May 29, 2018
6 Ideas for Tenant Appreciation Events
Your residents are your business. It’s that simple. We often hear about how to mitigate the risks of problem tenants, but what about the flip side of that? How do you keep your good tenants happy? This is key priority for property managers because good tenants who feel appreciated renew their leases and refer their friends, who are usually also good tenants. Tenant appreciation events should be a part of your ongoing customer service and marketing efforts.
These random acts of kindness throughout the year does mean you’ll be spending a little money upfront, but contrast that to the costs of vacant units, as well as finding, attracting and signing a new tenant, and it pales in comparison. And, quite frankly, it’s worth it to shell out a little extra now for a lease that carries on two, five or more years.
Many property management companies leave a gift basket in the unit when tenants move in, often with a gift basket. Typical gift baskets tend to be:
- The cleaning supply gift basket: Packed with sponges, paper towels, window and all-purpose cleaners, laundry supplies, dish soap and other handy and needed items.
- The snack basket: This usually contains munchies for tenant as well as their friends and family who are helping them move. Items include chips, popcorn, pretzels, chocolates, cookies and some soft drinks or bottled water.
- The welcome home basket: Always a favorite, new tenants are greeted with a lovely basket filled with two mugs, coffee and tea, some tea towels and a scented candle.
Some property management firms drop off a plant or a bottle of wine when a new resident moves in and sends a gift card upon each renewal. (We’ve even heard stories about landlords that reward their long-term tenants with tablets or small appliances!) But how can you show your appreciation throughout the year?
Tenant Appreciation Ideas
Here are some year-round tenant appreciation ideas that don’t cost a lot on a per-person basis:
The Power-Up Your Day Breakfast Bar
Surprise tenants with donuts, muffins, cereal bars, bananas and apples, boxes of juice, and a large urn of hot coffee. This can be done anytime throughout the year, set up as a grab-and-go. It will put big smiles on your tenants faces, without costing a ton of money.
The Dessert Reception and/or Wine & Cheese
This end-of-the-day event is always well received! In cooler months, it can be held in a party room or the lobby, and outside in the summer months. For a dessert reception, offer a variety of pies, cakes and cookies as well as tea and coffee. At the wine and cheese, serve a selection of red and white wines and have platters of cheese and crackers as well as veggies and dip or some other light snacks. Your residents will appreciate the thought and effort that went into the event, and everyone can get to know one another in a friendly atmosphere.
Spring Bike Tune Up
Partner with a local bike shop and invite all residents to come down to the front of the property for a free bike tune up. Send out notifications well in advance, and time it to coincide with National Bike to Work Day.
The Ice Cream Social
A summertime favorite! Serve up ice cream cones or cups in the front lobby or on the front lawn of the property. Tenants love the sweet treat, and it’s a chance to interact with residents in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to take photos for your social media channels, with your property name as a hashtag.
Set up a screen outside, and invite your residents to join you for a movie night under the stars. Supply popcorn, soft drinks and water, and ask tenants to bring blankets and lawn chairs. If the building has a kids’ room, consider a kids movie night as well.
The Holiday Mingle
Decorate the lobby with a few well-place LED lights, and maybe a wreath. Invite tenants to enjoy some holiday cheer in the lobby. It’s a great way for your residents to get to know one another and foster a sense of community. You may want to include a food or toy drive. One property company we know set up a cookie table for kids with sugar cookies and frosting for decorating, which was a wild success with kids and parents alike.
Luckily, showing appreciation to your renters isn’t hard –or time consuming. And, ultimately, it doesn’t have to cost a lot either. Courtesy, respect and a simple thank you note to tenants for paying their rent on time, and showing them common courtesy and respect doesn’t cost anything, yet can go a long way toward building good, long-term relationships.