Effective tenant communication is the backbone of owning productive rental properties in Chicago. But for most investors, effective communication is a proficiency that takes time to develop. This is a process that can be developed with the help of experts in the industry. Because communicating with tenants can lead to a few challenges, you must come to terms with specific elements that can help improve your process.
Communicating effectively with your tenants starts with the very first interaction – often a screening phone call. When prospective tenants call with inquiries, you must make the screening criteria known to them. This will give a glimpse into who this potential tenant is, and it also allows you to establish expectations about the landlord-tenant relationship.
After screening your tenant, you might want to go ahead and go through the lease documents with him/her. This is another means of effective communication. Your lease documents are more than just a legal contract. Those documents should contain responsibilities between the landlord and tenant, and other things like landscaping maintenance, parking, and pets, to name a few. The lease should also clarify how you will handle your future communications with your tenant. It’s a great way to start your relationship with your tenants when you choose to show them that you are willing to communicate regularly. This can easily be done through software, apps, and online tenant portals. When the expectations on both parties are made clear, it encourages transparency and accountability on both ends.
Effective tenant communication is a continuous process, more so after the tenant moves in. To keep the lines of communication open, you need to establish a set of guidelines for how and when regular communication will take place. For example, make the details clear in your lease agreement as to when you want to perform routine maintenance, and how often you plan to do so. Depending on which state you live in, there are landlord laws that state when a landlord may enter the property for maintenance or inspection. As a sign of dealing in good faith, you can always adjust that timeframe to favor the schedule of your tenant. Experts agree that the notice should be served at least a week before the scheduled routine maintenance and that it be delivered through multiple formats– a call, text, email, etc.
In the case of an emergency, effective communication takes on a new urgency. As a property owner, you must make your tenants aware that you are available to take any of their calls in the event of a serious property problem. It’s valuable that your response is prompt and proactive. It’s best practice to handle any emergency repair concerns no later than a few hours after having been contacted by the tenant. It’s also just as important to provide your tenant with feedback and updates. This tells them that you are taking their concerns seriously. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can provide better service to your tenants throughout their tenancy.
In conclusion, don’t forget to practice the golden rule in your transactions with your tenants. Always treat your tenants with the same level of courtesy and respect that you would want for yourself so that you can foster a culture of effective communication. Of course, hiring a trusted Chicago property manager is also a great way to establish clear and effective communication with all your tenants. Contact us online or at 773-904-7700 today to learn more.
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