Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Give the Gift of Good Credit (The Best $10 Renter Gift Ever)

Kay is on vacation this weekend. Today's post is from Bill Butler, CMO of

You know what I find to be difficult during Christmas? Giving a gift that will actually be relevant in a year.

Think about it. The cool tablet or laptop that is so high on everyone’s list this year will be an ancient artifact by next December, probably collecting dust on the figurative shelf with every other consumer electronic that isn’t hot off the press. Landlords who want to give something nice to their tenants also face the challenge of finding gifts that are cross-cultural, don't take up a lot of room, and are inexpensive without making the landlord look like a cheapskate.

Maybe it’s a just sign of the materialistic times we live in, but pretty rare for me to receive a gift that still holds resonance 12 months down the road.

To be fair there’s nothing quite as gratifying as getting the latest gadget you so desperately pined for on Christmas morning, but if we followed the path of immediate gratification all the time we’d probably end up like that guy from the movie “Supersize Me”.

That didn’t turn out well.

Larger property management companies have been giving tenant gifts at the holidays for years now as a way to help retain renters and build community spirit. However, gifts purchased in bulk can be kind of tacky.

The folks at Rental Kharma think that some Holiday Gifts should get better with time. Yes of course I’d be happy with a nice bottle of red wine but lets look in another direction.

How about credit?

56% of all Americans have subprime credit.[1]Anne Kim, "How Many Americans Have Subprime Credit?" Center for Enterprise Development, Dec 3 2012. That’s a pretty staggering number.

If you think watching TV on a non-H.D. monitor is bad enough, try buying any sort of car with a credit score under 600. Good Luck.

And for many young adults their credit is only going to become more important as they take on more responsibilities and financial obligations. (I told you wine isn’t the only gift that grow better with age.)

Your renters will eventually move on, and hopefully move up. But their rent payments to you normally don't contribute to building the good credit score they'll need to move on with their life. So this Holiday season, if you have good renters living in your apartment, consider giving the gift of good credit.

Rent payments currently are not included on credit reports. Your Rental Kharma gift can change the credit of a renter in your life by enabling that individual to finally build credit with the next two years of their rent payments to you.

Santa may not get many requests for better credit but then again his demographics are a little skewed.

Further down the line when that renter you helped out is finally able to buy a home thanks to his or her good credit, you’ll be getting all the thanks.

Learn more about the best $10 gift ever.

And with all the money you save consider buying yourself a nice bottle of wine.


1 Anne Kim, "How Many Americans Have Subprime Credit?" Center for Enterprise Development, Dec 3 2012.
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Guest Post: Get rid of unnecessary items before you move.

Note from Kay: Today's post is from guest author Joseph Ver of Sparefoot storage search. Please be kind to Joseph, he's allowing me a much needed day off from  writing.

Do you have too many belongings? If you can say yes to any of these, you may have too many things:

-Do you find yourself yelling an assortment of expletives due to stubbed toes?
-Do you have to move piles of items off of chairs and furniture every time someone visits?
-Do you find yourself having to temporarily rearrange a few pieces of furniture just to get out of your home?
-Have you lost your pets only to find them hiding under papers or clothes in your home?
-Have you already forgotten the color of your carpet?

Although these may be a bit severe and symptoms of being disorganized, having too many things isn’t necessarily an immediate revelation. The moment I realized I had too many things was when I had to move out of my apartment recently. I found myself frustrated as I gathered loose papers scattered across various tables of my apartment, and stuffing them in recycling bins. All of those kitschy knick-knacks you bought at your thrift store will probably be heading back there upon moving. If you can, try to keep your home from having too many things. If you are like me and are about to move, here are some tips in deciding what you should get rid of and how to pack everything away when relocating in Chicago. (more…)