Tenants + Holidays = ?

51 Replies

Are you doing anything for your tenants over the holidays? Any gifts? Holiday card? Etc... Or nothing

No, but I would be open to it.  

Maybe Christmas 2019 if they resign their lease during the summer of 2019.

My goal is to keep tenants happy. I think if they see we care about them they will stay longer, especially if they look forward to these presents. I'm leaning toward giving them a box of cookies with a card...

We typically acknowledge our tenants during the holidays. Often in mid-November just prior to Thanksgiving, but if we miss that date, then in mid-December. We give a greeting card with a $15 gift card to a local grocery store/merchandise store (Fred Meyer, which is a Kroger store). This year we are adding a box of biscotti too.

LOL when I saw that equation, I thought oh God, I hope it doesn't equal plumbing problems like last year.

@Marcia Maynard what feedback do you get from your tenants? Do you think it helps with less turnover?

@Dassi Lazar Yep I do the same thing every year . I provide a safe comfortable place for them to stay and repair things if needed . That’s all you need to do

@Dennis M. that goes without saying. I wanted to hear if landlords see tenants that might be on the verge of leaving stay because of a holiday gift etc... 

Originally posted by @Dassi Lazar :

@Dennis M. that goes without saying. I wanted to hear if landlords see tenants that might be on the verge of leaving stay because of a holiday gift etc... 

So you think if a tenant has decided or thinking about Leaving, that a low priced holiday trinket will keep them to stay lol if a tenant wants to break the lease they are just going to go wether they get gifts or not . Sorry this wasn’t a helpful post to the topic ,but I’m just failing to see the wisdom in your strategy of bribing them . To each his own I guess 

@Dennis M. that goes without saying. I wanted to hear if landlords see tenants that might be on the verge 

@Dennis M. my thought process is that sometimes tenants think the other side of the grass is greener. I remember when I was an admin my employer gave a cookie jar during the holiday time and I really appreciated and the thought of leaving slowed down for a few months every year. I wouldn't say it's bribing just an extra gesture that we care about them and are wishing them a happy holidays. More of a personal connection which will hopefully translate into a relationship which means longer tenants.

@Dassi Lazar We did away with our resident retention program and replaced it with a property improvement/customer service program. It varies by area but where we are at people stay a maximum of 3 years. Tenants move-out, it's just part of the business. By investing in the property and focusing on improving systems you not only provide a better experience for the current resident but you also make it easier to replace them when they leave (because THEY WILL LEAVE eventually). I don't see anything wrong with a "Thank you for your business" holiday card. However, I would suggest using that money and time to add value to the property and systems that will stick with the property for a long time and be enjoyed by many tenants instead of investing the money into a single tenant that will leave in a matter of months no matter what you do. 

@Dassi Lazar No holiday gift.  I tend to do the opposite.  I send a letter out in mid to late November reminding the tenant that the best gift they can give their family this Christmas is a roof over their head and remind them to pay on time.  I do file evictions in December as if they can't pay in December, they usually have a harder time paying in January when all the cash has been spent on gifts for family.

I do send small gift cards to tenants who have been very courteous and helpful during large maintenance issues that are no fault of theirs like a tree partially fell on a property last June.  I gave the tenant a $20 gift card to Walmart as a thank you for assisting me to the point I didn't have to go to the property except to meet the insurance agent.

If you have it in the budget, you can do it out of the goodness of your heart, but I would not give gifts expecting a business benefit.

