Most property investors are focused on the mechanics of their financial investment. They want to make sure they have a solid property, they want to ensure they can charge enough rent to turn a profit, and they want to make long-term plans to flesh out their property investment portfolio and build wealth.
While these are all good focal points, there are some important, yet subtler factors that get neglected in their pursuit. For example, improving tenant communication is an underrated strategy that can help you make more money and deal with fewer issues – but why, exactly, does this work, and how can you do it?
The Value of Tenant Communication
Better tenant communication has several advantages for landlords, including:
1. Happier tenants (and higher tenant retention)
If tenants are happy with the ways you’re communicating with them, they’re going to be more satisfied living in this building. That means they’ll be less likely to leave, granting you higher tenant retention (and more consistent cash flow).
2. Reputation and word of mouth
If your tenants feel they have a good relationship with you, they’ll be more likely to recommend your properties to other prospective tenants. This is especially powerful if you own an apartment building or multiple properties in a single neighborhood.
3. Proactive issue management
Even in the best-kept properties, issues occasionally arise. Open communication standards will prompt your tenants to reach out proactively about these issues. For example, if a tenant is comfortable with you, they’ll let you know about a leaky faucet – rather than ignoring it out of apathy.
4. Faster conflict resolution
If and when conflicts do arise between you and your tenants, whether it’s over a late rent payment or a neglected maintenance issue, you’ll be able to work them out faster if you have a good foundation of communication.
How to Improve Tenant Communication
These are some of your best options:
1. Get to know your tenants
One of the best ways to start a landlord-tenant relationship is to get to know your tenants on a personal level. Before handing over the keys, ask them questions about their life, their work, and their hobbies, and try to figure out their priorities and values. You don’t have to be best friends, but you should establish some kind of introductory relationship; it’s a great way to build trust and learn each other’s communication styles.
2. Use multiple communication channels
Make use of a variety of different communication channels. Some tenants will prefer writing emails. Others will want to chat over a phone call. If all these mediums are available to them, they’ll feel comfortable reaching out to you no matter what. Plus, if they can’t get in touch with you via one medium, they can switch to another; this is especially useful in emergency situations.
3. Respond promptly when possible
Most of your tenants will reach out to you occasionally, for a variety of reasons. They may have questions about the property. They may have an issue that needs to be addressed. Or they may just be letting you know the rent check is in the mail. Whatever the reason, it’s important for you to respond as promptly as possible; this demonstrates that you take their message seriously and gives them confidence that you’re open for communication.
4. Be transparent and honest
Next,work to be transparent and honest in all your interactions. Tell your tenant exactly how and when you’re going to fix the issue. If a tenant asks you a hard question, do your best to give them an honest answer. If you don’t know the answer to the question, express that you don’t know. This isn’t always easy, especially if you’re in a tense situation or if the honest answer reflects poorly on you, but it’s the fastest way to build trust and respect.
5. Check in periodically
Don’t just wait for your tenant to reach out to you with anything and everything they need. Instead, be proactive and reach out occasionally. Ask your tenants how they’re doing and if everything is to their liking. It’s a great way to get feedback (and it builds trust in the process).
6. Remain polite and patient when dealing with conflicts
If you do experience conflicts with your tenants, remain polite and patient throughout the process. Even if you’re completely justified in getting angry, showing you anger could threaten the relationship you’ve built. Be willing to compromise so you can end the conflict faster and move on.
If you can follow these strategies, you can improve communication with your tenants. You’ll find resolutions faster, you’ll boost tenant retention, and ultimately, you’ll stand to make more money.
Article Submitted By Community Writer