With new rental home communities popping up and the Florida real estate market in flux, there’s never been more competition for tenants—much less tenants that are trouble-free or relatively sane. So when you have a lessee that you love, make sure they’ll stick around. Whether you have long-term units or seasonal vacancies, it’s a good idea to revisit that age-old question: How can landlords improve communication with tenants?
Give Them a Choice
It’s been a long, long time since “communication” meant “talking.” Millennials have grown up with all kinds of technology, and a pager isn’t going to cut it. Offer a few ways for them to get in touch with you, and decide together on the best method. Try to guard against opportunities for miscommunication, like emails that go straight to the junk folder. And if a tenant prefers voicemail, make sure you’ve got the best number to reach them. If you do go with emails or texts, you have the added benefit of documentation.
The landlord-tenant relationship is almost entirely built on communication, and its success depends as much on clarity as it does on the people involved. Be transparent about everything, whether you’re setting the rules, establishing deadlines, or giving them time frames for repairs. It’s better to be upfront even if it’s awkward, because no one wants to sort out the misunderstandings later. Your tone should be professional, nonjudgmental, and fair because respect must go both ways.
Anticipate Their Questions
If you have any experience as a landlord, you can count on the same questions with every tenant. And if you have multiple tenants, their concerns multiply too. You can save a lot of time by putting together a factsheet or guide to your property. A section for FAQs can give them something to refer to if they can’t remember the details, and you’ll also have a chance to prepare them for less frequent situations, like hurricanes and break-ins. Pay attention to their feedback, so you can incorporate more relevant information for your next tenant. They might have some good suggestions.
You shouldn’t need to resort to therapy to improve your relationship. And you have to establish some boundaries if you don’t want to be woken up by calls at all hours. But landlords can improve communication with tenants even when they’re setting limits, because both sides can benefit from some quiet time too.
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