As a provider of Ashburn property management, we know that excellent communication is one of the best ways to maintain positive relationships between you and the great people renting your great spaces. Keeping renters informed, responding promptly to requests, and being available as a resource helps your residents know that you are on top of things—and that they matter to you as more than a rent payment.
What happens when a crisis restricts in-person contact? When tenants or potential tenants can't stop by or meet with you in person, it's easy for them to feel isolated and out of the loop. When you can't conduct inspections or maintenance, you can feel out of touch with the care of your great spaces. It's easy to feel like you don't know what's going on with your renters and your Ashburn rental properties when we've all been forced to adjust the way we work and communicate during a disaster.
The good news is that your renters are (probably) still at home—even if you haven't heard from them lately! The bad news is that no news isn't necessarily good news. Staying in touch is critical! To keep communication open during disasters, landlords can follow these tips from an expert in Ashburn property management.
Posting notices and using the mail might not be a viable way to connect with tenants during a disaster. If you're under social distancing conditions, minimizing in-person contact is one of the best ways to keep you, your family, and your renters safe.
Why not take advantage of the technology available to you to keep these relationships intact? Shifting communications to digital methods is not just a strategy that works in a crisis—it's also a smart move professionally.
- Use email to keep in touch with your tenants!
- Make sure every resident has a valid email address.
- Let them know that you're shifting all official communications to email.
Email allows property owners to track conversations and information back and forth with tenants. It's also a contact-free way to easily communicate important information about your operations and expectations during a crisis. However, when sending emails en masse to keep your renters informed, you need to take care to set them up correctly.
Set the Expectations
You might need to initially work with your renters to encourage them to check their email more frequently. If you haven't been using email as your main form of contact already, your renters may need some time to adapt to email as a primary way to communicate. A call or text can remind them to expect official communications in their email inbox instead of their mailbox or through an in-person notice.
Use email to:
- Send polite payment reminders or entry notices.
- Inform renters about any changes to your operations during a disaster.
- Conduct lease renewals and collect signatures.
- Encourage tenants to keep you informed.
- Provide critical information about properties or policies.
- Thank your tenants for sticking with you through a crisis.
You can also use email to begin a relationship with a new renter. When you collect tenant applications electronically, you can continue the conversation with potential tenants through email. Shifting communications to a digital platform can help you stay in touch through a disaster—and beyond!
Don't Go Dark
It's scary when your tenants 'go dark,' and you don't hear from them for a while. Are they keeping quiet to cover something up? Are they healthy and safe? Is there a problem at your Ashburn property that they don't want you to know about? Lack of communication causes fear to set in, but the reverse is also true: when your tenants don't hear from you, they can grow uneasy, too.
During a disaster, uncertainty can run rampant without clear communication from property owners to their renters. Be proactive and reach out! Don't wait for tenants to contact you with panicked questions about the rent or complaints about a maintenance request that hasn't seen a resolution.
Something Is Better Than Nothing
You don't have to have all of the answers right away to reach out to your tenants and assure them that you're there. When a crisis causes a change in how you operate or creates a confusing state of existence for the community, it's critical to reach out sooner rather than later with some kind of message.
- Let your renters know you're there and aware of the situation.
- Assure them that you're working on a solution and will keep them safe and informed.
- Offer ways for them to get in touch with you (and let them know to reach out by email!)
- Ask if they're okay and let them know you're still open for business (even though things might need to change for a while).
As an expert in Ashburn property management, we know that hearing "something" from you is better than not hearing anything at all. A few words in a timely email will go a long way to instill trust in your ability to help your tenants through a disaster. It might surprise you how a few words of encouragement—right away—can make a positive difference in your relationships as a property owner.
A Property Manager Helps You Stay in Touch During Disasters
It can be challenging to know what to do and how to reach out to your renters when disaster strikes. An expert Ashburn property management partner knows how to put a communication plan in place to help your residents feel informed and safe!
While we can't control the disasters that may come, we can prepare and plan for them. Being proactive will help you be ready to collect the rent you need to keep your great spaces in great condition—but it all revolves around the right kind of communication. Learn more with our free Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook!