It’s been said time and time again that communication is the key to any great relationship - whether it be romantic, professional, familial, or even the humble relationship between landlords and tenants - with property managers wedged snugly in between. Being a property manager, a big part of what you do is to essentially act as a mediator between landlords and the tenants renting out their property.
Tenants take a request to the property manager, the property manager relays it to the landlord, who gives instructions to the property manager, who then takes it back to the tenants, as well as the appropriate tradies in the case of repairs or maintenance work. Simple, right? Well, unfortunately not all the time!
There’s no doubt that property managers everywhere are realising more and more that communication is a great key to success, and to ensuring long-term tenancies and lower vacancy rates for their landlords, leading to greater client satisfaction, and of course, more commissions for you!
According to rent.com.au's December property managers survey, 64% of respondents said they valued good communication as a key focus in 2016. So, how do you make communication a key focus area of improvement for you in 2016? Below, we’ve offered some tips and advice on how to be more than just a middleman between your clients and their tenants.
Respond to landlord and tenant requests in a timely fashion
“The right property manager needs to be in regular contact during the management of your property,” says Bernie McElwaine, winner of Property Manager of the Year in 2015.
“It’s necessary for your property manager to keep you updated about anything that occurs with your rental property, such as rental payments, maintenance issues or if the tenant has given notice to vacate.”
Whether the request is to fix a slightly leaking tap or their shower has stopped working completely, never leave your clients hanging and always respond to all communication and requests at lightning speed.
Similarly, you’ll need to get this info back to your landlords quick smart. This being said, it pays to have an effective method for doing this and keeping on top of all requests coming in from the different properties that you manage. This brings us to our next point….
Use technology to help you handle requests and communication
We all know the feeling of drowning in an ocean of emails, and we all know that the thought of opening an overflowing email inbox is sometimes scarier than the prospect of drowning in an actual ocean...
This is especially true if you manage multiple properties for a number of clients, which most property managers do. There’s no good way to keep track of everything without the help of some smart technology, so ensure you have a system or program that you use to help you keep up to date with every single thing that’s happening with each of the properties you manage.
Online property management software is great because it helps you do this on the go - so no more being chained to your desk when you really want to be out there making good communication happen! Added bonus: A client portal enables your landlords to log in and see all in-progress tasks to do with their property at a glance.
Be an approachable property manager
This is an important one and one that busy, tired and stressed property managers forget (we feel you). However, no matter how stressed out you are, don’t make your good tenants or your landlords feel like every time you reach out to them, it becomes a huge annoyance in their lives that they really could have done without.
Be friendly, approachable, and never be “too busy” to speak to someone if their request is genuine and reasonable. Doing so will simply create hostility and mistrust amongst everyone involved.
Be aware of your state laws and codes of conduct for property managers
All states have rules, regulations and codes of conduct that property managers and real estate agents must uphold, so ensure you check your relevant state government website for the latest guidelines and codes of conduct, and ensure you’re upholding them to the highest standards.
As an example, check out the NSW Government’s Property Managers Rules of Conduct.
Hopefully this blog post on property manager communication helped you become a better property manager. You might also be interested in 25 Real Estate Social Media Ideas to Win More Clients, 52 Ways to Grow Your Rent Roll and Top 7 Property Management Mistakes You Need to Avoid.
How do you foster communication as a property manager? Please let us know in the comments down below.