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February 26, 2018

How To Improve The Way You Communicate With Tenants

Updated June 30, 2020

Like any relationship, communication is key to creating a positive experience for all parties involved. Establishing clear lines of communication and avoiding the common pitfalls can help you be a better landlord and keep quality tenants longer.

The following are the top communication tips for landlords.

Start The Relationship Off Right

During the process of finding a tenant, make sure you keep in mind that anyone you are conversing with could be your next renter. Ensure you start the relationship off in the best way possible.

Keep the following in mind during the initial stages of the rental process:

Craft an easy-to-read property listing

Your description of the rental, your policies, and what actions you want interested renters to take, should all be made clear in your listing. Communication starts the moment a tenant reads this ad. Prevent misunderstandings about the property and how you handle the screening process by being crystal clear from the start.

Respond to interested parties promptly

Make sure that whatever method you chose to allow renters to contact you via is being monitored and that responses are being sent out. Even if you live in a hot market with a slew of inquiries, be courteous, and figure out how to handle the process efficiently.

Show up on time for property showings 

Not all communication is via the written or spoken word. Showing up on time communicates to potential renters that you value their time. This will also help reinforce a professional start to the relationship.

Don't leave renters hanging

If you screen a tenant and determine they aren't a good fit for you, let them know. Never ghost a renter and leave them wondering if they have a home or not.

Choose Your Top Contact Methods & Stick To Them

One of the first things you should determine as a landlord is how you want tenants to contact you. When your new renters move in, you should have a set method, and you should clearly communicate this via a written document at move-in.

For example, when your new tenants are moving in, you might hand them a paper with these clear instructions:

"Welcome to your new home!

"If you need to contact me for a non-emergency, please call or text my cell phone at 888.888.8888 between 8 am and 5 pm."

"If you have an emergency, such as a major plumbing issue, please contact my emergency cell at 999.999.9999 anytime.”

"If you prefer texting, you could ask tenants to text you. If you prefer email, you can use that as well; however, make sure you always have a good emergency contact method."

"Whatever method you choose to communicate via, be sure you stick to it and actually respond to your tenants."

Take The Time To Communicate Thoughtfully

While you are likely busy as a landlord juggling a lot at once, it is worth it to take the time to communicate thoughtfully with your tenants.

For example, if you will be stopping by the property to take care of something, let them know more than 24 hours in advance. This thoughtful gesture can go a long way to keeping tenants happy.

Always remain professional in your communication with tenants. Whether they are the perfect renters or causing you significant issues, professional and thoughtful communication will go a long way in building a good relationship and protecting your property.

By focusing on clearer communication as a landlord, you can improve the rental process and help your tenants.