8 Ways to Build Better Communication with Tenants

By L. Roberts on January 1, 2020

Managing properties isn’t the easiest job in the world – don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s hard to keep up with tenants, when they’re moving in or moving out, how much their rent is, whether or not they have a dog (or another human) living with them… Sometimes it can be all-too-much to keep up with, and that’s in addition to keeping in touch with your tenants. If you’re looking for better ways to communicate with the people who rent from you, here are 8 tips:

1. The obvious – reach out by phone.

If you don’t have your tenants’ phone numbers, you’re working against yourself. Having phone numbers of the people who rent from you is definitely the easiest way to keep in touch. Whether you’re communicating about improvements you’re getting ready to impose on their unit, or reminding them that their rent is 5 days late, communicating via telephone is the fastest way to get in touch with people these days.

2. Consider a monthly newsletter for your rental community.

When landlords own lots of properties all close together, it’s convenient for them to publish a monthly newsletter about the “happenings” around the properties. Maybe you’re throwing a hot chocolate get-together in the lobby of your management office, or maybe you’re trying to convince your tenants to donate their unwanted furniture and clothing to a charity; the best way to get a lot of information out to a lot of people at one time is to print up a “newsletter.” Your tenants will appreciate the efforts to communicate, and it will make them feel like they live in a little neighborhood.

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3. Adopt an “open door” policy.

An “open door” policy is one where your tenants can come to talk to you about anything. If they’re having problems in their unit, if their neighbors are being loud and annoying, or if they want to discuss shortening/lengthening their lease, an open-door policy will help them feel more comfortable coming to you. As their landlord, they can be a bit intimidated by you, so let them know that you’re open to discussing their concerns – whatever they may be.

4. Respond to repair requests in a timely manner.

The more prompt you are at responding to repair requests, the more likely it is that your tenants will be responsive to you as well. If it takes you more than a few weeks to repair something that’s broken in their unit, they’re going to start feeling some type of way towards you. They’ll stop trusting that you have their best interests at heart. Save yourself some agony and be sure you’re prioritizing keeping your tenants happy as far as maintenance and repairs.

5. Alert tenants before showings or maintenance repairs.

One of the most annoying parts about renting from someone is that they randomly show up to complete repairs or for maintenance. When I lived in an apartment in college, the complex was awful about letting me know when they would be coming. Because I was a college student, my schedule wasn’t “normal” and they’d let themselves into my apartment during my afternoon nap or while I was showering. If you’re going to enter a unit, it’s best to give them a heads up. They’ll appreciate and respect you a little more because of it.

via Pexels.com

6. Express mutual respect.

Sometimes landlords start acting all “high and mighty” and it’s tough for their tenants to relate to them or communicate. If you want to improve your communication with your tenants, be sure you have an attitude of respect towards them. It’ll ensure they also treat you the same way.

7. Use the form of communication they prefer.

When your tenant signs their lease, it’s a good idea to go ahead and find out what form of communication they prefer. Whether it’s texting, Facebook messenger, or calling, you should ask them the best way to get in touch with them. This will help you later on, in case you aren’t able to reach them. You’ll want to be able to say that you tried the form of communication they suggested and still didn’t receive an answer.

8. Certify your mail if your tenant is renting out-of-town.

If you’re trying to get in touch with a renter who lives out of town and you want to ensure they receive your communication, pay to certify your mail. This can really help landlords who are worried about tenants claiming they haven’t received any information. This is especially true if you’re increasing their rent, or requesting payment for damages.

It’s not easy to manage properties, rent to college students, or keep up with tenants. Communicating when you’re a landlord or property manager is tough. If you follow these eight tips, it’s likely that your tenants will be more inclined to treat you and your property with respect.

By L. Roberts

Uloop Writer
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her pup at the dog park and binge watching Netflix with endless cups of Hot Cocoa.

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