Better Tenant Relations: Built in 3 Steps
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Better Tenant Relations: Built in 3 Steps

Date Written: 08/08/2022

Last Updated: 01/05/2024

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Property Management

If you run a rental business, then you know good tenants are an invaluable part of the business. Unfortunately, many landlords don't make an effort to build a better relationship with their tenants. They assume that once the tenancy agreement is signed, their job is done. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Effective tenant communication is key to tenant retention. Tenant retention is a cost-effective strategy that all owners and property managers should implement. The reason is that tenant turnover can be quite expensive. You lose money on a vacant unit, and you also need to spend extra on marketing the unit. On the other hand, resident communication can ensure your tenants are happy, and happy tenants drive profit. When you foster tenant satisfaction, you ensure that residents remain in the unit, ensuring uninterrupted rent payments and maximized profit.

Why does tenant retention matter?

If you are an owner or a property manager, your primary objective is to ensure that all your units are occupied. Most people think that their job is done, except when a tenant moves or when they receive a work order for repairs. Having 100% occupancy is a great feeling, but your job does not end there. Your goal is to convince your tenants to continue to stay in your units.

Tenant retention is important for the following reasons.

Save time and money

It is worth your time to encourage your residents to stay because each occupied unit means one less apartment listing to market. It also ensures a steady stream of rent payments and less expenditure on marketing. Filling a vacant unit requires considerable time and effort. When you retain tenants, you can operate within your budget and prevent loss. You spend less time and money on turnover maintenance and on marketing your units. The lesser time and money you need to spend means lower costs and more income.

Earn greater profit

Did you know a retained resident is worth $900 each year? This is in addition to their rent payments. Each time a resident moves out, your unit could remain vacant for a few days to several months. When tenants retain their lease, you not only save money but also prevent other costs that go into marketing the unit.

Focus on great service

According to Apartment Data, 68% of renters leave due to poor customer service, while 9% leave due to pricing issues. By improving your customer service, you can prevent your renters from leaving. Improving the performance of your staff can play a big role in tenant retention. Your tenants must be satisfied with their living situation if you want to achieve your tenant retention goals.

There is a lot you can do for higher tenant retention and occupancy rates. First of all, you must be aware of your tenants' concerns and perceptions. You should also know where their priorities lie and offer top-class service. Remember, your financial situation depends on how satisfied your tenants are.

If you want to keep your tenants happy and deliver outstanding service, you need property management software from ExactEstate. With benefits such as online leasing, marketing integration, and tenant screening, this is all you need to maintain a profitable rental business. It also offers staff training modules to keep your staff informed about important topics like tenant retention and more.

Besides the above, tenant communication is also vital to tenant retention. Effective communication can ensure greater success for your tenant outreach programs.

Three steps to help you build a better relationship with your tenants

  1. Develop a communication strategy

Ideally, you should already have a solid communication strategy framework. If you don't, you need to design one. Your communication strategy should include four areas- daily communications, scheduled messages, feedback loop, and crisis communications.

  • Daily communications

These communications are mostly used for announcements and building notices. However, they can be a useful tool for building a sense of community among your tenants. You could include welcome messages for new tenants in your daily communications. This will also help your current tenants know who is moving in. 

You could also share highlights about amenities and local events. If you organize events on your property, you could include details about those too.

The next step is to decide how you want to share these daily communications. You could email or post them on your website and social media accounts.

  • Scheduled messages

Scheduled messages generally include lease expiration notices, payment reminders, and other such updates. With property management software such as ExactEstate's, you can automate these reminders, ensuring that they reach your tenants on time. You should use direct modes of communication, such as email, phone calls, or text messages, to ensure that your tenants receive these messages without fail.

  • Feedback loop

Gathering feedback from your tenants is extremely important if you want to know their concerns and priorities. It can also help you offer better service and help you design your resident outreach programs better. You can use surveys, questionnaires, or even open-ended questions to gather feedback from your tenants.

Creating a strong online presence provides your tenants to give you regular feedback. You could include a tenant portal on your website to collect feedback from your renters.

  • Crisis communications

You should also have a communication strategy for emergencies. You need to ensure that your tenants understand the procedures for crisis situations and how the information will be disseminated. You should also consider emergency training because it can come in handy when you need to evacuate a large number of people in a short time.

  1. Respond to repair requests quickly 

Being a property manager isn't easy. You have a lot on your plate, and you need to juggle multiple responsibilities. Scheduling emergency repairs is not easy, but you should still respond to repair requests as quickly as you can. Like we said before, your tenants should be happy about their living situation if you hope to retain them for longer.

For prioritizing repairs, it is a good idea to have a separate hotline for your tenants to call. An emergency hotline is also important where your tenants could report emergency issues like gas leaks, water damage, broken windows, and so on. The other hotline could be used for less critical repairs, such as fixing holes in the wall or repairing chipped paint.

Use your daily communications to appraise your tenants on which hotline to call for what issues.

  1. Offer multiple channels for communication

You may have renters of different age groups in your properties. Different people prefer different modes of communication. Older people may want to pick up the phone and speak with you. On the other hand, the younger generation prefers text messages and emails over phone calls.

You should offer multiple channels for communication, such as phone, email, text messages, and mailing addresses. You may also share your website and social media accounts for your tenants to get in touch with you. If you don't want to be disturbed at odd hours, mention when you will answer which form of communication. 

For instance, you could mention the time during the day when you will be available for phone calls. You could also mention how soon you would reply back to emails. Doing so will help set reasonable expectations with your tenants. They will also be able to communicate easily with you if they have to report something or have questions.

Conclusion

Focusing on building a better relationship with your tenants should be your primary focus. Using tenant communication effectively can help you build trust and transparency with your renters, which in turn increases tenant retention. Effective communication also prevents common problems, such as unpaid rent, early move-out, and so on.

ExactEstate’s property management software can help you deliver better service to your tenants. Schedule a demo today to understand how ExactEstate can benefit your rental business.

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