Property managers with all sorts of portfolios tackle the same question around this time every year: to decorate or not to decorate? Holiday decorations can be a fun way to draw attention to your properties and bring cheer to you current tenants, but they can also be expensive and time consuming.
These five holiday decorating tips for property managers will help you get the most bang for your buck, without adding days of labor for your maintenance crew or alienating tenants that celebrate a wide variety of holidays.
Host a decorating contest
Wouldn’t it be nice if your tenants did the decorating for you? There are always a few that go all out, but there are plenty that don’t make any effort at all. One affordable way to encourage more consistent decorations at your properties is to host a holiday decorating contest. Offer the winner $100 off their rent for the month. That’s less than you would spend putting up lights, but it’s a great incentive during a time of year when budgets are typically stretched thin.
Put together some simple guidelines that let tenants know how to enter and if the winner will be chosen based on certain criteria or at random. Print them, email them or post them in your tenant portals and then watch the magic happen.
Light it up
Well-lit buildings are attractive to prospects, residents and shoppers alike. Make your buildings shine with strings of neatly hung, classic white lights. Because they’re non-holiday specific, you can leave them up through most of the dark winter months.
They say it’s better to give than to receive. But we know that people would much rather receive festive holiday foliage than buy it themselves. Why not make it a tradition to hand out poinsettias to your renters on the first of December each year? There’s a good chance your tenants will put them by their doorways and in windows, adding some cheer to your complex or shopping center.
As an extra bonus, many charities sell poinsettias to raise money for needy causes. Buy your poinsettias from a local organization to feel twice as good about the gifts you’re giving.
Let it snow
Looking for other nondenominational decorating themes? Create a winter wonderland with inexpensive snowy décor. Frost windows or pass out packs of paper snowflakes for your tenants to hang up.
Live somewhere where snow is inevitable? Consider creating “instant snowman” packets with coal, a carrot and a scarf. Or host a snowman building contest!
Focus on the kiddos
Whether you manage residential, retail or even office properties, you can’t go wrong when you leave a few treats out for the kiddos. Supplying bowls of candy canes, organizing a Santa photo op and setting out Toys for Tots collection boxes are all fun ways to add a joyful touch at your buildings.
Want to go beyond decorations and plan a party? Check out our article on holiday event ideas for property managers.
Got another tip? Or pictures of your own holiday decorations? Share them with us for a chance to be featured on The Breezeway.