We've covered the importance of communication in several of our blogs as an ongoing and crucial element of crisis management. Whether you use communication channels to educate and inform your renters about your new maintenance policies or simply to reach out to your residents to let them know you care, it remains a powerful tool.
In our experience as an expert provider of North Port property management, we have found that communication is often the best means to avert a crisis in your dealings with your renters, as well. The right kind of back-and-forth can strengthen the professional relationships you have built—while poor communication can collapse even a promising lease term.
A quick note: The following article is not a substitute for legal counsel. If you need immediate help with a pressing issue concerning your tenants, turn to a competent attorney or Gulf Coast Property Management for real-time assistance!
The Daily Role of Communication
There are several instances in the course of your day-to-day operations as a property owner where communication is not an option, but an expected courtesy—or even required by law. This includes:
- Letting your renters know in advance that you plan to enter their home to perform maintenance or an inspection of your North Port rental property.
- Notifications when it's time to renew—or not renew—a lease agreement between you and your residents.
- Discussing with your renters about any violations they've committed when it comes to the lease, such as unauthorized pets, heated disputes with other neighbors, or the mistreatment of your North Port property.
- The correct posting of notices at your property when deciding to pursue eviction.
- Professionally (and compassionately) reminding your renters that their rent is due—or about to be late.
- Informing your residents about which penalties (if any) are being applied to their account based on repeated lease violations.
You may not have considered just how much communication plays a role in the relationship you have with your renters—and this is just a small sample of what you handle on a regular basis! As professionals in North Port property management, we know how vital communication can be when operating successful rental properties.
That said, this level of interaction is just as important—if not more so—during a crisis, and upping your output with respect to how often you message your renters may be necessary. Let's take a look at how to communicate with your renters successfully during a crisis—and why it's crucial to do so if you haven't been keeping up with it until now.
Professional Communication Provides Structure in a Crisis Scenario
As a property owner, you know that no news from your renters isn't always good news: sometimes it means a hidden issue is lurking at your property—waiting to be discovered during the next inspection. Just as a lack of communication from your renters can cause you anxiety as a property owner, a lack of communication from you can cause your residents equal parts stress during a crisis.
- The right kind of communication with your residents—when sent with a sense of professionalism and a measure of compassion—can provide the structure your renters need from you when the rest of their day might be full of uncertainty.
- Clear communication from you outlines what your residents can expect from you moving forward during a disaster scenario, as well as your current response to any crisis—and where they stand. This includes any policy changes you may be making to combat the effects of a pandemic or other crisis and how that impacts your renters.
- Open communication with your residents also gives them the opportunity to reach out to you about any hardships they might be experiencing or needs they may have. This leads to happier renters and longer leases.
Consistent Contact Builds Stronger, Long-Term Relationships
As a North Port property management expert, we know that this level of interaction with your renters can be powerful—but only if you exercise it carefully and professionally. The medium you communicate with matters, too: during a disaster, one of the best methods we suggest is email.
Email leaves a 'paper trail,' making it the ideal form of communication for documenting your conversations. However, you need to wield this tool carefully: firing off messages without the right etiquette can have disastrous and far-reaching consequences for property owners. You only have to read one or two of the stories where email went awry during COVID-19 to see the fallout.
While using communication during a crisis is crucial, you've already seen how important it is for your business-as-usual operations outside of a disaster. Now is a great time to put this to use productively to reach out to your renters and help create a sense of normalcy.
Keeping in contact with your renters isn't only for when times are bad, either. While you don't want to flood them with messages that aren't productive, keeping communication open is an act of goodwill that should extend into better days as well. This can also make it easier for you to develop payment plans with your renters who may need it moving forward because they'll feel safe enough to approach you—rather than lapse into silence.
If contact with your renters isn't the only area you've been struggling with during the COVID-19 pandemic, you'll probably find our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook an invaluable resource to help you navigate rent collection during these trying times. We're happy to offer it to property owners as a resource—completely free! Download your copy, and if you have any questions, reach out to us at Gulf Coast Property Management!