Gaining your tenants’ respect requires you to follow a few basic steps that sound so easy in principal but are often not implemented.
If you can earn the respect of your tenants early on, you are far less likely to encounter problems with that tenant further down the track.
How to demonstrate that you mean business
A good property manager will demonstrate the value of their worth very early in the relationship. Be clear in your communications, set your standard, be professional and courteous at all times and most importantly…always follow through. People believe what they see more than what they hear. This way there’s a good chance that your tenant will respond positively to you and will treat you with courtesy and respect.
Examples of how to demonstrate your standards include:
- Initial contact: From the very first phone call through to the viewing, signing of contracts and the checking in process you are setting the scene for the relationship going forward. This is a vital time to establish the relationship and also let your expectations be experienced. If you take days to respond, turn up late for the viewing and then follow that with sloppy paperwork you have put yourself in a weakened position in the relationship. Respect is earned. If your actions do not reflect your expectations (or that of the client) then you have a lot of work to do and may never recover your place as a professional in the relationship.
- Make sure the property has been cleaned: At the start of the new tenancy, make sure that the property has been professionally cleaned, and ensure that the tenant is happy with the standard of cleaning.
- Complete repairs on time: If you say you will fix something by a certain date, then do it. After all, the tenant is paying rent in return for good management of the tenancy. You’ll find that tenants will respond more quickly to your requests if you’ve demonstrated that you respond quickly to their requests. When your tenant advises that the gutter adjoining their bedroom window is leaking, or one of the lounge window security stays is broken, then act on getting these small repairs organised.
- Be firm but fair: Unfortunately there are times when you need to have a more “difficult” conversation with the tenant. In these situations it is absolutely vital that you are clear, ensure that the tenant understands both your position and your action plan. Always be polite and professional and NEVER make it personal i.e. discuss what has happened and what needs to happen next rather than berating or laying blame.
By demonstrating that you’re committed to delivering your part of the agreement, it communicates to tenants that they’re part of a valuable team: you rely on them, and they rely on you. Making the tenancy run smoothly is a team effort.
There’s a flip side to this: and that is, if the tenant resolves a problem quickly, the landlord or property owner should express their appreciation too. Communicating this is important to maintain that team effort.
In summary, always let your actions show that you care about the tenancy and the property. That’s the way to making sure that the tenants respect both you, and the property you’re managing.