Maintaining a trustworthy landlord-tenant relationship and ensuring clear communication with tenants is essential not only during the lease period, but before and after too. The way you interact with prospective renters and deal with evictions says a lot about you as a professional. But managing rentals like a pro is easier said than done, especially during these unprecedented times.
This year, the world has undergone major changes due to COVID-19 and pandemic-related restrictions. One of the most visible adjustments globally is the transition from traditional offline communication approaches to digital methods of business interactions. Numerous companies internationally have been forced to set up new policies in a very short period of time and start utilizing online communication channels to keep their businesses going.
The rental industry is no exception, as property managers and landlords have also had to adopt new technology tools for their businesses. Even those who have been advocates of offline rental property marketing and management for years have had to face reality and move their business online. The supporters of digitization, on the other hand, have been actively applying virtual tours and online payments to their business models before it became a necessity.
While it might look like virtual environments provide nothing but benefits, the lack of in-person communication is a challenge for many people. So we’ve collected a few insights that will help you develop effective communication with your tenants and improve your relationship with them during hard times.
Establish policies before move-in
Establishing and clearly defining the policies prior to moving tenants in is the first step towards building a solid business relationship. When your tenants understand their rights and responsibilities, you can feel more secure that they are going to follow the terms of the agreement. To help them better understand the policies, consider making a YouTube policy explainer video and answer any relevant questions in the comments section so tenants can reference it later.
Remember to keep all your policy documentation in a written form and let your tenants have access to a lease agreement in case they need to review anything. For that, TenantCloud offers customizable lease agreements: It’s a convenient and eco-friendly way to build an agreement, share it with a resident-to-be, and have them sign it electronically.
Use a few communication channels
Because face-to-face communication should be reduced to a minimum at this point, choose multiple communication channels for keeping in touch with your tenants. Pick the ones that your renters would prefer to use on a daily basis. While there are tons of messengers out there, using built-in communication tools provided by property management systems is the most effective way to stay on top of everyday business communication with your residents and stay organized.
TenantCloud, for example, has its own internal messaging system- TC Messenger, that allows users to send messages and files to connected contacts within TenantCloud. This helps store the correspondence in one place and get easy access to it if any issues arise.
Along with that, make sure you’ve shared your phone numbers and social media profiles. If it’s more convenient for your tenant to contact you via phone or leave you a message on Facebook, why not give it a try?
We’ve asked our Twitter followers about their preferred method of communication with their renters. And here’s what we’ve got:
Address maintenance issues promptly
It’s simple- once you’ve received a maintenance request from your tenant, try to address it at your earliest convenience. If it’s a serious or urgent issue that you cannot fix yourself, contact a service professional and track the progress of the repair if you utilize any maintenance management system.
With the help of TenantCloud maintenance management, you can manage all communication and scheduling in one place, control material used, and allow your connected tenants to check on the status of the repair by just logging into their TenantCloud account.
Don’t show up without a notice
Of course, you can and should inspect your rental properties from time to time. But showing up without warning might undermine your tenant’s trust. If you need to conduct a rental inspection, send a notice at least 48 hours prior to it. And don’t forget to add a specific clause to the lease agreement regarding rental inspections and the cases when you’re allowed to enter the property without a notice.
What’s your idea of effective communication with tenants? Have you adjusted your communication strategies due to the pandemic crisis?