Communicating with tenants is easier because of today’s technology. So as a part-time or full-time landlord, you have to consider which one is best for you to use in your specific situation.
When managing your rental properties, each method of communication will be more appropriate in particular situations. To help you in this regard, we at Taylor Street Property Management have put together this article to highlight how to effectively communicate with your tenants using email, text, or a phone call.
Reasons to Email Your Tenants
Sending an email is best when used to communicate important property news and details efficiently. It is easy to add any detail you need in writing and leave nothing up to interpretation.
Sending an email can help with:
If you want to send your tenants their invoice or remind them of rent collection dates, you can set-up an email to on a certain schedule. This saves you time when you set it up correctly. Additionally, you can send reminders for end of tenancy responsibilities in an emailed move-out letter.
Sharing Important Details
If you need to inform all your tenants with the same message simultaneously, sending a group email is the efficient way to go. Scheduled maintenance, power interruptions, remodeling plans or community events are best broadcasted through email.
When emailing tenants significant property information or announcements that contain graphic illustrations, infographics, photos, email is the best way to go.
Serving as Documentation
It is considered a best practice to document all correspondence with your tenants so you have it when needed. As much as possible, you want to avoid disputes but in the event that it’s raised, be ready to present your documents with timestamp and other details.
Sending Effective Emails
As emails are meant to document correspondence, make sure to draft your messages by doing the following:
- Be clear with why you’re sending the email.
- Highlight important information and details.
- Keep the message professional.
- Encourage them to reply if they have any questions; include your mobile number if possible.
- Use email templates but make sure to update them and send the correct details such as name, amount, fees, bank account numbers and dates.
- Remember to add any file attachment.
- Send the email only during business hours.
Emails as Legal Documentation
Generally, emails are considered legal written documentation. But it pays to be knowledgeable about your state and local regulations in terms of sending out tenant notices such as move out, eviction or lease violation notifications. Always seek professional advice or partner with a property manager to better handle the situation.
Reasons to Text Your Tenants
Text messages are more accessible than emails, making them easier to read. Text messaging doesn’t require an internet connection unlike email.
Higher Response Rate
Text messages are sent and received instantaneously. This gives text messaging a higher open and response rate. You are more likely to receive a reply from your tenants for messages that require them to respond.
While text is convenient and tenants are more likely to take action from your SMS, always remember to respect your tenant’s privacy by asking their permission before communicating with them through text.
How to Send Text Messages Effectively
Inform them when they can expect a text message from you. Sending texts should be kept to a minimum and not flood the tenants with random messages.
Limit messages to the ones that require their attention and response such as rent payment reminders, providing notice or permission to conduct repairs, and scheduled maintenance.
Set proper expectations on when tenants can send you a text message. If you have your own website where they can lodge repair and maintenance requests, remind them to use it for faster turnaround time. Explain that there is someone manning the online portal and their issues can better be addressed than waiting for your response via text.
Text as Legal Documentation
There may be state or local laws that acknowledge text messages as a legal way of communicating with tenants, but it is still best to go with best practices in terms of documentation.
Always prepare a hard copy of all documents such as rent increases or any lease alterations no matter how insignificant it may seem. Sending a text message is best done as a follow up to a notification previously sent via email or letter.
Reasons to Call Your Tenants
Sometimes, we want live acknowledgment as an assurance that the message has been received successfully. So, you would want to call tenants:
Call a tenant to get acknowledgment about a reminder previously sent via email or written notification. This can help remind tenants to read them and take action.
Tenants must usually be given enough notice but during emergencies it is essential to get their response as soon as possible and address the situation immediately.
To Follow Up
There are times when it would take tenants some time before they can read or respond to your email or text messages. If you need to clarify something or get their permission for contractors to get onsite, it is best that you give them a ring to address their requests quickly.
How to Call Tenants Effectively
Like other methods of contact, there are some dos and don’ts regarding calling your tenants:
• Call during business hours.
• Be professional.
• Leave a complete voicemail message - include the purpose of the call and why you expect a callback.
Phone Calls as Legal Documentation
Some local and state laws may accept phone calls as legally binding, but it is always best practice to keep a signed and written copy of all agreements and notices.
Understanding the best ways to communicate with your tenants is incredibly important. So, if you have any more questions regarding this or any other aspect of property management. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Taylor Street Property Management today!