Main form of contact with tenant?

14 Replies

What's your best way for you and your tenant to stay in contact, or which do you prefer? Do you stop by, call, text, letter, email or use some other form of communication with tenants. This could be for any number of reasons. Maybe you don't ever have to because everything is going along just fine. Any interesting stories about how communication did go wrong for what ever reason.

I prefer text or email for the written record of what was actually communicated.

text is my first choice for ease and speed. Email is my next and it doesn't hurt it's all written ;)

Thanks @Kyle J.  and @Elizabeth Colegrove ,  I've been getting mostly text messages.

I prefer e-mail, unless it is urgent, then I have them call me. People seem more respectful of business hours when they call. If I allow them to text, I get texts at 6:30 am and 10 pm. They don't realize I sleep with the phone on the nightstand and texts wake me up. So, I don't let them text me.

My assistant takes texts/calls/emails 24 hours a day.....weeds through what is and is not important, lets me know about it 9-5, 7 days a week.

@Bryan K.  I've consistently used email, text, and phone although anything in writing is preferred (email or text) especially when discussing problems, repairs, etc. There are a number of computer programs you can upload and save the texts and voicemails to as well.

Written notices are probably going to be required depending on your local landlord-tenant law when dealing with problems such as non-paying tenants.

I agree with everyone that I use a combination of text, email, phone and written notices, depending on the nature of business. Most of it is done with texts. When I am asking a favor I call, and when I don't want to make it awkward, usually a problem with the tenant I need to address or to raise rent, I mail an official letter.

We started asking our tenants for their preferred mode of communication and now we try to accommodate that. Many of our tenants are retired seniors and prefer the telephone or talking in person. The younger tenants prefer texting. We don't use email with our tenants, but we do with our vendors. 

If we need to communicate something of a sensitive nature, we make an appointment to visit the tenant at the unit and both I and my husband go. Email and texting is not a good choice for communicating sensitive and emotional material. Formal letters are good in some situations, especially when needing to keep a written record. We serve legal notices in accordance with our landlord-tenant law. 

Interestingly, some of the most productive communication happens when we are working at the property and a tenant casually shares something, or asks a question, or states a concern, or gives us a compliment. The best customer service starts by listening, repeating back what you heard the tenant say, and efficiently following up on what is needed in a timely manner.

Also, a smile, politeness, and being respectful of people's time and space goes a long way.

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Thanks for all your feedback @Account Closed  how long has your assistant been taking calls for you? How has training them worked for you?

The best way that I stay in touch with my tenants is through my property manager.  If you find a good one they will always let you know what is going on.  I have managed properties myself in the past and found by checking in once a month I would know what was going on.  Also drive by once per month.  I hope this helps.

@Bryan K.  

I tell them to use email as the primary source of communication.  I inform them that it protects them and myself in the event the relationship detoriates.  When I do the walk through and lease signing I reinforce two things.  

1) email for routine things because it protects everyone and is the best way to get a hold of me. 

2) call when their is "WATER WATER EVERYWHERE" 

It works well, because they only "call" if it's truly an emergency.

Originally posted by @Bryan K. :

@Marcia Maynard what kind of rentals do you have that you attract seniors?

When I think about it, it must be a combination of factors. For starters, we have great respect for our elders and know how to provide an environment that is comfortable for them. Some find us by word of mouth. Some stay long enough in our properties to become seniors! Out of 15 units, we currently have seniors (age 65+) in five of them. We have had some senior tenants who have moved on to assisted living or have passed away.

When I started to answer your question, I realized the topic was quite deep. So as not to hijack this thread, I started another.... so here is my complete answer. Thanks for asking!

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