Having a good relationship with your tenants can help prevent undesirable incidents from happening. Although we would all like to keep things as professional as possible, you don’t have to marry into the family in order to be respectful to one another. Offering small “gifts” of appreciation doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend a large amount of money on lavish presents either. You’d be amazed at how far simple additions to renting a home can impact a tenant. Examples of these small things could include:
1. List of Local Services – A nice gesture for your tenants is to have an active list of local services and phone numbers to help them turn on utilities. Some landlords will go so far as to include prices and fees for these services to help the new tenants budget their needs. This can be a quick and easy printout or something you could host on your own website should you have one. This allows the tenants to save from having to spend time looking for numbers of what’s available in the area.
2. Barbeque – Inviting guests to a barbeque is a great way to get to know your tenants. It’s a relaxed atmosphere that can help you connect to them that is beyond the professional. While you don’t have to try to become best friends with your renters, it can provide you with a chance to observe these people outside of an office atmosphere. Many professionals and organizations will host barbeques for no other reason than customer service. Although you’re not in retail or sales, customer service is still an important aspect of being a landlord.
3. Community Event Calendar – Many communities will produce their own calendars for everyone in the area to have. These will have dates of community sponsored events that help shape interpersonal relationships. If a renter can connect on a friendly level with those surrounding his or her home, there is an increased chance of a more pleasant experience. You don’t have to involve yourself in such events if you’d rather keep a professional level, but it doesn’t hurt to help your new tenant meet some friends within the community.
4. Fruit Basket – As corny as it may sound to some, a fruit basket is a nice way to welcome someone new to the neighborhood. If you make these baskets yourself, you could save a great deal of money as well. Include a variety of healthy snacks and try to stay away from other fattening additions such as chocolate or pastries. Since you don’t know what kind of person your new renter is, you don’t want to offend anyone by sending them foods that they may be abstaining from. He or she could be a health-nut and would rather not have such goodies. Healthy fruits can say, “welcome, and eat well” without it being accusatory.
There may be other small things you can do to help a tenant feel more welcome in his or her new home short of giving them a month free of rent. Many people are appreciative to any nice gesture that can save them money or provide knowledge they didn’t have before. You don’t have to become best friends in order to share a mutually respected relationship with those whom you are renting.