Tenant turnover is a costly time, and nothing helps with keeping expenses to a minimum like ensuring that when you’ve found a reliable tenant that they remain content to stay in your unit long-term.
One way to guarantee resident retention is to make your tenants feel at home the minute they start their tenancy. A great resident retention technique, that will make a tenant feel welcome right from the beginning is to provide a welcome gift. Gifts can range from more elaborate to a simple handwritten note, but if you want to wow tenants with your thoughtfulness, follow this simple recipe for the perfect welcome gift basket.
Here Are Items You Can Include:
Free Items [Include 3-5]:
- Map highlighting nearby points-of-interest
- Coupons to the closest grocery store
- Handwritten welcome note
- Renter Maintenance Checklist
These items may be free to you, but will go a long way in ensuring that your tenant feels at home, and welcomed. Highlighting points-of-interest will guarantee that you will not be getting multiple phone calls asking where the “nearby dog park listed in the advertisement is located” and providing a renter maintenance checklist–and even laminating it for longevity–will provide the knowledge your tenants need to properly maintain your investment. (This is especially useful if you rent in areas like college towns and often acquire tenants who may not have previously had experience maintaining a house or apartment themselves.)
$5 Items [Include 1-3]:
- A few rolls of toilet paper for the move-in day
- Cleaning kit
- Gift Card: To local coffee Shop
- Pet treats: for pet-friendly units
- Scented candle
These items are inexpensive, and will certainly be used and appreciated. We love the cleaning kit because not only will it help your tenants should they find themselves in a pinch upon move-in, but it sets the tone for the importance of keeping your rental clean throughout tenancy. A small shower caddy or bucket, sponges, cleaners, paper towels, and rubber gloves can be found at the dollar store. The pet treats and coffee shop gift card are items that serve a more fun purpose and will definitely make your tenant–and their furry friend ready invited to have a great landlord-tenant relationship from the start.
$10-25 Items [Extras to Include]:
- Gift card to grocery store
- Gift card to home improvement store
- Bottle of wine (or sparkling cider)
- Small bouquet of flowers
- Home Tool Kit
These items may be more costly if you have a large portfolio, but they will be a relatively small expense for a big return. Few things feel as welcoming as flowers or extra funds for a quick grocery run during move-in. The home improvement gift card or a home tool kit will serve double-duty as it will encourage tenants to make small improvements (just be sure to remind your tenants that they are welcome to make small changes, but permanent changes must be approved beforehand.)
Gift Subscription [Luxury Extra]:
- Box of treats & toys for pets
- Cleaning Supply Subscription
- Snack Box
By nature, these subscription boxes will be more costly than a one-time expense that a welcome basket provides, but if you’re interested in supplying your tenants in higher-end rentals with a little something extra, this is an option that will certainly be appreciated. A cleaning supply subscription is certainly an investment on your part, but could ensure your tenants take better care of your property during their tenancy.
A welcome gift goes a long way towards letting your tenants know you are a landlord or manager worth having a great relationship with. While a gift basket may be an added expense, it is a gift can set the tone for the tenancy, and even help with resident retention, making the right welcome basket a gift that keeps on giving.