Build Resident Relations from Day 1
From Day 1 when the tenant moves in, the landlord should start to build a mutually respectful and cooperative relationship with them. A clear, positive, and honest communication routine is a foundation of a successful landlord-tenant relationship.
It is imperative to recognize that both landlord and tenant have rights and responsibilities towards each other. That communication begins with onboarding and tenant leases.
Here are few Practical Tips for Great Tenant Communications:
- Deal with tenant’s request promptly. Make the tenants feel that you care about their concerns. For instance, if the work order is unable to be addressed within a reasonable time period due to the delay of repair parts order, let your tenants know as soon as possible and the expected timeline of completion.
- Don’t promise if you are not able to deliver. For instance, no free flooring upgrade or replacement in the unit should be agreed if the damage was caused by tenant’s negligence.
- Don’t take complaints personally. Address complaints with an open mind as well as a fair and professional manner.
- Use diverse tools/channels to regularly communicate with your tenants. For instance, you may notify tenants of events or activities and to explain building policies and services. You may also create a group with discussion forum via social media so that tenants can directly communicate, and you may hear their honest feedback. If you choose to use signage as a communication tool, make sure signs are not hand-written. Signs should contain positive words such as “Please” or “Thank you” instead of “No” or “Don’t.” For instance, the sign that reads “Thank You for Not Smoking” can positively influence tenants comparing with the one that reads “No Smoking.”
- Utilize social events to build bonding with your tenants. You don’t need to spend tons of money to get tenants together. For instance, holding the National Night Out event at your community is a great tool to build positive police-neighborhood relationship while as a landlord, you can strengthen your partnership and build rapports with both police and tenants. Engage your tenants to plan and host holiday events to build a stronger sense of belongings at the property.
There are occasions where disputes occur between tenants. As a landlord, you shouldn’t take side before having a chance to investigate. Focus on facts not personal feelings. Use an incident report to document all facts and attempt to resolve the tenants problems.
If tenants report incidents in writing, make sure you read the report thoroughly and clearly understand the problem. While you investigate the issue, ensure you respect and adhere to tenant privacy and confidentiality. Take actions as needed including serving lease violation or warning letter to the party who didn’t comply with the lease and/or house rules.
When enforcing lease and house rules, landlord should communicate clearly and non-emotionally to tenants. It is critical that roles and responsibilities for both landlord and tenants are clearly established and articulated. Next time, we will talk further about how a landlord can properly and professionally enforce tenant leases.
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Gordon Leung has worked in property management for more than 13 years and specialized in strategic planning and people development. If you have questions, you may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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