During and after a crisis, it's more important than ever for our community to overcome and recover from whatever difficulty has been thrown our way together. However, when you're a landlord, sometimes it can feel like working with the great people in your great spaces has its ups and downs. Each of your renters is unique—and this makes the challenges you face in how you interact with them unique, too. Some tenants require a more direct approach from you—including how they want you to communicate. Others, like millennial renters, might prefer a more hands-off, text-based angle.
However, there is one factor we are all facing right now that influences renter relationships across the breadth of the human experience: a crisis. Whether it's an economic recession, a global pandemic, or a time of great social change, more than ever, the great people in your great spaces are expecting you to be able to work with them on a professional level. With that in mind, consider these essential tips from the leader in Ashburn property management to guide your interactions with your renters during any crisis scenario.
A quick note: This article is not intended as legal advice. However, it can be a great introduction to steps landlords can take to improve relationships with your renters. If you're facing a situation that requires legal counsel, work with a competent attorney, or get in touch with the Ashburn property management experts at RentSimple!
Compassion Is Crucial
Having compassion is a crucial part of any relationship. Compassion helps smooth out the rough edges when the ride gets bumpy—and it also may deescalate situations that have grown beyond their boundaries. It's natural for tempers to flare in any crisis, so having the right mindset in place whenever approaching the great people who rent your great spaces is a crucial first step to being a professional landlord.
So, what exactly does it mean to have compassion with your tenants—and how can this help matters? First of all, compassion doesn’t necessarily mean that you ignore lease violations. It does, however, mean that you can listen to each person’s situation and decide if it warrants a compassionate approach when deciding to move forward with any fees or penalties as part of your response.
Showing compassion with tenants who may be struggling with a problem will help in the long run to build stronger relationships. People remember what you do—not always what you say. When they feel valued, they will be more likely to renew their lease and continue calling your great spaces home.
Your Communication Matters
It's often said that communication is the key to a good relationship—and it’s just as crucial in any professional or working relationship as well. That means you’ll need to state what you expect from your tenants upfront, preferably in your leasing agreement. Put it in writing and verbalize the essentials so that nobody is left behind or confused about how they ended up with a penalty. It also helps if you communicate more often with your renters than whenever a crisis happens to hit the community. However, to do this, you have to stay consistent.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Consistency is a critical but difficult skill to conquer. It’s easy to become inconsistent if you don’t establish some standards you apply to each of your rental relationships with the great people living in your great spaces. Applying the same criteria across your rental properties (if you have more than one) also protects you from bias when working with your renters. Inconsistencies will make any problems you already have with any residents worse and can drive a wedge between you and your renters over details that seem minor.
An additional element of consistency comes with how you choose to apply what's outlined in your leasing agreement. For example, if you don’t allow certain breeds of dogs unless it’s a service dog, make sure that is clearly stated in your lease. If you allow exceptions for one renter but not another, you open yourself up to the risk of bias.
Cooperation Occasionally Means Compromise
Working together with your tenants during a crisis takes cooperation—and for landlords, that often means a delicate balance between your needs and those of your renters. This kind of relationship dynamic thrives in an environment when you let your tenants know what to expect and when to expect it as part of your efforts at maintaining consistency. Additionally, being willing to make accommodations for those in need, if possible, can generate considerable goodwill when it comes time to pay rent or renew a lease.
Renting Should Be Simple!
As an Ashburn property management professional, we know that not everyone is cut out for the "people skills" it takes to successfully manage your great spaces alone. However, the relationships you have with the great people living within them are crucial to your long-term success!
At RentSimple, we strive to make property management simple for you as the property owner! We know that your great spaces only create lasting returns when you have great people calling them home. This makes maintaining the working relationships you have with your renters vital. When you have great relationships with the great people calling your rentals home, even essential tasks like rent collection become easier.
Fortunately, you don't have to do it alone: reach out to us to see how we put our skills to work for you. You can also take a look at our free resources to provide insight and expertise at any time! Get started with our Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook.