Dreams: paying rent with AMEX cards

Today’s New York Times online (subscription required) reports one large property management firm in Manhattan is letting tenants pay their monthly four- and five-figure rents with American Express–so the tenants can rack up reward points. Many are happily doing so and getting lots of free returns–like trips to exotic locales and sizable gift certificates at high-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue.

This is a classic case of a company truly listening to its customers–in this case, complaining about the fact that they’re not getting any ROI on their rent monies (as homeowners do with equity and tax writeoffs)–and responding creatively.

There’s a fee to the landlord, yes (2% of the transaction), but for this one it’s more than made up for by reducing processing time and bounced checks. And the tenants who use the option are thrilled with their gifts–which cost the landlord nothing more.

If you could solve one of your customers’ main complaints and delight them with significant personal gifts at the same time, how much would you pay to do it?

The point is you don’t get a chance to dream up solutions like this if you don’t keep in touch with your customers. A blog is a perfect place to address your customers’ complaints and get their feedback–so you can find creative win-win solutions.

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