Giving a Christmas gift to your tenant is a great way to show appreciation for everything they do to take care of your property. It can go a long way in strengthening your relationship with them and encouraging them to be your tenant for the long term. If you’re struggling to find the perfect present, check out this list of Christmas gift ideas for tenants.
A gift card is something every tenant will be thrilled to receive, as it provides them with the flexibility to purchase what they truly want or need. A Visa or Mastercard gift card is the best type to purchase, as these will provide your tenant complete freedom of choice in how to use them.
You can also buy a gift card redeemable exclusively at a particular store or retail brand. In that case, it’s prudent to choose one geared toward everyday goods and services, like groceries. If your tenants are living on a low-income, they’ll be especially appreciative of this type of gift card. Just make sure the location is accessible to your tenant. If you know they rely on public transit to get around, they won’t be too thrilled about needing to travel to the other side of the city to use the card!
A good price range for gift cards is between $25 and $100. When choosing the denomination, consider the size of your tenant’s household. A larger gift card is more suitable for a large family, while a smaller one is appropriate for someone who lives alone.
Box of chocolates
Few people don’t mind indulging their sweet tooth occasionally, especially during the Christmas holidays. For this reason, you almost can’t go wrong by choosing a box of chocolates or another tasty treat as your gift.
You don’t need to spend a bundle on chocolate. But since Christmas only comes around once each year, it’s worthwhile to put in the extra effort to get something unique and memorable. Consider making a trip to a specialty chocolate store and picking out something more extravagant.
Here are some great chocolate shops to explore, many of which ship orders across Canada:
- Purdys’ Chocolatier
- Chocolate Constance Popp
- Rheo Thompson
- Alicja Confections
- The Chocolate Lab
- Sweet Lollapalooza Confections
- Anne of Green Gables Chocolates
A coffee mug is a popular gift choice for tenants, as it’s something they’re likely to use every day for a long time. Given their affordability and usefulness, you can purchase a whole set if your tenant has a family. There are plenty of eye-catching mugs available to choose from, so it’s easy to find a design your tenant would find appealing.
As a bonus, consider filling the mug with coffee pods, tea bags, or hot chocolate packets.
Bottle of wine
While a bit cliché, a bottle of wine will surely be a hit with your tenant. Some brands can be pricey, but there’s no need to break the bank to find one they can enjoy for the holidays. There are some excellent choices available under the $50 mark.
Gift baskets are an excellent holiday gift, as they offer a diverse array of food and household items your tenant will readily use and enjoy. You can buy an impressive gift basket for under $50 at grocery stores like Costco.
Most gift baskets center around food and beverages, so you can include the following:
- Dried fruits
- Hot chocolate flavour
- Coffee pods
- Bottle of wine
Household items like scented soaps, coffee mugs, kitchen utensils, lavender candles, and small decorations are also good choices.
Purchasing a pre-packaged gift basket is perfectly acceptable, but you can also customize one to give it a personalized touch based on what you think your tenant would enjoy the most. For example, you can base your items around a theme, like baking, coffee, spa, and gardening.
Here are some gift basket ideas to spur your creativity.
While not a tangible gift, we suspect surprising your tenant with a rent discount for the upcoming month will boost their holiday spirits! Your tenant will be super grateful to be able to save some money, especially if they’ve been struggling financially.
Be sure to send a letter or email notifying your tenant about the discount before the upcoming rent payment to ensure everything is clear.
Next Year’s calendar
While many people use digital calendars on their smartphones today, a physical calendar for the upcoming year is still a great gift. It’s a practical item your tenant can stick on the fridge to list birthdays, special events, errands, and other important reminders.
Like a gift basket, you can choose a calendar based on a theme that resonates with your tenant. In addition, you can provide extra value by getting a calendar that offers coupons from a local business – your tenant will appreciate the discounts heading into the New Year.
Water bottle or thermos
A tenant who routinely works out at the gym or enjoys hiking will cherish a high-quality, reusable water bottle. There’s a wide array of water bottles to choose from, but most are inexpensive, so you can purchase an entire set for the tenant’s family if they have one.
A thermos is an ideal alternative for those who love to drink a hot beverage on the go. It’s a versatile item they can use at home, at work, or on a camping trip. Look for one made of high-quality stainless steel or glass with a sturdy cap, elegant design, and superior insulation.
