Rental property owners know that happy tenants are good tenants and that can pay off in the long term. Building tenant relationships encourages better communication and an improved experience for tenants as well as landlords. Here are our 11 favorite ways that today’s landlords are building tenant relationships.
1. Choose The Right Tenants
Building tenants relationships starts with selecting the right person to sign your lease. It’s important that your tenant screening process weeds out applicants which may be problematic. Do your due diligence and follow up on background checks, credit reports, and eviction histories.
Selecting a tenant who is responsible and courteous will save a lot of trouble in the long run. Ensuring that your renter can afford to pay their bills is another way to prevent issues from popping up in the future. Don’t neglect to screen tenants for a good fit to increase the chances that they will be happy living there for years to come.
2. Build Rapport
The landlord and tenant relationship should always be a professional one first but that doesn’t mean you can’t be sociable. Find common ground or shared hobbies that you can talk about. Ask questions and listen to what your tenant says. This will help establish good groundwork for the relationship.
3. Set Expectations In Writing
A solid foundation of well defined expectations is a great launch point for building tenant relationships. Both sides need to get on the same page in terms of what is expected of each party. Come to the table in good faith, decide on reasonable expectations together, and set things in writing.
Having it in writing means both parties have a document to reference if there is a problem. However this doesn’t mean things always have to be formal. A verbal conversation can be followed up with a text message or email and kept with the original written agreement.
4. Keep Your Promises
When you tell a tenant that you’re going to do something, make sure that you do it. Building tenant relationships is just about impossible if your words have no value. Your word must be good as gold or tenants won’t believe you.
5. Maintain Open Communication
A reliable and trustworthy landlord keeps the lines of communication wide open. Make yourself available to your tenants and always reply to messages promptly. Address complaints and maintenance tickets right away and never shy away from difficult conversations.
Making communication a priority goes a long way towards building tenant relationships. Being available to answer questions and address concerns shows that you care about your tenants and that you want them to be happy living on the property. This builds tenant trust and makes people feel that they can talk to you if there is a problem.
6. Be Organized
Disorganization can get in the way of good communication and hinder appropriate actions. If you are not organized it will be difficult to stay on top of every item on your to do list. Things fall through the cracks and tenants are left feeling that they are not valued. Building tenant relationships will be impossible if you never seem to know what’s going on when tenants call.
7. Healthy boundaries
There is an inherent conflict built into the tenant/property owner relationship. What is the landlord’s property is the tenant’s home. It’s tempting to want to check in on tenants to make sure they are taking care of your property but it’s necessary to maintain healthy boundaries.
Limit visits to the bare minimum and agree on an inspection schedule at the start of the relationship. Don’t overwhelm tenants with too many phone calls either. For matters that are not urgent choose less invasive methods of communications such as email.
8. Always Follow The Law
It is essential that property owners always abide by all tenant and landlord laws. Failure to do so can not only lead to legal troubles but it also damages trust and affects tenant relationships. Familiarize yourself with all federal, state, and local laws and never cross that line.
9. Be Open To Suggestions
Any property owner that is serious about building tenant relationships needs to value the opinions of tenants. The people who live on the property are in a better position to notice issues with the unit and they can notice things that you may not. Tenants are also the best source of suggestions for upgrades that anyone living there may appreciate.
Never be dismissive of tenant ideas, even the bad ones. It may not always be a good idea and you don’t have to act on every suggestion but always make it clear that you value the input. Go one step further and solicit suggestions from tenants by asking questions and encouraging them to speak openly.
10. Use The Right Tools
If you struggle to stay on top of things you may not be using the right tools. Well designed property management software can save you a ton of time and keep you organized. Clear records and tenant files all in one place will ensure that you’re ready to address any tenant concern in a knowledgeable way.
11. Hire A Property Manager
Sometimes there is just more work to do than one person can handle. If you’re finding that there are never enough hours in a day, it may be time to hire a property manager. This person can be responsible for the day to day management of your property while you focus your efforts on building tenant relationships and growing your business.
A property manager can be a great asset. They generally know the ins and outs of the law and are a great resource in emergencies. Property managers assist in building tenant relationships by keeping things timely, efficient, as well as appropriate.
Strong landlord and tenant relationships can make the experience more rewarding for both sides. When each party is respectful and responsible with open communication between them, the foundation is there for a good fit. Wise rental property owners know that it’s worth the extra effort to build great tenant relationships.