Although sometimes it seems Halloween marks the start of the holiday season, most of us still think of the Thanksgiving holiday as the big kickoff. It must be something about seeing Santa at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
that awakens the urge to sing carols and go shopping.
While most of us think and worry about taking care of the family and friends on our holiday gift-giving lists, I’ve found also including tenants can be an easy and inexpensive way to help reduce my turnover rate.
Now I’m not saying you have to entice someone to stay with a plasma TV. After all, the Minneapolis and St Paul rental vacancy rates are finally below 5 percent; skewing decidedly in the landlord’s favor. Just think of who your tenants are, and keep it simple.
In one property, my tenants were predominantly young single professionals just starting their careers. I gave them each a $10 gift card to iTunes
. They were not only surprised, but commented they had never had a landlord give them anything; ever.
In another building, my residents tended to be an older, more blue collar crowd. For them I alternated; giving gift cards to Cub Foods
one year, and Wal Mart
another. Again, the universal response was one of surprise and gratitude.
However, it’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas or Hanukkah. I’ve had residents of every religious persuasion. Therefore, when I purchase cards I make sure they express a general holiday wish, rather than one of a specific belief or tradition.
Yes, money’s tight for everyone right now; an additional expenditure the last thing any of us want. But a $10 gift card that might help someone feel welcome in your property is a much smaller investment than the cost of a vacancy.
Have a safe and happy holiday!