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Tip #192:  Do a Good Turn Daily

If you have been watching the news this month then you have likely heard the story of a landlord giving a holiday gift to tenants in the form of a rent discount.

After one ecstatic tenant posted a picture of the letter he had received informing him of the unexpected $70 discount on the Internet, it went viral, and is now being viewed by millions — including prospective tenants. Besides showing current tenants that he is a nice, caring landlord, this simple act will likely benefit him for years to come. Now, he will have a much easier time finding new tenants as the old ones cycle out.

There are a number of sites on the Internet that give tenants an open forum to review and rant about rental properties or even the landlord or manager specifically. You are going to want as much praise as possible on these sites as prospective tenants will be looking at them.  Just like the old saying “You’re only as good as the company you keep”, it’s imperative to a good reputation to make sure the property managers and employees you hire are providing the level of care you strive for.

There are many other inspirational stories to emulate –like North Carolina management firm Village Realty, which hosts an annual fund raising event for local families in need. Since 2009, these holiday-inspired events, featuring a chili cook-off, breakfast with Santa and raffle for employees to pick a manager to wear a pink bunny suit all day, have raised thousands of dollars for the local community — and scored some public relations points along the way.

Another landlord announced she’d be discounting rent for tenants who agree to adopt a shelter animal. Others supply a turkey to everyone in the apartment complex — although a vegetarian-friendly fruit basket will suffice and not offend any tenants who may be adverse to meat.

You don’t need to wait for the holiday season to do a good turn.  At any point throughout the year, doing a good deed means earning good rapport with your tenants, and that is crucial in today’s socially connected world. These deeds need not be expensive; tenants would be happy having repairs completed on time, or just feeling like the lines of communication are open — especially if you are just a phone call or an email away.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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