped for cash, consider holding off until after the New Year -where it's far more likely to be better received. Some landlords will even consider keeping the rent low to encourage a good renter to stay. If it is time for a rent increase though, consider doing it in smaller increments -rather than as a massive increase all at once.
Help Them Take Care of the Rental
Help your tenants look after their home by offering them a free carpet cleaning service, or landscaping services.
This gesture is a great way to say thanks -and will help them feel welcome, and more at home. As a bonus, this also shows them that you care about the condition of the rental -which in turn, will motivate them to look after it better themselves.
Consider a Small Token of Thanks
A small token of thanks -especially around the holidays, is always welcome!
You could give them a gift basket, gift cards to the local coffee shop, or a tasty gourmet treat. Or, you could surprise them with a discount off of next month's rent -even $50 off is something that's certain to be well received!
Respect Their Privacy
One of the best ways you can show your gratitude to your tenants is by respecting their privacy. This means giving them ample notice before showing up at the rental -unless it's an emergency, of course.
Of course, providing adequate notice when you need access to the rental isn't just polite -it's also required by law in most areas. But you can go the extra mile, and make a point to work around the tenant's schedule, whenever possible. If repairs or maintenance are needed, consider connecting with your renters to see what times are convenient for them. As long as the repair isn't urgent, this is a great way to show your renters some extra consideration.
Consider an Upgrade
This doesn't mean that you have to renovate the entire house in order to express your gratitude, but going the extra mile and upgrading appliances that are old and tired, or making small improvements can mean a lot to tenants, and show them that you enjoy having them in your rental.
Most tenants will appreciate these updates -especially if you perform them just before the holidays, or after the New Year. In most cases, you'll want to avoid performing major renovations around Christmas -a time when everyone is home, and most households are extremely busy.
Keep Your Promises
From a tenant's perspective, few things are worse than a landlord who promises one thing, and delivers something very different. For this reason, it's important to ensure that you never promise something that you may not follow through with.
You'll also want to avoid sending out the wrong impressions. Never hint at a new outdoor porch, for instance, or mention your plans to install wood flooring throughout, unless you're certain that you will do it. Implying that you have positive things in store for your rental will give your tenants false hope, and set them up for disappointment. In most cases, you'll want to under promise, and over deliver. Your tenants will be most grateful.
A little bit of kindness can go a long way!
Consider reaching out from time to time to touch base with your tenants, and see how things are going at the rental. Connecting with your tenants has an added benefit as well -it will give them a chance to fill you in on any minor issues at the rental; allowing you to take action before small problems become bigger.
Show your tenants that you appreciate them by treating them fairly, and avoiding anything that could be considered favoritism. This is especially key in multi-unit properties where word travels quickly.
Make sure you consistently and fairly enforce and uphold the terms of the lease. For instance, you'll want avoid letting one occupant slide on the rent -when you expect the others to consistently pay on time. In property management, treating tenants equally at all times is important.
Establish a Good Relationship From the Start
Finally, tokens of thanks will mean very little to someone if you have a frosty relationship with them. The best way to show your tenants that you appreciate them -isn't just by giving them gift cards once a year at Christmas, instead, it's about treating them right -year round.
Establish a good relationship from the start by being polite and professional, and making sure they know that they can always contact you if they have any issues and concerns. If you don't enjoy fielding phone calls, consider giving them an email address to use, or consider holding office hours -with a designated line for emergencies, of course. Better yet, consider enlisting a property manager to handle all of the tenant issues for you -promptly and professionally. This will save you from the hassle of being on-call around the clock, while providing your tenants with excellent service.
Treating your tenants well is a nice gesture, and it's also good business. When tenants feel they are respected and appreciated, it will encourage them to renew their lease and stay a bit longer. It'll also go a long way towards helping them to feel more at home in your rental.
Remember, treating people right isn't just for the holiday season -instead, it should be a year-round endeavor, and something that you practice with every interaction you have. It's a tall order -but something that's worth striving for.
At Renters Warehouse, we provide rental home property management services for landlords and real estate investing professionals. If you'd like to learn more about outsourcing some of the work that's involved with residential property management, be sure to check out this article: Why You Should Hire a Property Manager.
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