Going shopping for Christmas presents is one of my least favorite activities. It’s right up there with going to the dentist and going to the DMV. That’s why I try and do as little of it as possible and that’s why I have a virtual assistant to do these types of tasks which I can’t stand.
And being that Christmas is upon us it is time for you to start thinking of getting something for your tenants or telling your virtual assistant to get something for them like I do.
What Should you get your Tenants for the Holidays?
At the very least, get them a Christmas card. Let them know you’re thinking about them. You don’t want to be the landlord who never, ever contacts his tenants. This sends a bad message and the tenants will think they can get away with more and that you don’t actually care about the property. This causes the tenants to treat the property poorly and to pay rent whenever they fill like it.
If you want to be a big spender I would get your tenants a card and a box of chocolates. This is what I usually have my assistant do. I can’t remember the chocolates but it’s some fancy-type designer chocolates. I don’t mind that it costs a little more because my tenants are paying me thousands of dollars a year and paying down my mortgages for me.
If you want to go all out, then get them a $50 gift card to a store or a restaurant. I do this with tenants that have been with me for multiple years. The tenants who recently moved in with me get the chocolates.
Of course, Christmas isn’t the only time to send a gift to your tenants. You should also send them a gift on their birthday. All of us love it when people remember our birthday’s, so don’t forget to send a handwritten card and gift when the time comes around; And make sure the card is handwritten. Don’t be lazy and order something online — Yes, I do personally handwrite my cards. That’s one the few things my assistant does not do.
Another time when you should send your tenant a gift is when they renew their lease. I will often give them a gas card worth $100 or more or give them a gift card worth several hundred dollars to a store such as like Best Buy.
It’s worth it for me to spend a couple hundred bucks to keep a good tenant, versus having a vacant house for two months that will cost me a few thousand dollars and waste my time trying to locate a new tenant.
In fact, if you haven’t done so yet, I would set up a 2012 calendar that lists all of the dates you should be getting your tenants something such as birthday’s and lease renewals. This small amount of planning will help you increase tenant retention and put more money in your pocket in the long run.
Just remember, after you make that calendar don’t forget to start ordering your Christmas gifts for your tenants.
Photo: Raj Boora