People often lament on the unfair landlords they’ve dealt with, and it’s vice versa for property owners. However, the landlord-tenant relationship doesn’t have to bubble over with hostility. Even if you have existing communication barriers with specific renters, you can dismantle these issues by operating from an objective, empathetic perspective.
Keeping tenants satisfied is your job as a property owner, but you also have to preserve the revenue flow. If either party fails to uphold their end of the deal, you lose money, and the renter search restarts. Most business people know appealing to loyal customers is easier than enticing new ones.
Create improved communication with tenants by implementing strategies for building and maintaining your professional relationships.
Create Clear Communication Standards
Tell tenants your office hours to notify them which times are appropriate to contact you. If you’re not keen on receiving messages early in the morning or late at night, communicate this to new renters early on. Provide an emergency number for any incidents that happen outside of business hours. By doing this, your tenants can access whichever service they need even when you’re not around.
Establish multiple lines of communication, especially for tenants who tend to be unresponsive. Everyone prefers different methods, and it’s good practice to have several available — mail, email, text and more. If you discover you can’t contact a resident other than by paying a visit, give adequate notice so they’ll know when you’re coming.
Whenever you implement new communication methods or software, test them extensively, and ask for tenant feedback.
Show Respect and Empathy
Your tenants are human beings just like you, but they live in a place you own. This aspect of renting leaves some residents feeling like they’re at the mercy of their landlord. However, your relationship doesn’t have to be contentious or imbalanced because of this power differential.
Approach your tenants with respect and treat their spaces like you’d want yours to be treated. That means no unannounced drop-ins, rent hikes without prior warning or shutting off utilities.
Showing respect doesn’t always mean you’ll receive it in return, and managing your expectations requires patience. If tenants disrespect you or the property, remind them of the rules and enforce consequences. Allowing rule-breaking to continue leads to property damage and revenue loss, so it’s best to address this behavior before it spirals.
Keep a level head in conflict situations and avoid resorting to insults. You can still show your renters a degree of respect, even if you have complicated relationships with them.
Set the right expectations with your renters from the start. Be clear about what the listing offers and what terms are present in the lease. Potential renters won’t appreciate discovering their chosen building is much different from what they saw or read online.
For example, miscalculating an apartment’s square footage is a common error within rental listings. Though this is accidental, it can affect your income if someone notices your unit doesn’t match the numbers and decides not to rent.
False advertising can push renters to spread the word to others, which makes finding tenants harder if they decide not to renew. You’ll foster better connections with your renters by ensuring all property specs and lease terms are accurate.
Give Proper Notice
Let tenants know if their rent is going up — many states require prior notice. If scheduled maintenance is on the horizon, inform residents before having workers enter their apartments. If you have a tenant who refuses to follow the rules or pay rent, hand them an eviction notice.
Always communicate what’s going to happen before it does. Doing this will diminish resident complaints about being left in the dark or surprised with new terms. Few people want to stumble across new policies or experience unannounced unit inspections.
Improper eviction is illegal and causes problems that cost more money over the long term. Removing a renter may be your only option if you’ve done everything possible to cooperate with them. Execute it correctly to prevent a legal dispute. Guidelines vary by state, meaning you’ll have to brush up on local laws before making your case.
Connect With Tenants Through Practical Avenues
Running a business is hard work, but it’s rewarding when you can help improve someone else’s life. Your profession deals with people’s living spaces, so it’s essential to make them feel welcomed and open to discussion.
Help residents understand you’re there to help with issues, and establish clear ground rules about appropriate behavior.