As a landlord, what is your plan for communicating effectively with your Boston tenants?
Tenants don’t want to be bothered. They want to be left in peace to live in their home and enjoy their lives.
But, when something goes wrong and they need to get in touch with you, it’s essential that you’re available and willing to respond.
If you’re working with a professional Boston property management company, resident communication will be less of a concern. Your management team will take care of resident relationships and communication.
When you’re leasing and managing your own property, you have to be prepared for how you’ll communicate. Here are some of the best practices we can offer for communicating with Boston residents.
Tenant Communication Improves Your ROI
Why bother putting together a communication plan?
It impacts your ROI.
Residents require communication that’s clear, accurate, and responsive. If you ignore calls and messages from your tenants, you’re going to lose them. It’s important that you’re responsive to their needs, whether it’s a maintenance request or a simple question about how to deal with utility companies.
Good communication helps you avoid turnover and vacancy. You earn more.
When you keep in touch with residents, you’re letting them know that you care about their rental experience. They shouldn’t only hear from you when rent is late or when you’re trying to schedule an inspection.
Here are some easy tips that will help with tenant communication (these tips will also help with resident retention):
- Thank them every time they pay on time.
- Communicate your appreciation that they’re taking good care of the property.
- Check-in once in a while to see if there’s anything they need.
Communicating with gratitude, respect, and professionalism leads to a better rental experience for all parties.
Communication Tip: Share Your Expectations
Good communication should start before the lease does.
During the marketing and showing process, make sure your prospective tenants understand that you care about the property and the process of managing it. Then, when they become tenants, it’s time to establish and define the expectations and responsibilities of your lease agreement.
Use this opportunity to demonstrate that you’re open to questions and willing to listen to any concerns your tenants might have.
This allows you to set your tenants up for success. You’ll help your residents understand their rights and responsibilities. You’ll create a sense of security. When residents know what you expect, they have fewer worries and questions throughout the lease period. It can give you some peace of mind too, as the owner, because you’ll have no reason to believe your tenants won’t follow the terms of the lease agreement.
Further your communication efforts with supporting documentation after you’ve discussed your expectations during the leasing period. When tenants are moving in, provide a written or digital handbook. Share some videos that explain anything you talked about. This will give them an easy point of reference if they have questions later on.
Availability and Listening
An open-door policy is a great way to prioritize communication with your residents.
Demonstrate that you’re willing to respond to any questions and address any concerns as they arise. Don’t be slow in your response, and don’t ignore their phone calls, emails, or text messages. You want your tenants to feel comfortable coming to you with questions about the lease agreement or the property.
Good communication starts with good listening. You want to be an active listener. Tenants want to feel heard. Sometimes, you won’t be able to solve their problem. But, the fact that you’re willing to hear them and validate their concerns will often go a long way.
When you’re listening, be empathetic and kind. Instead of acting like an authority figure, communicate as a partner. You’re both trying to provide a good rental experience for each other. You can solve problems when you’re collaborative. Stay professional, listen to what your tenants are saying, and ask questions to gather more information.
Be Willing to Communicate Online and In Person
Every tenant is going to be a little bit different, and you’ll likely find that most tenants today when they think about communication, are thinking about digital communication. There are some residents who will also prefer a phone call or an in-person chat, but most residents these days would prefer a text or an email.
To that end, you should be willing to communicate in a number of different ways. All options should be available to your residents.
Every resident needs to have your contact information. Make sure they have all your contact information and some idea about the best way to contact you. Give them a telephone number, text messaging number, email, and mailing address.
Make sure you stay up to date with all of their contact information as well. When a phone number or an email address changes, update your records right away so you’re not sending information the wrong way.
Document Communication with Boston Residents
Documentation is a big part of communication. It can help you prevent misunderstandings and avoid conflicts. Document your resident communication with written records and reports. This will allow you to deal with problems and issues from a historical perspective.
A great way to ensure that your communication is documented is by using email. Boston property management companies often provide portals for tenants, and that’s helpful in tracking all of our interactions and communication. Conversations can be managed online, through a tenant portal. We can track payments and maintenance requests.
You may not have a portal, but you can ask for all correspondence to be sent via email so you have a clear record of what was shared and discussed.
Make good resident communication a priority. If you don’t have the time, or you’re uncomfortable reaching out to your residents, a Boston property management partner might be your best solution. We work closely with tenants all the time, and we provide excellent communication that supports our goal of providing an exceptional rental experience.
If you’d like to hear more, please contact us at Platinum Realty Group.