Improve Tenant Communication: Tips for Charleston Landlords - Article Banner

Will your tenants say that you were easy to work with or difficult? 

You want them to speak highly of their time with you, and that requires a positive, professional, and respectful relationship. One of the most important parts of any relationship, of course, is communication. As you begin renting out a Charleston property, you need to think about communication strategies that will make it easy for you and your tenants to work together. 

There’s a misconception that landlords and tenants are always at odds. It does not have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way, and it shouldn’t be unpleasant or difficult to communicate with your tenants. 

Whether your tenant communication has gotten off to a bad start or you’re thinking about how you want to structure a great relationship with your residents, we have some tips for improving communication that we use as professional Charleston property managers

Discuss Expectations during the Lease Signing

Good communication starts even before the lease is signed. You’re the landlord, and it’s your responsibility to establish communication standards. It’s also up to you to define the expectations and responsibilities of the lease agreement. Show your tenants that you’re open to questions and willing to listen to any concerns your tenants might have. 

To have a positive tenancy, your tenants need to understand their rights and responsibilities. They also must feel comfortable talking with you openly and honestly. This creates a sense of security for tenants. It can give you some peace of mind too, as the owner, because you’ll have no reason to believe your tenants won’t follow the terms of the lease agreement. 

Further your communication efforts with supporting documentation. You can provide a bulleted list of what you discussed after your conversation. You can leave them with a written or digital handbook, or you can share some videos that explain anything you talked about. This will give them an easy point of reference if they have questions later on. 

Lean Into Listening

When we think about communication, it’s easy to think about the things we say and write and talk about. Communication also includes listening

Listening is where all good communication starts, but it’s easy for people to forget how to listen. When communicating with your tenants, endeavor to listen first and listen actively. 

Listening allows you to gather information and make decisions. It tells tenants that you’re willing to be available to them, and that their needs are important to you. This is a great foundation for any positive relationship.

Be a great listener who is willing to hear what tenants are saying. Respect what they are telling you they need. You won’t always be able to solve the problems that they bring you, but you can listen. You can be empathetic and compassionate. 

Deliver Diverse Channels for Communicating 

To improve communication with tenants, it’s a good idea to invest in technology. You can do this while still keeping communication personal. 

Tenants and landlords have embraced the idea that just about everything can be done virtually, from showings to rental payments to maintenance requests. That’s a positive development when it comes to communication; it allows you to reach tenants in different ways. Your residents – current and future – appreciate the opportunity to communicate with you via text, email, and even on social media channels. 

Every renter is going to be different. Some of your tenants might still prefer phone calls. There are a lot of options, and you should be prepared to engage with all of them. 

Improving Communication Leads to Better Tenant Retention 

Tenants expect and need communication that’s clear, accurate, and responsive. If you ignore calls and messages from your tenants, you’re going to lose them. It’s important that you’re responsive to their needs, whether it’s a maintenance request or a simple question about how to deal with the utility companies. 

Be a resource to your tenants. When you are, you’ll find there are more lease renewals and fewer turnover and vacancy costs. 

Show your residents that you care about their rental experience. They shouldn’t only hear from you when rent is late or when you’re trying to schedule an inspection. Here are some easy tips that will help with tenant communication and retention

  • Thank them every time they pay on time. 
  • Communicate your appreciation that they’re taking good care of the property. 
  • Check in once in a while to see if there’s anything they need. 

These things will help you keep your tenants in the long term, which is good for your cash flow (more on-time payments) and for your return on investment in the long term. 

Property Management in Charleston and Tenant Communication

Not sure you want to be the point of contact for your tenants all the time? 

That’s understandable. And, it’s why you hire a property manager. 

If you want the best results from your investment property, work with a Charleston property manager to take care of the tenant communication and the tenant relationship. Communicating directly with tenants can be difficult, and it can even create some liability if you’re not sure about the landlord tenant laws or the fair housing requirements when it comes to leasing and management. 

Tenants will absolutely take advantage of a landlord who isn’t sure how to communicate or isn’t communicating in an acceptable way.  

Avoid dealing with difficult tenant situations by working with professional property managers. You won’t have to manage any of the communication with your residents, and you’ll know the relationship is being managed by experienced professionals who understand the needs of you, your property, and your residents. 

We know our Charleston tenants appreciate our priority on good communication. It creates great rental experiences for them, and it creates profitable and positive investment experiences for our owners. 

Contact Property ManagementIf you’d like to hear more, please contact us. Meridian Residential Group in North Charleston provides both single-family and multi-family property management in the Charleston, SC area, including in North Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner, among other cities.