A property manager's success largely depends on communicating effectively with tenants, clients, and vendors. Whether you are handling day-to-day maintenance issues, addressing tenant complaints, or negotiating lease agreements, clear communication is vital.
While communicating may sound simple, the devil is in the details. The following nine communication tips for property managers go deeper into the types of communication that can help you build better relationships with your stakeholders and improve your property's overall performance.
Use Active Listening
One of the most critical skills a property manager can possess is active listening. Active listening means taking the time to listen to tenant or client concerns and needs. Encourage tenants to express their opinions and concerns and respond with questions to clarify any confusion. Repeat what you've heard to confirm understanding and let them know you're listening.
Your attentiveness can diffuse tense situations and shows that you value the other's opinions and want to work together to find solutions. Additionally, active listening can prevent misunderstandings during less-clear conversations and help you uncover potential tenant or client issues before they become significant problems.
Regular communication is essential for maintaining positive relationships with your tenants and clients. Checking in with them regularly ensures everyone is on the same page, and you can use a newsletter or other means to keep them informed of updates or changes that affect them. Regular communication makes building rapport with new and existing tenants and clients easier.
Share news, events, and other interesting tidbits related to the property, neighborhood, or community to foster a sense of connection. Whether via email, phone, or in-person meetings, ensure your communication is consistent and timely and can reliably reach every tenant.
Be Upfront and Transparent
Transparency, or sharing good and not-so-good information upfront, is crucial in building trust and a congenial environment with tenants and clients. Be upfront about any current issues or challenges, and keep them informed of your progress in addressing them. Sharing information can help prevent misunderstandings and build a stronger, more collaborative relationship.
Transparency does not mean you have to overshare, though. As the property manager, use your judgment to decide how much information is necessary to keep tenants and clients informed. Offer clear and honest explanations for decisions that impact them and explain how you're addressing issues that may affect their experience at the property.
Use Plain Language
Avoid technical jargon or complex language when communicating with tenants or clients. Conversations that use obscure lingo, slang, or colloquialisms can be confusing and may lead to misunderstandings. Instead, use plain language that is easy to understand and conveys your message clearly.
Use concrete examples and descriptive language to explain issues, help tenants visualize what you're talking about, and check in to ensure they understand what you're saying.
Other great communication tips for property managers include showing empathy or putting yourself in your tenants' or clients' shoes and trying to understand their perspective. Approaching communication this way can help you more easily speak to their needs and build stronger relationships. By showing empathy, you can create a more positive and productive environment for everyone.
Showing empathy does not mean you agree with everything the other person says; it strictly means understanding their position. Try to anticipate and address any concerns or questions tenants or clients may have and respond compassionately and helpfully. Acknowledge their emotions and feelings and, to the extent possible, offer reassurance and solutions to any problems.
Document all communication with tenants or clients to prevent misunderstandings and clarify disputes. Communicate important information in writing, such as a printed memo or email, and keep records of your emails, paper communications, phone calls, and in-person meetings. These records can help you keep track of important details and ensure everyone has the same understanding.
Keep detailed notes on verbal conversations and interactions, including dates, times, and topics discussed. Documenting your communications, regardless of their occurrence, can help avoid confusion or disputes and provide a clear trail of decisions or actions.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Property managers can use many tools to remove the labor and tedium from regular communications to prevent overwhelm, document conversations, and improve efficiency. Channeling tenant or client communications through property management software, online portals, or messaging apps can improve effectiveness and responsiveness.
Experiment with different communication tools to find the best for you and your tenants. For example, try using social media, text messaging, and virtual tours for prospective tenants to engage and efficiently provide information about the property.
Be sure to approach you with issues or concerns before tenants or clients. Take a proactive approach by contacting them regularly and addressing potential problems before they become significant. Perform regular maintenance inspections on the property and address any issues you notice, such as overgrown landscaping or burned-out light bulbs.
Regular, scheduled maintenance can help prevent clogged storm drains, leaks, or other maintenance issues that can cause damage or disruption for your tenants. It also demonstrates that you are actively managing the property and taking pride in the appearance and upkeep of the property.
After communicating with tenants or clients, follow up to ensure you have addressed their needs and resolved any issues. By following up, you communicate that you value their input and are committed to providing excellent service. Ask them for feedback on your communication and services, and use their responses to improve.
Set Your Property Apart with Good Communication
Effective communication is essential for property managers to succeed in their roles and can improve the tenant experience enough to set your property apart from the competition. Implementing these communication tips for property managers can help build stronger relationships with tenants, clients, and other stakeholders while improving efficiency and preventing misunderstandings and disputes.
As a property manager, your hands are already full, and outsourcing regular maintenance tasks is one way to free up more time to communicate with tenants. At CatchAll Environmental, we provide a catch-all solution to managing all facets of your stormwater system. Contact us today to find out how we can effectively put your stormwater management on auto-pilot!