Being a landlord is a complex job. There’s no doubt that landlords and property managers have to wear a lot of different hats to successfully run their business. Managers need to have a good understanding of a lot of important aspects of caring for their rental business.
This includes everything from a confident grasp of necessary property maintenance to a deep understanding of state and federal housing laws and regulations. On top of those crucial tasks, landlords and managers also need to be ready to properly screen tenants and complete the tax information that running your own business can require.
While consulting an expert or rental association can be a crucial step for a successful landlord or budding property manager, another important step you can take to ensure a thriving rental business is to connect with your tenants. Unfortunately, with all of the other necessary tasks vying for landlords’ attention, many landlords forget this simple-but-impactful task.
5 Ways to Connect With Your Tenants
The landlord-tenant relationship is key to ensuring a great tenant experience. Improving your relationship with your tenants will pay dividends for a good manager. You will keep great tenants long-term (preventing unnecessary loss due to tenant turnover) and when tenants do leave, you will likely have an easier time finding new tenants due to referrals.
Offer Multiple Contact Resources
Your tenants should feel comfortable reaching out to ask any questions or voice concerns at the property. This will ensure that they are satisfied with their rental experience and will help prevent damage. Tenants who have multiple ways to contact their landlord or manager are much more likely to reach out with a small problem; this means that you are much more likely to find out about a simple maintenance issue before it becomes an expensive maintenance disaster. This also means that you are tenants are going to feel more confident expressing concerns before they become deal-breaker issues.
Offering multiple sources to contact you can ensure that you’re not vetting phone calls all day long. An email address or a tenant portal through property management software can be a much better contact option for tenants who have a small and non-urgent issue. Tell your tenants that they are welcome to call your phone with any important or urgent issues that need to be addressed more quickly.
Don’t forget to provide a cheat sheet of information for the property so that tenants can answer their own questions so that tenants can feel empowered to answer questions before they need to ask them.
Celebrate With Your Tenants:
Birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries are all important milestones in everyone’s life. Remembering these special occasions can go a long way to building further connections with your tenants. A simple card with a small handwritten note can help foster the landlord-tenant relationship and is an inexpensive way to connect with your tenants throughout the year. If you want to go above and beyond, an annual holiday gift or renewal gift can bring more goodwill and excitement to the occasion.
Provide Regular Check-ins:
Great communication is at the heart of any good relationship and it’s no different with the landlord-tenant relationship. Offering regular check-ins can ensure that your tenants get to know you on a more personal level and feel more confident expressing any concerns or grievances. Remember, your tenants should still have a professional relationship with you. Being a friend to your tenants can lead to sticky situations.
Learn more: Drawing the Line Between Friend and Tenant
With this in mind, landlords and managers should recognize that not all tenant complaints can be addressed in the precise way your tenant might prefer. However, anything that needs to be addressed should always be approached with empathy and understanding for your tenant’s situation and requests. If you need to say no, be sure to do it in a professional and empathetic manner. Attempt to add in some alternative solutions that you feel your tenant might find helpful.
Offer Resident Events:
Whether you have a large apartment complex or a small fourplex, your renters will love the opportunity to connect with you and their neighbors. Since much of the time spent speaking with your tenants will be related to move-in, renewals, or maintenance and inspections, most interactions with your tenants can be stressful for renters.
Resident events can be an excellent way to greet your tenants in a no-stress environment. Resident events can be as big or small as you like. For large multifamily properties, consider a red carpet-themed movie night with snacks and decorations to match. Landlords and managers considering a small-scale option can start with a simple BBQ or sundae bar one afternoon. Keeping it small at first can get residents excited and interested before you invest in a larger-scale option.
Give Advanced Notice:
A common tenant complaint is often a lack of communication. Whether your rental property has planned construction, seasonal maintenance, or an upcoming inspection, try to give your tenants as much notice as possible.
While your state will have specific laws about how much notice is legally required, it is always courteous to offer as much notification to your tenants as possible. If you know that the pool will be unavailable for cleaning, let your tenants know in advance so that they don’t end up frustrated or disappointed. Additional communication can go very far to create a flourishing relationship with your tenants.