Landlords aim to foster strong relationships with tenants. The more connected and comfortable your tenants feel, the more likely they are to renew their leases.
But where can you start building those relationships? The natural first step is communication. Communication is an integral part of running your business from the moment a renter submits a rental application to their last experiences with your properties.
The digital age has ushered in many new mediums and modes of communication. Texts, emails, phone calls, and instant messages each pose their distinct advantages and disadvantages when it comes to engaging with your tenants.
No matter which method you’re using, here are four recommendations for tenant communication to implement in your rental business.
1. Don’t Give Out Personal Contact Information
Due to the ease and convenience of your smartphone, it’s tempting to distribute your personal contact information to tenants. A private number gives tenants the most direct access to you.
However, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. When tenants can reach you at your personal number, it may be more difficult to enforce boundaries between your work and private life.
You may also find that messages are more easily lost in your inboxes, especially if you give tenants a range of options to choose from. For example, if tenants can contact you by email, phone, and text, it’s easy to lose track of which conversations are where. You don’t want to accidentally forget about an important question or concern and leave a tenant hanging.
Instead, use the chat feature on your property management software for tenant communication. One benefit of the chat feature is that you’ll have consistency across all tenants. There is no need to search through your inboxes to find a message you’ve lost. All your conversations with tenants will be centralized in one location.
Chat features also help outhelp your tenants. If you offer tenants a variety of ways to get ahold of you, they might be confused about which one to use. The chat feature offers your tenants a trusted method they’ll always know to use.
Of course, you can also distribute an office phone number in case tenants would rather talk to you live.
2. Automate Regular Reminders
Some messages remain the same every month. For instance, you may send regular rent reminders, late fee warnings, renewal offers, or other notifications.
There’s no need to send individual copies of these messages to tenants every month. Instead, configure your property management software to automate these messages. You can use your software tool to designate which tenants should receive the notifications and when.
For instance, let’s say only half of your tenants have paid rent the day before the deadline. Instead of sending out a mass reminder, your software can send reminders to only the tenants who haven’t made a payment yet.
3. Be Prompt and Professional
Growing your business involves building a positive presence for your brand. Attractive rental marketing includes projecting a professional persona for yourself and your own services.
Promptness is an important component of professionalism. You can’t be expected to respond to messages at any hour of the day but getting back to tenants promptly is an absolute must. A long wait time can make your tenants will feel neglected. If their concern is urgent, delaying a response could cause even more damage.
Other ways to demonstrate your professionalism include keeping responses brief and clear, being honest and up-front about any issues, and maintaining a polite and friendly tone.
Even using your property management software indicates your ability to use professional digital tools to leverage your business potential.
4. Delegate Communication to Your Team Members
Finally, remember that not all tenant communication is your responsibility. If you have additional team members (such as a property manager, accountant, or maintenance personnel), communicating with tenants will sometimes be their responsibility.
For instance, you should delegate any questions/concerns about maintenance to your maintenance staff, who will be better able to answer them. Likewise, questions about rentals or renewals might be fielded to your property manager.
Building Communication Practices for Rental Success
It can be tricky to navigate communication standards and practices in the digital age. However, tools like property management software make communication painless and straightforward. With software to regulate, automate, and organize tenant communication, you can quickly foster strong, stable relationships with tenants and hopefully secure future renewals.
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