Cave Creek Property Management, Property Investment

Communication Tips for Rental Property Owners (Part I)

Poor Communication is the root of many problems in our day-to-day lives. For example, according to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 30% of hospital errors can be linked to poor communication. Property Management is not immune to this challenge, but there are a variety of ways that property owners can combat the problem of ineffective communication. These tactics stretch throughout the lifetime of a tenant, beginning before an individual has even signed a lease and ending upon move out.

Communication for Finding Tenants

We no longer live in a world where hard-copy print is the quickest or most high quality way to communicate. In fact, many argue that printed books, magazines, and newspapers will eventually become a thing of the past. While it would be short-sighted to jump to this conclusion, it is true that these channels for communication will become less useful for property owners over time. Even so, many property owners rely more heavily on old media than they should.

To combat this issue, property owners should attempt to gain a greater understanding of new media, including social media, blogs, and internet based property listings. We have discussed the importance of blogging in the past, but we also fervently believe that it is crucial for owners to utilize social media and internet property listings.

Social media will help you to accomplish two things. First, it will allow you to share those sweet, sweet blogs that you have written for the benefit of tenants, which will help you market yourself to possible renters. Second, social media will allow you to create an online persona. While this might seem unimportant at first glance, realize that this can be one way to regulate tenant opinions of you as a landlord. "Who cares?" you say. "You should!" we reply with fervor. If you can maintain a positive image with your tenants then you will be able to retain them for longer and possibly get a referred tenant from them when they leave. That is, good tenants may become a source of new, high-quality tenants if they know someone in the neighborhood looking for new housing. However, they won't tell their friend or family member to lease from you if you haven't had a good relationship with them. In sum, if you can maintain a reputable persona in the eyes of your tenants you may not have to sit on market, which we all know you have dreams about.

Furthermore, internet listings are so important to your business that, as a property management company, we have invested a great amount of time and money to make sure that our clients' properties are spread out across all of the major listing sites (and some of the not so major). So what does this mean for the self-managing property owner? Well, in our humble opinion, you are making a huge mistake if you are not using at least a few online listing services (e.g., Zillow & Hotpads).

And for the speculative who don't just want to take our opinion, you can find more support here and here. For those of you, like us, who may not necessarily want to read a whole separate article, just know that more than 70% of people start their rental hunt online. So, if you can ramp up your online presence, you will be able to snag more tenants than your less tech-savvy peers.

Now that you have a communication plan set-up for the period prior to having a tenant, it is very important for you to communicate effectively and appropriately with your tenant once you have them. But that, as they say, is a long story for another day, so we will cover it in the next blog in this series.

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