Communication Versus Harassing Your Tenants: How to Find Balance

Posted in Blog  
  on Jan 18, 2016

As a landlord, it’s incredibly important to maintain a strong line of communication between yourself and your tenants. Good communication is a valuable aspect of any business, and it can actually work in your favor when it comes to being a successful landlord. When working with a number of clients, you have to juggle the needs of different people and productively address problems that arise. However, you don’t want to run the risk of harassing your tenants; you simply want to communicate clearly and effectively. Here are some tips to help you find balance when communicating with your tenants.

Listen Up
Being a good listener is one of the most crucial parts of good communication. If you continue asking for something without listening to the other side of the story, you may be bordering on harassment. Your tenants want to be heard and deserve to explain themselves and their circumstances before you make a call on something. Listen to them first, then respond.

Tailor Your Communications
People communicate in different ways. It benefits you in the long run to get better at understanding how people communicate and how to find the best solution for each individual. You might want to get to the point right away with some tenants while spending more time explaining details and offering help to others.

Be Polite
It doesn’t matter if your tenants have dropped a bowling ball through the floor, are having parties until 4 a.m. every night, or are 90 days late on rent; you should always communicate with them effectively. Remember that the outcome will be the same no matter how you communicate. You can save face and most likely earn their respect if you interact with them in a kind, courteous way.

Manage Expectations
One of the best ways to avoid harassing your tenants is to set up expectations right from the start. Be very clear about what you expect from them and how you will follow up if any issues arise. If they are five days late on rent, for instance, you could inform them that you will telephone them every three days until their check arrives and will take further action after 30 days. Whatever your personal policies are, lay them out from the very beginning.

Empower the Tenant
Remember that it doesn’t always have to be you who initiates contact with tenants. They should be able to get in touch with you too, so the lines of communication don’t feel so one-sided. You can provide copies of maintenance-request notices and permission-to-enter forms so you can take care of repairs without beleaguering them with phone calls and visits. Communication in writing like this can help you set up better protocols while taking care of your tenant and property.
Dealing with tenants can be one of the best parts of being a landlord. However, you want to take measures to communicate properly with your tenants so you don't give them the sense that you're harassing them. No one wants an overbearing landlord, and you can generally get what you want without having to go overboard with your communication. Follow these tips to find a balance in your communication with your tenants so that all parties end up as happy as possible.



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