If you are a landlord or a property manager, you must build a successful business relationship with your tenants based on trust. The right way to achieve this goal is to have open and effective communication. Finding perfect tenants is not easy, but building a good relationship with them is up to both sides. When there is money, valuables, legalities, and assets involved, entering a long-term transactional relationship must be managed correctly to avoid tensions. As a landlord, your responsibility is to treat your tenants with respect. By doing so, you can prevent possible disputes about lease policies, security deposits, move-outs, or other typical issues. To ensure that your rental agreements are as stress-free as possible, you may use the following tips on effective communication with your tenants.
Build open communication
Building open communication with your current or future tenants means you’re willing to respond to their questions and address all their concerns. It also means allowing them to ask questions about a lease, request a rent payment extension, or discuss an issue related to your facility. As a landlord, you should opt to make tenants feel free and comfortable contacting you. Having open communication will not only save you a lot of stress and money in the long term, but it will also save you from having to enter the eviction process.
Be a good listener – tenants need to be heard. Also, be polite. Make your communication more collaborative than authoritative. It will help you resolve issues in a better and faster way. Always have a calm mind. Be professional, not emotional.
When you’re putting up advertisements and listings to rent your property, you must be honest and realistic about the property’s amenities and condition. The moment your tenants set foot in your rental property, you need to start establishing an honest and trusting relationship based on truth. Remember to smile and to maintain eye contact when meeting face-to-face with them.
Be truthful about your rental property terms, and right from the beginning, communicate the expectations to your tenants. It’s of the utmost importance when building an effective communication model. When meeting with your tenants, try to be aware of your non-verbals. Don’t fold your arms or take any other offensive or aggressive body stances. You need to be friendly but firm at the same time.
Avoid any possible misunderstandings
Avoid unnecessary misunderstandings by setting the ground rules. Ensure that each party knows precisely where they stand about various obligations and regarding possible issues that may arise.
Remember that prevention is the best cure. It’s crucial to keep records, in writing, of all your communication with tenants. This will allow you to deal with problematic ones. In case they create trouble, you can always hold on to the terms of your previously made deal and the terms of your contract.
Quickly respond to their repair requests
Being a landlord means you’ll have to juggle many responsibilities. It comes along with property ownership. Of course, not all repairs are pressing matters, but be ready to respond promptly to all emergency repairs when they appear. If the tenants find the landlord unresponsive to maintenance and service queries, they can begin hiding issues from them. It’s all a consequence of feeling that they cannot communicate effectively with a landlord.
Different and flexible methods of communication
As a landlord, you should understand that different tenants have different preferences for communication methods. Usually, older tenants tend to talk to you on the phone, while a younger population prefers instant communication like messages and emails. Always make sure to provide your tenants with alternative ways to contact you (give them a telephone number, text messaging number, email, and mailing address).
Some people prefer multiple means of communication, like a follow-up email after a phone call. However, some people check their emails rarely. Ensure to communicate with your tenants in a way that they’ll receive the message and respond to it promptly.
Notify them about maintenance, repairs & showings
The relationship that the tenants build with you as a landlord will directly impact their comfort and lifestyle.There’s more to being a landlord than you think; you must also see where the tenants are coming from. You need to know what they’ll appreciate and what may bother them the most.
While it’s not always legally required to give your tenants a warning before a showing and alerting them about a scheduled repair or a service call, a small courtesy of notifying them would be greatly appreciated. Even though you own the property, it’s the tenant’s current home. Ensure not to surprise them with a personal visit or by contractors or repairman’s visit. If there’ll be an agent showing your property to other prospective tenants, it will be a nice gesture to notify them on time about that.
Keep your promises
Nobody likes missed appointments and late calls. If you agreed with your tenants to stop by on Monday to fix a door or something, call them right away when you realize that you can’t make it. Be honest and reschedule while respecting their time.
Your time is not more valuable than your tenant’s. Bear that in mind and never let the day slip by and wait for the occupant to call you asking where you are if you missed your arranged appointment. Every time you make a promise to your renter, no matter how small, you create an obligation and expectation. When you don’t follow through with your promises, the tenant will feel let down, and their sense of trust in you will immediately diminish. Always acknowledge any setbacks in your plans.
Always give your best to expect the best
Being a landlord is sometimes challenging. Even having excellent communication skills can’t guarantee that your time as a property manager goes smoothly. However, if you do take the time to establish open and effective communication with your tenants, you’re likely to have far fewer issues with them. Always strive to improve your communication skills to build better and fruitful professional relationships, including the landlord-tenant one. Think carefully about each tip and plan on how you can implement them with both your existing and future tenants.