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When communication between landlords and residents epically fails

The more we say, the less we hear.

As technology expands the number of ways we communicate, the content of communications can get lost. Where we once only spoke in person or wrote letters, now we have many ways to connect. When the telephone first entered homes, everything changed. Later computers arrived, which gave way to laptops, tablets, smartphones and even smartwatches.

Surveys show that rental tenants desire good communication when rating their satisfaction levels. When a landlord fails to communicate with their tenants in a timely fashion, issues may arise. Breakdowns in communication cause delayed maintenance requests or security concerns.

While both the landlord and tenant may suffer from the lack of communication, the landlord is responsible as the service provider. Landlords have greater legal liability and responsibility for the state of the property.

But what if a tenant chooses to only use text or phone calls to relay an issue, and the landlord prefers emails? In some areas the increase of technology use can cause diminishing returns. When a resident tries to communicate with their landlord they may find them unresponsive. But it may be that landlord and tenant are operating on two different types of communication.

Some suggestions for when landlords fail with their tenant communications:

  • Try to mix up the method of communications used with the non-responsive residents. If you are a phone call person, try to text or email the tenant to see if they respond faster.
  • Ask the resident how they like to receive communication. See if you and the tenant can reach common ground. Ask the tenant what they think is a reasonable response time. Determine an expectation of service level response time and share it with the tenant. Ask the tenant to help by setting priorities with their requests.
  • If all else fails, look for technology solutions to help. Some technology will allow each person to select their own method of delivery.

Tenants who have greater levels of satisfaction with their landlords are more likely to stay longer. Happy tenants also write good reviews and even recommend the place to a friend or family member when it is time to move out. Finding common ground on methods of communications is an easy way to develop satisfaction with a tenant. Ultimately, the happier the tenant is, the less time and effort is needed from the landlord.

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