A crisis can quickly strain relationships between tenants and landlords. Even with the best intentions, trying to collect the rent while tenants struggle with a loss of income can put property owners and tenants at odds.
Coming together during an economically challenging time benefits everyone, but finding the right ways to do that can be hard with the stress of the situation. Property owners need to find the right balance of compassion and enforcement to protect their income while helping their renters overcome the difficulties we face as a community.
Before frustration takes over—and you start losing tenants—let the Reeder Asset Management team help you maintain positive relationships with your tenants! Our experience as expert property management, Logan Utah landlords, can help property owners like you navigate tensions and challenges to help build better relationships with your renters throughout a crisis.
While your tenants need to pay the rent, they're probably dealing with more concerns than you realize as a result of job or income loss. Putting food on the table, paying the utilities, and covering medical expenses might be competing for their limited resources.
Show your tenants that you understand their situation. Be flexible when touching base with tenants about the rent:
- Adjust the wording and tone of reminders to acknowledge the situation.
- Offer a payment plan to ease some of the burdens for struggling tenants.
- Be available to discuss the situation and solutions available to your renters.
Remaining compassionate becomes more difficult as rental payment delays continue, but your empathetic approach will go a long way in maintaining good relationships with your tenants. When it comes time to renew leases, your renters remember a kind landlord.
As part of our role as professional property management, Logan Utah landlords, we can't stress enough the importance of good communication! Poor communication can turn excellent tenants away and ruin your investment property business.
During a crisis, effective communication becomes more critical: your tenants need to hear from you! Proactive communication helps build trust. When tenants feel like you understand the situation and you're there to help, they're more likely to work with you on a plan to pay the rent.
Develop a crisis communication plan that includes:
- Responsive, yet empathetic communication: Acknowledge the situation as soon as you can, be sympathetic, and let tenants know that you're working on a plan to address their needs.
- Reach out to tenants regularly: Let them know you're available and open to conversations about helping them through this time. Your messages should have a purpose, but not be so purpose-driven that you come across as uncaring.
Sometimes merely hearing from you can ease tensions and help tenants respond positively to a stressful situation. However, you can build on this routine messaging by staying consistent with it once you start. If you begin messaging only during a crisis and then go silent after you've collected rent, it doesn't send the best impression to your renters.
Instability doesn't mean property owners should abandon the rules! During a volatile financial crisis, your tenants need the stability of your consistency as the landlord. They may not realize they need it, but without the rules and your consistent enforcement, it can become difficult to return to normalcy after the crisis ends.
As your guide to property management, Logan Utah landlords, we recommend sticking to the rules and processes that help you run a successful real estate investment business before the crisis hit. However, that doesn't mean property investors can't be flexible while being consistent!
Remember: a crisis does not invalidate your tenant's lease agreement. They committed to the rules when they signed a lease and moved into your rental property. That means the rent is due every month, and all of the rules still apply. Stay consistent with some flexibility, where applicable:
- Hold tenants accountable for paying the rent with flexible options to stay "current."
- Where it makes sense, apply late fees for tenants who refuse to pay the rent.
- Apply penalties for other violations of the lease agreement.
A crisis is not the time to let tenants bend the rules or take advantage of your compassion. A crisis can disrupt normalcy, but property owners must still maintain order where necessary. This also means that you won't accidentally create bias in how you interact with your renters.
Cooperate and Collaborate
While it's essential to maintain the rules, property owners need to prioritize tenant relationships over hard-and-fast punishments for failures to comply. Challenging times can bring tenants and landlords together in cooperation.
You never know when your response during a crisis is what helps your tenants value you as a landlord! Getting through an economic crisis together can encourage tenants to renew their leases. Maintaining rules and enforcing rental payments are critical principles for property investors during a crisis—but not at the expense of valuable tenants. Work together with your tenants to build positive, lasting relationships!
Build Better Relationships With Property Management!
Even when everything runs as planned, building positive relationships with tenants is challenging enough! Add a crisis to the mix, and tenant-landlord relationships can quickly deteriorate.
The best way to build strong relationships with tenants is to work with the experts in Logan, Utah property management. The Reeder Asset Management team is here on the ground in Utah to protect your investments while providing the compassion and flexibility your tenants need to get through an economic crisis!
Learn more about how our team handles rent collection in a crisis: get our free resources, the Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook!