Ever been invited to a customer appreciation day?
Lots of stores put them on. They offer deals to their best customers. Sure, part of the reason for doing this is to show appreciation for their best customers, but more to the point, the reason is to KEEP their best customers.
As a landlord, you have a customer that’s probably going to pay you over the course of a year more than you’re going to spend at any single store. So if successful retailers have learned that giving gifts is a way to maintain loyalty, doesn’t it make sense for you to do the same thing?
There are a few benefits to doing this.
Loyalty is a big one. Little gestures like this speak volumes. If you have had an opportunity to get to know the tenant to the point that you know what his or her interests are, make the gift match the interest. This makes a person feel valued, and appreciated. When it comes time to renew the lease, he or she is less likely to be inclined to move. It costs a lot less to buy a gift than it does to find a new tenant.
As well, it’s a lot harder to take advantage of someone who has been kind to you. (Yes, I know there are exceptions, but overall it’s true.)
It gives you an opportunity to interact positively with the tenant. At the very least, you’ll probably get a thank you, but if you are able to do this in person, you might learn about leaky faucets, or upcoming vacations when the building will be vacant, or any number of things that you would like to be made aware of.
And, your reputation as a landlord will benefit as well.
When do you do this?
On the first day. We give our new tenants a gift basket. It’s a way for the tenant to make the place a bit more homey, and it gets the relationship, which we hope will be a long one, off to a great start.
We know their birthday. It’s on the application form. So we’ll give them a gift on their birthday too.
And Christmas, of course.
And, when it comes time to renew a lease, we offer a gift with a letter telling our tenant how much we appreciate them, and that we’d be happy to have them stay on with a new lease.