Keep Communication Open With Your Renters During a Crisis

May 21, 2020 | By Charleston Property Company

The coronavirus pandemic has rewritten the standard rules for many landlords, changing how they communicate with tenants or offer flexibility with things like rent payments. As a provider of the best property management Charleston offers, we know that these shifts may just be temporary as the world settles back down.

Still, landlords and property managers alike in Charleston recognize the importance of excellent communication with your tenants—in good times and bad. There's a lot to be said for making the working relationship between a tenant and landlord strong from the start so that disasters and crises do not require an entirely new blueprint for your relationships

This is why the professionals in property management, Charleston landlords, are encouraging you to keep communication between you and your renters open! Here are some tips on how to do that effectively.

Keep in mind: These suggestions are just that—suggestions. They do not act as a suitable substitute for sound legal advice. If you're in dire need of direct action and assistance, get in touch with a professional attorney or Charleston Property Company.

Customize Communication When the Lease Is Signed

It can feel like a triumph when a great new tenant signs their lease and is ready to move in, handing over that security deposit and becoming your tenant officially. However, this is a crucial moment that you don't want to pass up!

Now is the time to talk through a communication plan, including the best ways to reach your new renters. You can create a standard card for every tenant if you want, but make sure it's a conversation. Some tenants are always on their phones and will respond quickly to a text message or phone call; others prefer a written notice tucked under their door or an email.

Get all the forms of contact you can, but prioritize contacting them the way they wish to be contacted. You'll get faster responses that way. This is also a great time to introduce your tenants to your favorite styles of communicating, such as sending all-tenant messages through your online portal if you happen to be working with the best property management Charleston offers.

At Charleston Property Company, our online portals come standard as part of our modern approach to management. They are easily accessed by you, the property owner, and by your renters to make communicating en masse easier than ever.

Young asian man and woman sitting at table chatting talking playing with cellphone in coffee shop or tea house

Keep up Your End of the Bargain in the Good Times

While keeping in touch can take valuable time, remember that every contact you make during the good times is doing several jobs at once:

  • Frequent contact normalizes the act of hearing from you for your renters.
  • Contacting your renters has the effect of making them feel more secure.
  • Contact gives the impression that you take good care of your properties.
  • Communication smoothes over the lease renewal process down the road.

Many tenant relationships won't include any disasters and crises, so even though this regular communication cycle is key to making disaster communication work too, you can benefit from it either way. As a top provider of property management, Charleston landlords, we know how important good communication skills can be!

Great forms of contact can include anything from a general request to see if there are any repairs needed (for tenants who haven't submitted any requests, for instance), to announcements about upcoming renovations or property changes, to new amenities you have to offer them.

Two surprised students learning in library

During a Crisis, Increase Outreach and Use Email to Check In

Crises and disasters can create uncertainty for landlords as to whether they'd receive their rent check the following month. If the only time your tenants ever hear from you is during a crisis, it will be obvious to them that you are just worried about the rent.

If, however, you reach out as usual but focus on what their concerns are regarding the crisis or disaster, they are more likely to remain open and honest with you. That first frank admission of, for instance, a job loss during the novel Coronavirus outbreak that has created a lot of financial strain, is essential.

At that point, you can propose that they begin a payment plan that will allow them to get back on their feet. This is far preferable to getting no rent for multiple months and being forced into an eviction proceeding due to a lack of communication and clarity!

Experienced Property Managers Use Communication Best Practices

Property managers deal with many kinds of challenging circumstances that their tenants face, so they have a sixth sense about when the relationship might be salvageable despite hardships. These sixth senses, however, cannot work without any communication.

Working collaboratively with property management, Charleston landlords, will allow you to use communication best practices, coming up with good reasons and clear phrasing that informs your tenants without boring or annoying them.

This openness on your side will prompt an openness from them in the hard times when a few days can be the difference between setting up a good agreement together or having to move forward with an eviction—which no one wants. Your property manager can counsel you on what steps and communication methods to try first and how to stay organized when connecting with tenants to discuss their concerns. 

We know that these times can be stressful and uncertain for landlords who want to be compassionate—but also have their bills to pay. 

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