Identifying good tenants is essential to attain a sustainable cash flow as a property owner. However, keeping great renters is just as important. A good landlord will invest time and resources towards healthy tenant relations. It is important to remember that attaining a high tenant retention rate largely depends on how you, as the landlord, focus on establishing a good relationship with the renters.
Effective communication stands out as the most effective tool in fostering and maintaining a positive relationship with your tenants. Failing to respond quickly to tenant requests is a major cause of misunderstandings between property managers and tenants. If you are managing a rental property in Fort Worth, here are some tips to help.
Agree on Communication Preferences
In the modern world, people utilize various channels such as text messaging, social media, emails, and calls to communicate. Some tenants prefer texting as the primary mode of communication when raising their issues to the landlords of the property managers. Many tenants find communicating through emails as the best option, while others prefer one on one conversation. Phone calls are also a convenient communication method that is especially useful.
It is important to include some basic information in the welcome letter about communication. For Example:
For swiftest possible responses, kindly use the communication channels outlined below in the corresponding scenarios:
Call to report urgent cases such as water gushing out of plumbing systems and other emergencies.
Text to ask non-urgent questions or concerns, especially late at night.
Emails and socials media
We will post information that the whole property needs to know. Feel free to ask questions or voice concerns this way as well.
Use the information listed our website when requesting changes of your lease or submitting maintenance requests.
It is also essential to discuss your communication preferences with your tenants in person so they can tell you which methods may be best for them. Offering several means of communication upfront enables the tenants to communicate in ways that work for them when the need arises. Such an initiative increases the possibility of tenants getting in touch with the property management company in case something comes up. Once you establish the communication channel that your tenants prefer, stick to it to avoid any confusion.
Establish an Effective System for Tracking Maintenance Requests
If you want to boost tenant retention rates in your property, you should invest in a quality maintenance program. Poor property maintenance is a big reason why many tenants decide to move out and stop renewing their leases. Proper maintenance of your property will maintain the value of your property and help keep your tenants happy. Setting up an effective and easy-to-use maintenance request and tracking systems will help the tenants find the process of reporting issues and tracking restoration requests easy. Such a tracking system will enhance transparency to the property managers and renters equally.
Plan on How to Collect Money for Repairs
At times, tenants may place maintenance requests for damages they have caused themselves. If you establish that tenants owe you any money from repair expenses, you will only get that cash if you are able to clearly communicate the message. Let the tenant know how you would like to recover such expenses. Always provide a written explanation to the tenants, even if you intend to cover the cost with their security deposits. This will help you prevent unpleasant disagreements that occur when the lease expires. It will also give you peace of mind when you may be busy handling move-in and move-out.
Outline Procedures on Dealing with Late Rent
Late rent payment is a major issue that can sour the relationship between tenants and property managers. Such incidents can still occasionally happen despite the credit checks and tenant screenings. You will most likely have to deal with issues of late rent payments during your time as a property manager. It would be best to have a solid plan regarding the procedures of dealing with late rent payments. This will help ensure that these inevitable scenarios go smoothly between you and the tenants. Remember to communicate such procedures to the renters before such a scenario occurs. A good way to do this is to:
Check your records thoroughly:
It is essential to confirm that the tenant is late in paying rent before you take any action.
Reach Out to the Tenant Informally
You are not legally required to do this, but it is of great help in establishing a good relationship with your tenants. It is crucial to send a brief text message or an email to confirm the status of the rent. Perhaps your reliable tenants got held up by issues that made them forgot to pay the rent in time, or their checks got misplaced in the mail as it happens sometimes. At times, they may be undergoing a temporary financial hardship that you can efficiently work through together. In any case, reaching out to your tenants can greatly help you get a clear picture of what may be happening to them and how you can both achieve the best results.
Send a Rent Overdue Notice
This notice should follow once you establish that the lateness of the rent payment was not an honest mishap. The document should stipulate what the tenant is to pay and state your next course of action. You may forward this notice by hand, mail, or email, and remember to keep a copy for your reference. You may want to work with your lawyer to help you draft a professional past due notice.
Give the Tenant a Pay or Quit Notice
Ideally, this comes as the initial move toward an eviction process. You should serve this notice when a tenant fails to pay the rent even after obtaining a past-due notice from you. The notice is a legal document and it will be better if you involve your attorney when issuing.
Involve Your Eviction Lawyer
If all your efforts to obtain the rent fail, you will probably have to launch an eviction process. Review your lease agreement with the tenants follow the necessary procedures as you request the tenant to leave your property. It may not be a friendly process to everyone, hence the need to work closely with your lawyers at every stage.
Ensure Friendly communication
Tenants will always know who their property managers are, but not all renters feel like they may have a seamless working relationship with them. Your objective as a property manager in such a case to ensure everything runs well while maintaining friendly communication. Such communication with the tenants will enable the renter to communicate to you comfortably about any issue that may arise. It can go a long way to briefly introduce your company to the renters and ask them about their lives and interests. This interaction will show the tenants that you care about them and are interested in knowing more about them. You may go a step further by considering sending a personalized holiday card each year to your clients.
Respect the Tenant Space and Privacy
It is not a good idea to show up unannounced to the tenants’ home or apartment and expect then to allow your access to their premises. The property becomes their private space the moment you sign off the lease agreement, as long as they adhere to the basic rules. This means that you lose the right to move in and out of the property any time you wish without prior notice.
Always notify the tenants any time you need to show up for maintenance works so that they will not be surprised anytime you ring the doorbell. Some clients may not mind when you show up for repairs, but it is better to let them know ahead of time. Use text messages and phone calls to get in contact with the tenants to alert them on any issues coming up.
Paying a visit to the property is occasionally necessary, but make sure you give prior notice. Failure to do this may make the client feel like you are invading their privacy.
Timely Routine Property Inspections
Ensuring that you have professionals to inspect your properties will save you a lot of money and resources that you may otherwise have to use to repair severe damages. The inspections keep your property in good shape and habitable while keeping the tenants happy. Conducting regular inspections shows the tenants that you are proactive in keeping your property in good condition and mindful about their welfare. It is during these inspections that you can ask your clients about any possible upgrade they may like so that you can consider it.
Ensure you let the clients know the significance of the inspection and give them notice of when they should expect you for such activities. All you intend to do is to create a positive impression of proactively inspecting your property for major appliance issues, leaks, paint status, and drips.
It can be difficult to keep up healthy relationships with all your tenants, maintain the properties, and keep everything organized. Let us help! Specialized Property Management in Fort Worth is a professional property management company that can help you and your tenants stay organized and happy. Contact us today for a quote! 817.886.9220