Baking mix and pan
If your tenant enjoys baked goods, a baking mix and pan is a nifty way for them to whip up some delicious holiday treats. There is a vast array of different mix and pan sets to choose from fudge brownies, gingerbread cake, shortbread cookies, buttermilk doughnuts, Cinnabon mix, pumpkin spice scones, and more.
These DIY recipes make baking super easy and fun, as the package already contains all the essential ingredients in the proper proportions. You may even inspire your tenant to take on baking as their new hobby!
While not necessarily a Christmas-oriented gift, a surprise property upgrade can brighten up your tenant’s holidays. Ideally, this should be one they’ve enthusiastically spoken about throughout the year or requested for you to do.
Some ideas include:
- Applying a fresh coat of paint on the walls
- Replacing an aging appliance
- Installing a smart device, such as a thermostat or video doorbell
Not surprisingly, a property upgrade may cost you more than a gift basket or a set of coffee mugs. However, the right improvement will keep your tenant happy and encourage them to stay for the long term. Plus, you’ll simultaneously enhance the value and appeal of your rental property. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Tips for tenant gift giving during Christmas
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing your gift and how you present it to your tenant. You want to be genuine and thoughtful but avoid disrupting the professional landlord-tenant relationship you have with them. And, of course, you want to avoid committing any social faux pas.
Here are a few helpful tips for tenant gift giving:
Tip #1 – Don’t overspend
Spending excessive money on a gift for your tenant is unwise, as it can undermine your relationship with them. A lavish gift can elicit mixed feelings from your tenant – they may feel embarrassed, confused, and even obligated to return the favour.
Your tenant is your customer, not a family member or close friend, so strive to keep things strictly business rather than personal.
That being said, you can factor in your rental type when deciding how much to spend. You can justify a higher price tag if it’s a luxurious property in an upscale neighbourhood.
Tip # 2 – Be inclusive
Remember: not everyone celebrates Christmas. Therefore, it’s prudent to choose a gift for your tenant that reflects the holiday season rather than strictly Christmas. By doing so, you can avoid any feelings of ill will or even hostility.
Tip # 3 – Buy each tenant the same gift
While it may be tempting to tailor each gift according to tenants’ preferences and likes, a far wiser approach is to standardize your Christmas gift-giving. The reason is to prevent resentment among tenants should one receive a less extravagant gift than another. Don’t give the impression that you’re playing favourites in your role as the landlord.
Tip # 4 – Write a personalized message
Expressing your appreciation in a card or letter accompanying your gift is a great way to add a personalized touch. Write a heartfelt and uplifting message thanking your tenant and wishing them well for the holidays.
Tip #5 – Don’t wait until the last minute
The days leading up to Christmas can be hectic, so get your tenant gift shopping done ahead of time. This is especially true if you have an extensive portfolio of properties and placing orders for gifts online. Deliveries surrounding the holidays can experience delays, so your tenants may not receive their presents until sometime in January.
Tip # 6 – Contact your tenant ahead of time
If you’ll be dropping off your gift in person, ensure you inform your tenant in advance. Not surprisingly, it’s rude and unprofessional to show up unannounced. And your tenant may have other holiday plans, such as heading out of town to visit their family. Arranging a convenient meeting time will allow you to present your gift without being intrusive.
Our Final Thoughts
While not essential to your job as a landlord, providing a Christmas gift to your tenant is a warm gesture that can leave a lasting impression. And you don’t need to spend much money to make your tenant feel valued and appreciated. A small, thoughtful gift is enough to keep your relationship with them on friendly terms while encouraging them to remain your tenant for the long run.
Of course, a holiday gift isn’t the only way to do something meaningful for your tenant and keep them happy. You can do many small things to enhance their rental experience, including making the rent payment task a breeze.
SingleKey’s Rent Collection platform allows tenants to pay their monthly rent online through pre-authorized debits. You can set up to three tenants for automatic payments in just a few minutes, free of charge. You can monitor rent payments in real-time and have complete flexibility to delay, skip, or cancel them based on your tenant’s needs.
As a bonus, SingleKey reports all rent payments to Equifax, a feature that can encourage a tenant to pay on time so they can establish or improve their credit score.