Every time you talk to your tenants, you shape their perception of you and your rental unit. Effective tenant communication is an essential piece of the puzzle to create a positive reputation, enhance your tenants' experience, and ensure your rental unit is a success.
Here are seven tenant communication best practices for landlords and property managers.
Communicate Clearly and Make Yourself More Available
Good tenant communication is about being responsive and available so that renters feel they are being cared for. Make a deliberate effort to keep tenants informed about the latest repairs and maintenance work to avoid unnecessary confusion. Here are a few ways to do this:
Send advanced notices to tenants about maintenance work, whether it is by mail or phone
Specify how you can be reached, your availability, and if you prefer email, phone, text, etc.
Respond to Requests for Repairs on Your Rental Unit
Being a landlord isn't easy because you often juggle multiple responsibilities due to property ownership. It can be difficult to conduct emergency repairs or respond to every repair request.
However, being unresponsive to maintenance requests is one of the biggest tenant complaints. Consider creating an emergency hotline where tenants can report utility issues, broken windows, plumbing problems, and gas leaks.
Accommodate Your Tenant's Communication Preferences
Different tenants have their own communication preferences. It is best to establish their communication style early on. Do they prefer phone calls, emails, or texts? If you communicate in a way they like, the information is better retained. Your tenant will appreciate your efforts to accommodate their preferences.
Being available across multiple channels is important when fielding tenant complaints. And while you should be available to listen to your tenants' needs, establishing boundaries is just as important.
These boundaries might relate to your availability or the nature of work you can accept. Make it clear to tenants that you are not available outside certain hours.
Establish these boundaries as early as you can. Don't mislead tenants about your availability because any confusion related to this issue can strain your relationship.
Build Friendly Rapport with the Tenant
Making a personal connection with the tenant can go a long way. Start with small comments about their hobbies and work. Use that to establish the initial rapport to strengthen your tenant-landlord relationship. This will, in turn, reduce the rate of tenant churn. It goes without saying that you will still need to stay on top of maintenance requests.
Document all Communication
Whenever you're talking to your tenant on important matters related to the rental unit, you should keep a copy of the conversation. According to these property managers in Chicago, this is easier to do with texts and emails - provided you don't delete them. During phone calls, you should try to note down important aspects of the conversation. If you are recording the call, make sure tenants begin recording them.
Documenting all communication between you and your tenant will go a long way in protecting you from any liability if they try to falsify incidents or manipulate your words. Secondly, it serves as a constant reminder that you have to complete a scheduled task or repair.
Be Honest and Transparent
When it comes to tenant-landlord relationships, honesty is a two-way street. This means you should be truthful about the rental unit's condition, especially when putting up advertisements and listings for the rental unit. In the same vein, make sure to inform your tenants of your expectations from the get-go. This will help you find the ideal match for your property.
You should also communicate all the rules and regulations of the lease in clear terms. This includes the rent price, due date, and your definition of what constitutes 'wear and tear,' as well as any penalties for not paying the rent on time. Make sure your tenant understands what is expected before they sign the lease.
Being a landlord is tough - this is why we recommend hiring a property manager to help out with various aspects of property management, such as rent collection, maintenance, and keeping tenants happy. Get in touch with a skilled property manager by clicking here .