Your tenant relationships begin the first moment you make contact, which usually happens during the application process. Whether your prospective tenants come into your office or mail in their application, every interaction you have sets the tone for your future relationship.
If you want to establish strong relationships with your tenants, it’s important to be conscious of your interactions, including over the phone, online, and through the mail.
A smooth rental application process supports a strong relationship
Start your tenant relationships off on the right foot by having a smooth rental application process. Begin by evaluating your current process. Is it easy for applicants to access your application? Is the application easy to read and understand? Is it easy to submit your application?
If you’re getting applications that are incomplete or incorrectly filled out, that’s a sign that your application process is a little challenging. To solve this problem, move your rental application online with a platform like Rent Spree. Your applicants won’t be able to submit an incomplete application, and the system will automatically send applicants through your screening process.
When an applicant becomes a tenant, they’ll remember how easy it was to complete the application process, and that will translate to the start of a good relationship.
Of course, there are many factors that will help you develop a strong relationship with your tenants. Respectful communication, open communication, and being dependable all play a big role in your relationships. However, when a tenant has an underlying frustration directed toward you, those factors lose some of their power.
Tenants get frustrated when processes don’t work
Every system your tenant is required to participate in should run smoothly. It begins with their application, but extends into other areas including:
· Online rent payments
· Maintenance requests
· Emergency calls
· Scheduling for regular pest inspections
Tenants tend to get frustrated very quickly when processes don’t work as they should. When your processes frustrate your tenants, they’ll blame you for the problem. Then, they’ll hang onto that frustration, and any further issues will only be compounded.
The more systems and processes your tenant has to deal with, the more frustrated they can become. Unfortunately, not every piece of software is user-friendly. For example, if your tenant enrolls in your online rent payment program, they should be able to pay rent hassle-free. The application should connect directly to their bank account and allow them to pay with a couple clicks. However, some rent payment applications aren’t that smooth.
You need to test your software personally and ask existing tenants if they find it easy to use. If not, it’s time to switch platforms.
Frustrated tenants can be difficult to deal with long-term
When you have a frustrated tenant, you can expect some kind of conflict to occur down the road. It may not be huge at first. You might stop by for a scheduled inspection and be met by a visibly inconvenienced tenant. Worst case scenario, a frustrated tenant might damage your property intentionally or through carelessness and never report the problem.
Some tenants get angry because their landlords won’t call them back. They might call to request a repair and get upset that you can’t make it out the same day, but the real reason they’re upset is lack of communication. Each new point of frustration added to their plate will only make the situation worse.
While you can’t prevent every tenant from getting upset, having user-friendly processes will ensure you aren’t a contributing factor.
How to create user-friendly processes in 3 easy steps
1. Ask existing tenants what doesn’t work
Existing tenants are the best source of feedback for your current processes. However, the only way to get good feedback is to specifically ask them to tell you what’s wrong.
2. Act on feedback you get from tenants
When tenants tell you what doesn’t work, jump into action to fix it or switch to a new system. You can really strengthen your relationships with your tenants just by fixing the problems they point out.
3. Test the process yourself
Test your existing process and any potential new process you’re considering using. Make sure a system or platform works well and is user-friendly before making it your standard.
User-friendly processes are critical to your success as a landlord
Don’t underestimate the power of user-friendly processes in maintaining a good relationship with your tenants. Keep your tenants happy, make their lives easier, and they’ll see you as an ally rather than the enemy.