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Do You Appreciate Your Tenants? Then Show Them!

by Kevin Perk on December 23, 2013 · 21 comments

  
Appreciate Your Tenants

Do you appreciate your tenants?  You should.

I know I have written about tenants in the past, much of it negative or scary.  I know a lot of others have written posts about tenants in the past, much of that negative or scary as well.

We landlords all have our tenant stories that we can commiserate with over a stiff drink.

But there is another side of the story.   Sure there are some bad eggs out there, but in my experience most are pretty good.  So let’s take a minute and think about all of the things our tenants actually do for us.  Our tenants are:

  • Paying off our mortgages
  • Paying our property taxes
  • Paying our insurance
  • Paying to keep our properties maintained
  • Paying to put food on our table and gas in our cars.

When you think about it, would you not agree that this situation is quite the deal?  I think you would.  If not, look again at the first word in each of those five bullet points.

So, knowing the deal you are getting, have you ever taken the time to let your tenants know that you appreciate them?  It does not take much and now is the perfect time of year to do it.

A simple holiday card stating that you are glad the tenant chose to rent from you and thanking them for their business should do the trick.  If you are concerned about any religious connotations, then why not send out “Happy New Year!” cards.

Think about what that simple extra act of acknowledgement could do.  It could really build some goodwill between you and your tenants and reduce that potentially adversarial relationship.  What if:

  • Your tenants were more understanding the next time something breaks or goes wrong
  • Saw you more as a person rather than the “landlord”
  • A simple acknowledgement encouraged them to make timely payments
  • They took a little bit better care of the place.

So spread a little holiday cheer with your tenants.  Start the New Year on a positive note. Let your tenants know that you appreciate them.  The cost is minimal and the rewards may be great.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Photo Credit: demandaj

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Phillips December 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Good advice, will take! What’s a card that costs $2.00 when you get back a year of good cheer? Worth it, thats what.

Reply

Kevin Perk December 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Lisa,

I agree! Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

Kevin

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Al Williamson December 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Kevin, as you know I’m in complete agreement.

We landlords should take on a vendor perspective like any other business.

Much more is written about buying rentals than the art of holding them. Thanks for underline the importance of customer appreciation.

Reply

Kevin Perk December 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Al,

Thanks for helping to highlight the point here. Real estate is ultimately a people business. We landlords have to be able to relate to people in order to do well. If we can’t get and keep customers, we will fail. Those customers that choose us should be appreciated because there are many, many choices in the market place. Taking a simple extra and sincere step with your customers, no matter what the business, can make all the difference.

Appreciate your comments as always,

Kevin

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Eric December 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Good article Kevin. Too landlords only focus on the bad stuff and take the good tenants for granted. We try to send a $25 gift card to Target or Wal-Mart to our tenants, even if they aren’t the perfect tenants. Are you going to survive without that $25? It’s a tax write-off too!
This year we even bought a new dishwasher for our tenants. The old was was still working but we had talked about it with them last year. They are model tenants. They were absolutely thrilled and we are know they aren’t going to move anytime soon just because they can find a place down the street for $50 less per month.

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Eric December 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Too many landlords….

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Kevin Perk December 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Eric,

I think I need to rent from you :)

Fun aside, I completely agree with you. A little can go a long way. You made your tenants feel like they are more than just a paycheck. That is important.

Thanks for reading, commenting and the kind words,

Kevin

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Aaron Yates December 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I have been thinking alot about this the past few months.

So I implented something new this year for my current tenants. I took $100 of their December rent and told them marry xmas. The look on their face was priceless as they smiled from ear to ear. They all loved it.

They take care of my properties and I wanted to show a little gratitude.

Reply

Kevin Perk December 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Aaron,

Nice idea. I am sure the looks you received were awesome. Hopefully your tenants will remember your gratitude.

Thanks for sharing,

Kevin

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Wayne Prentiss December 23, 2013 at 11:57 pm

We do something similar for our tenants. A nice card and a set of movie tickets from Costco. The goodwill this creates can go a long way!

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Kevin Perk December 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Wayne,

Nice idea! A little goodwill can sure help smooth over the rough patches.

Thanks for reading and for sharing,

Kevin

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Susan Cain December 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Since I have Condos, I give generous gifts to the service people in the building. Any time there’s a problem, my tenants are taken care of immediately.

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Kevin Perk December 26, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Susan,

Smart move to remember those who can help you in a pinch. Not only should you appreciate your tenants, but you should appreciate your service people and your contractors. For these are the folks who really do help you out of a pinch.

Thanks for reading and sharing,

Kevin

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Do December 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm

I know I would appreciate that, but even more I would appreciate being treated like a human being, like you would like to be treated, all year long. My current owners, although slow to fix things at times are wonderful human beings and despite some disagreements over small things, have great communication skills. As a result, I have fixed whatever I can, with their approval, and now that I must move out of the area, accommodate their requests for viewings, by potential tenants, as much as possible, even on short notice. My father even landscaped the backyard, that was not done, prior to move-in.

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Susan Cain December 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

I have always had an excellent relationship with my tenants, who tend to stay for years, and set up automatic Bank payments for rent. Since I show my appreciation on a regular basis, I never give them Christmas presents. When anything needs replacing, they get top-of-the-line. My units have new windows, kitchens, baths, HVAC units. A few years ago, when I sold an apartment, with a tenant, who would have preferred to stay, the Realtor was told that she had to respect the wishes of the tenant. Said tenant allowed her to bring in a photographer. Fortunately, the pictures got the unit sold very quickly (Having a garage parking space downtown Boston didn’t hurt.)

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Kevin Perk December 26, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Susan,

Sounds like you are doing a great job. We also try to be very responsive to tenant’s needs, but do fall down every once in a while. The cards and gifts we give are just a little bit extra at a special time of year.

Thanks again for sharing and can I have the code to that garage next time I am up that way? Parking in Boston is no fun, :)

Kevin

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Kevin Perk December 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Do,

You have hit the nail on the head so to speak. I have always said the real estate business is a people business. We need to remember first and foremost that our tenants are people too and people deserve respect.

You sound like a great tenant, I am sure your current landlord is sad to see you go. If you are coming to Memphis, be sure to look us up. :)

Thanks for reading and commenting. It is appreciated,

Kevin

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Do December 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Ouch!!! That nail hurt.. :) All kidding aside, I only rent from those I can communicate with; so, yes we’ll (landlord and I) miss each other. Memphis, hmmmm….Quite far from my native CA, but you never know??

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Kevin Perk December 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Do,

It is wise of you to check your potential landlord out just like we landlords check out our potential tenants. Once you move in, we are all in it for the long haul. The ride is so much better if we can all get along.

We get a lot of folks from out west coming to work here for FedEx, St. Jude and others, so you never know. Good luck in your move.

Thanks again for commenting,

Kevin

Cuong Le December 26, 2013 at 11:51 am

Thanks Kevin. We’ve sent Christmas cards to our tenants every year and every time they would renew, we would ask them if there’s anything that we could do to improve their stay. Many times, it’s the AC that needs some tweaking, needing a dryer vent to go to the outside or something small. If their request will improve our property and their stay, we will do it. Great article.

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Kevin Perk December 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm

Cuong,

Great ideas. It really is all about the little things sometimes.

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Kevin

Reply

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