Without communication, things can fall apart quite quickly. This is especially true in a rental unit, which requires frequent communication between the landlord, the tenant, and the property manager.
Our homes are our sanctuaries. If we feel like we have no control over our surroundings, we might be tempted to pack our bags and leave. A property manager ensures that a tenant’s living experience is satisfactory. They’re the first line of communication for things like repairs, rent payments, and moving out.
Finding new tenants can be time-consuming and costly. If you find one that you like, you want to keep them happy so they stay as long as possible. Part of that is communication; it’s the crux of every relationship, from our partners to our property managers.
Here’s why communication is so important between tenants and property managers, along with what you can do to improve your skills:
You can’t predict what might go wrong in a rental unit. But what you can do as a property manager is be readily available when your tenant needs help.
Even if you can’t solve the problem right away, respond to the message so that the tenant knows their concerns are being heard. Aim to respond in at least two hours.
Some messages are more urgent than others. For example, a broken cabinet door can probably wait until the next day. But a power outage or water leak must be resolved promptly.
A simple acknowledgment or apology goes a long way in easing any tension. Try to provide a timeframe for when the repair might be performed.
Share Important Information
We suggest putting together a resource package for new tenants. In it, you can include information like which utility companies to call to create accounts, or how to reach you if there are any issues. You can let them know your preferred form of contact, be it phone calls, emails, or text messages.
It’s better to assume tenants know less when it comes to information about renting. For example, a first-time renter may be unaware of how valuable tenant insurance is. Talking to tenants about insurance prevents common misconceptions. They might assume that the landlord’s insurance covers their belongings in case of a fire, but this is not the case. In the resource package, you can include a few tenant insurance companies for the renter to contact.
Dealing with Difficult News
Not all your communications with tenants will be positive. Sometimes, you’ll need to be the bearer of bad news. You may need to inform residents about rent increases, upcoming service outages, or even an eviction.
It can be tough to have these conversations. When tensions are high, a conversation can quickly turn into a confrontation. However, these discussions may be the most important ones of all.
Try to remain as calm as possible. Showing signs of frustration may only escalate the situation. It might be helpful to step away for a bit and attempt the conversation again once emotions have settled.
Keep the Conversation Going
Communication is not a one-and-done process. It needs to happen on an ongoing basis to prevent any misunderstandings or confusion.
Part of communication is listening. Sometimes, tenants just want to feel heard. They’ve possibly had bad experiences with property managers in the past, and they just may want to know that history won’t repeat itself.
The owner of Globe Property Management writes, “Even if you haven’t heard from a tenant in a few days or weeks, send them a message. They might have nothing negative to report, and knowing that you’re concerned is important to them.”
Once a week, send a message to ask tenants how things are going.
End Things on a Positive Note
Despite your best efforts, some tenants might decide to leave when the lease is up. Perhaps they’ve decided to buy a home, or they’re starting a family. With frequent communication, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Property managers know how challenging it can be to fill vacancies before a new month begins. But if your previous tenant was happy with their experience, they might choose to leave a positive online review. This can be greatly beneficial to your online reputation. If a tenant is happy with their stay, consider asking them to leave you a review.
Word of mouth recommendations can be a powerful thing. By building healthy relationships with tenants, they might tell their friends and family members about their positive experiences. This makes it easier to fill vacancies when you’re looking for new residents.
What makes the difference between a good property manager, and a great one? Oftentimes, it comes down to their communication skills. Try out these communication strategies to improve tenant satisfaction at your properties.