@Dassi Lazar . There are numerous threads on this topic. I agree wholeheartedly with @Dennis M. Comment. Provide safe housing and fix stuff as needed. Don’t give them anything else. You start doing gifts (which isn’t scaleable at all) and then next time they’re late on rent you’re going to feel taken advantage of

I have an elderly section 8 tenant in one of my apartment buildings . I wouldn’t ordinarily do this but She’s pretty destitute so I had the ( stupid) idea I’d give her my Christmas ham that I receive from my w2 job each year since I only like spiral honey Hams. when I went to my triplex  to my dismay I saw where she had slithered  into the basement and confiscated all three  snow shovels and was keeping them to herself in her unit but when questioned she was a adamit they were all hers that she bought -all three lol I just shook my head ,laughed to myself how I got robbed by a little old lady ,and remembered why I don’t give out gifts !! I guess I’ll eat that ham after all ! No good deed goes unpunished 

Interesting... Thanks for your responses!!!

I had a tenant bring me $1600 yesterday to be able to stay thru Xmas. And merry Xmas to me from him... he still owes me $2300. I agree 100% with what Dennis M said
Originally posted by @Dassi Lazar :

Are you doing anything for your tenants over the holidays? Any gifts? Holiday card? Etc... Or nothing

 I'm not evicting them, does that count? :) I don't do cards or anything, for me that's more personal than I want to get with my tenants, even though I actually do like all of them.

What a bunch of scrooges here!

I do at least a small card that says I appreciate you.  Takes me less than an hour or 2 and a couple bucks from the dollar store to bang out 30 of them for the apts.  I receive a few texts of genuine gratitude for that little card every year.

The houses get a little nicer 2/$1 card with the same message that I appreciate them.  They pay me over $14k/yr to rent my houses and give me little trouble. Least I can do.

The tellers and Mgs at my favorite little bank get a nicer card and treats.  They keep a stack of deposit slips for my people to walk in and pay rent and other things like notarize for me or cut me cashier's checks for free. That's $11 for another year of great service and it puts a smile on their faces.

Scrooges!

@Steve Vaughan I think agree with you. Sometimes it takes being different then everyone else and not doing the norm to become that excellent landlord.

@Steve I couldn't agree with you more. There is a lot of arm-chair landlords on here that won't spend one hour of their time a year or one dollar that they don't absolutely have to. They call it streamlining/automation.

I send out Xmas cards, nothing more. Some tenants probably throw them in the garbage, some probably resent me spending their rent money on cards. Those that may appreciate receiving a card would not think negativly of me if I sent nothing.

Some tenants will resent you for spending their money on them, some will be offended by the suggestion that they need your assistance, some will feel obligated and uncomfortable in receiving a gift from a landlord. The negatives far out weigh not doing anything. 

What ever you do you are only doing it to please yourself.  

Not here. I prefer to keep my relationship with the tenant professional and to the four corners of the lease. 

When I first got into this my "pre-landlord" self was inclined to give gifts. I was promptly, and correctly set straight by my mentor. I have never looked back.

It is far from being a scrooge or cheap, it has to do with your individual business decisions. And I do not want any tenant to misconstrue a small gift as a token of friendship.

I installed a laundry room this year to the benefit of the tenants and myself... far more to the tenants at this stage. The year before I installed a parking lot. While the $250-500 I would spend on tenant gift cards may not be a lot in "my personal life" - my business will always require money so I will not piss it away on gift cards, no matter my profit.

I must confess that I don't subscribe to this whole "fear of losing a tenant." If a tenant is not going to renew their lease they give me 60 days notice and I put it up and it rents- because it is a gorgeous place to live and I am the best landlord in my market. 

I am not beholden to my tenants because I am a multi landlord. They are profitable at 50% capacity unlike a SFH, so no tenant will ever have me worried. But that also requires that I be the best landlord, to ensure that I remain at 100% capacity even when turnover occurs.

If giving gifts works into "your business plan," then do it. But be honest and able to articulate it. Even if it is: "I am a SFH landlord and losing this tenant scares the bejesus out of me! I believe that by giving this gift he will be more inclined to stay." I would say that that is far more legitimate then, "well they paid me their rent on time" or "well I collect x-thousands in rent from them every year."

If you find it is derived from your personal predilections, I advise against.

@Dassi Lazar if someone decides to stay because of a gift they are also the person that would leave for a minor problem

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