How To Improve Tenant Communications

Tenant communications – what is it and why is it important? Let’s start by defining what we mean by tenant communications, tenant communications are the interactions property managers and landlords have with their tenants. Simple enough right? Well not so fast, this is something that many professional property managers struggle with and novice landlords even more so.

Why Is Tenant Communication Important?

Tenant communication is important because tenants who feel there is good communication between themselves and their property manager/landlord are more likely to renew their leases [source] as well as communicate the problems they have before they become large issues and/or cause further damage to the property.

Tenant retention is something that is often talked about in terms of ensuring lower management costs and increased revenues for landlords. When your tenant churn rate increases that result in more vacancies hence higher management costs and lower revenues due to lack of rent. Talking to your tenants ahead of time and being proactive will decrease your churn rate by allowing you to address their issues sooner and “make it right”.

Residential tenants are very picky in higher-end units on how things are as well as their experience with dealing with property managers. These units bring in more revenue for property management companies in relation to the amount of work required to manage the unit. Putting these two facts together tells us that communicating with these tenants is even more critical than the average tenants.

In a 2020 study done by Disruptcre they found that over 69% of commercial office tenants had never interacted with their property manager and didn’t know their name. This might seem like a good thing, however, it is a negative because it means the property managers are not being proactive in talking to tenants and getting feedback on the building and unit they are in. Issues might exist that the tenants are just living with but are again factoring into their decision to relocate their office to another building.

How Can We Improve Our Communication With Tenants?

First, we need to break tenant communications down into its core 3 topics, crisis mode, frequent (daily and scheduled) communications, and feedback loop. Let’s look at each one

Crisis mode is what a tenant is in when there is something wrong that needs to be addressed right away. These can be things like a broken pipe, a window broken, or failed heating in the winter. These are things that require an immediate response. The best plan of action here is a phone call to the property manager or a request for a call if you don’t want tenants randomly calling your property managers. Reasons for this might be so they can add a note that way you can select a priority level of call. These requests however should be instant and have no delays.

Frequent communications come in two flavors, daily and scheduled. Daily communications are stuff like maintenance notices, unit inspection notices, follow-ups on previous communications, or feedback. The other flavor is scheduled, these can be rent payment reminders, reminders about yearly changes such as snow removal, or company-specific reminders and communications.

The final type of communication is feedback. This goes back to earlier when we talked about being proactive and getting ahead of issues as well as requesting feedback on certain topics sent via a survey for tenants to fill out.

How Can I Enable Better Tenant Communications?

To enable better tenant communications you can use a tool like Tenant Talk to bring all communications under one roof. At the core of how we communicate is chat, Tenant Talk provides a chat service that is meant for property managers and tenants. Calling a tenant from your laptop is super easy and allows you to prevent giving out your phone number to tenants.

Conclusion

Tenant communications are important for tenant retention, satisfaction, and ensuring your investments do better. Tools like Tenant Talk can help improve these communications. You have to address all different types of communication as well as ensure the communications channels you choose fit your needs and your tenant’s needs.