Giving Holiday Gifts To Your Tenants

2014-12-20

Giving Holiday Gifts To Your Tenants

Say ‘Thank You For Being a Great Tenant’ in a Memorable Way.

A beautiful origami gift box.Finding a tenant that you really enjoy, that you can count on to treat your property well and pay on time…that’s a modern-day miracle. There are certainly a goodly number of tenants that we would rather not encourage, but for those that you would really like to see stick around, there’s not a lot that you can do beyond just keeping the rent reasonable and the property clean and functional…right?

Of course there is! It’s the Holiday Season, which means you have the perfect opportunity in front of you to present your favorite tenants with something that says ‘thank you for your tenancy (and please stick around!)’ We have a few too many tenants to be able to reasonably keep track of anniversaries, birthdays, and so on — but there’s no special tracking needed for the Holiday Season.

Tax Deductible
Just in case keeping your favorite tenants around for another lease period isn’t enough, also consider that the gifts you give away are tax-deductible up to $25 per household per year. That’s not a lot, but then, you probably shouldn’t be giving away high-end kitchen appliances or expensive gym memberships anyway.

The point isn’t to wow them, it’s to say ‘I appreciate you.’ Literally, it’s the thought that counts — and tenants that know you appreciate them almost always respond by appreciating the property they live in just a little more as well.

Example Gifts In The $25 Range:
iTunes Gift Cards are insanely popular among the Apple crowd, and easy to buy in bulk.
Home Depot Gift Cards are something that almost any tenant can think of a good use for.
Gift Baskets you know are relevant: If you have a particularly good tenant that you know is really into chocolate, beer, wine, or something similar, getting them a small gift basket relevant to their passion is a huge way to say ‘thanks’ — and you can generally have them delivered without ever having to touch or think about them on your own time.
Movie Tickets: $25 will send a couple (or parent and child) out for a movie — and especially for lower income rentals, a fun activity out can be a rare and valued treat for a hard-working tenant.

Example Gifts You Might Consider Even Though They Cost More:
Make an Early Replacement: if you know that a particularly valued tenant has a microwave or ceiling fan or something similar that is approaching its last days, replace it early and with something modern. It might cost a bit, but you’ll have to pay it anyway in a few months — this way you get some extra goodwill out of it.
Hire a Maid: Why not? If your tenant is generally worth keeping but just a little messy, do yourself a solid and get some bonus loyalty at the same time by having a cleaner come in and do some work while they’re visiting family. (Just be sure you inform them that you’ll be stopping by the property while they’re gone.)

Gifts to Avoid:
Food: There are simply too many people out there with nut, soy, dairy, gluten, or other allergies or sensitivities — and too many ‘everything-free’ foods that are simply awful to try and consume. Best to just sidestep this unless you know for a fact it will be appreciated.
Anything That Implies They Need to Work On The Home: Some landlords like to give away small toolkits or duct tape or similar practicalities as gifts. To us, that feels a lot like giving someone a scale. They’re going to ask themselves ‘are they trying to say something about me?’ You’ll cost yourself any goodwill you could have built, and that’s just not worth it.

The Holiday spirit is going to be all around us, making almost everyone feel a little better about their lives — why not take advantage? Give your valued tenants a small ‘thank you,’ and share the joy.

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