Show your appreciation for your tenants and they will be that much more likely to continue paying rent on time and in full without exception. However, a mere “Thank you!” will not suffice. This is not to say you need to send your tenants a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. Rather, the occasional act of kindness or small gift will go a long way in encouraging your tenants to remain at the property and pay their rent in a timely manner. Let’s take a look at the best ways to show appreciation for your tenants.
Host a Meet-and-Greet Event
If you own or manage an apartment complex, apartment building, large house or other multi-tenant building, hosting a meet-and-greet once every year or two will go a long way in boosting tenant retention. This get-together provides everyone in the building with an opportunity to meet one another and become that much comfortable living near one another, ultimately making tenants feel that much better about paying rent. Be sure to let your tenants know you’ll provide free food and drinks during the event so they have even more reason to show up.
A Token of Your Appreciation
Give a small gift to your tenants once each year and they will be that much more likely to stay at the property and pay their rent on time. There is no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on these gifts. Rather, shelling out a couple bucks per tenant will suffice. Examples of tenant gifts include small gift baskets, thank you cards, water bottles, coffee mugs and gift certificates.
Address Tenant Concerns Right Away
The best property managers/owners understand some tenants consider a timely response to their maintenance request to be the best gift of all. If the furnace goes out, the hot water tank no longer works or if the front door makes noise, perform the necessary repairs right away. Though timely service is expected, plenty of landlords do not respond to tenant requests for assistance right away. Make it clear you are responsive to tenant concerns by providing quick service and your tenants really will be that much more likely to paying their rent in full and on time.
Provide an Incentive for Renewal
Show your appreciation for your tenants when they renew their apartment lease and they will be inclined to remain on-site for years or even a decade or longer. Even dangling a small form of positive reinforcement for tenant renewal has the potential to motivate the tenant to renew his or her lease. From providing a percentage off the first month’s rent after renewal to upgrading appliances or adding new flooring, there are all sorts of creative ways to incentivize your tenants to renew their lease.
Replace Appliance as They Age
Do not wait until the tenant communicates to you that the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, washer or dryer has gone bad. Instead, be proactive by keeping track of the ages of appliances in your buildings and replacing them as necessary. Replacing an old appliance enhances your tenants’ quality of life while incentivizing them to renew their lease agreement rather than looking for potentially greener grass elsewhere.
Make It Clear You Respect Their Privacy
Put yourself in the shoes of your tenant. You work long hours to pay the rent and you might even have to deal with noisy neighbors. You value your privacy. This is precisely why landlords should never barge in on tenants or even drop by unexpectedly unless absolutely necessary. Let your tenants know well ahead of time that you will be performing maintenance or repairs. Make it crystal clear you respect tenant privacy and they really will be that much more likely to stay.
Handwrite a Thank You Letter and Card
The holidays, a tenant’s birthday or the point in time when the tenant renews his or her lease are all fantastic opportunities to write a thank you card and/or letter, expressing your appreciation for the tenant’s on-time rent, adherence to the rules of the property and general civility. Handwrite your words on the card or letter and mail it to your tenant instead of dropping by to surprise him or her by delivering it in person. Even if your message is fairly short, your tenants will greatly appreciate the sentiment as it indicates you care about them as people rather than simply viewing them as a means of making money.
Start off on the Right Foot by Cleaning Newly-rented Apartments
First impressions shape tenant perception of landlords. Once you review and approve a prospective tenant’s standard rental application form for an apartment, provide him or her with a clean apartment. Your new tenant will be thankful for your willingness to invest the effort necessary to ensure a smooth move-in. If you do not want to clean the apartment on your own prior to the tenant’s move-in, hire a professional cleaning service to do it on your behalf. In fact, it even makes sense to provide long-term tenants with a comprehensive deep clean prior to the holidays to make it clear you appreciate their on-time payments and willingness to keep the noise down during quiet hours.
Give the Gift of Fairness
If you were to poll apartment tenants about their experiences with landlords, most would testify they have had some truly terrible experiences. In short, what tenants want the most from their landlord is fairness. Be responsive, repair broken appliances in a timely manner, treat tenants equally and be understanding when challenges arise. Above all, stick to the terms of the rental agreement and show some flexibility when your tenants suffer setbacks. As an example, delaying the payment of rent for a couple days or weeks after a tenant loses his or her job instead of immediately issuing a late rent notice will generate significant goodwill. This goodwill sets the stage for the tenant to respect you all the more and ultimately pay his or her rent in full and on time following this temporary setback.
Every Tenant Appreciates a Lovely Plant
When in doubt, give your tenants potted plants. Potted plants are beneficial for several reasons. The most glaring benefit of gifting a plant to each tenant is it communicates your appreciation for their rent payments. However, gifting plants also improves apartment air quality and lifts tenants’ spirits