The tenant-property manager relationship is like any other. Building new relationships usually takes time and effort. Although we're talking about a professional relationship, both parties need to put in some effort to grow it into a nice, easy setup.
Ultimately the best tenant-property manager relationships are the ones where each person takes definite steps to improve rapport and come to a mutual understanding.
As a renter, you'll benefit from a good relationship with your property manager. Here's why it makes sense to put in the effort.
Having a property manager attest to how good of a tenant you are is important. This can get your application approved when you're trying to find a great apartment in a tight rental market. Good property manager-tenant communication makes it easier down the line to make such requests. Make it a priority to cultivate a healthy tenant-property manager relationship and they'll be happy to recommend you as a model tenant.
If you've been a great tenant, your property manager will be more inclined to respond to maintenance requests faster. That means better living conditions and no endless phone calls about that cold leaky shower.
While business should be kept strictly business, we often make adjustments and extra consideration for those with whom we have good relationships. The same is true of the tenant-property manager relationship. The tenant who enjoys a great relationship with the property manager is unlikely to have their rent reviewed constantly unlike the one who doesn't.
Sometimes things arise that mean paying rent on time that month is a struggle. Your property manager is unlikely to take excuses if you already have a poor relationship. Where there is a good tenant-property manager relationship, the property manager is likely to be more considerate in extending that due date.
Now that we've seen the benefits on offer when you focus on maintaining a good tenant-property manager relationship, here are some tips to help you foster such a relationship.
Often, people are in such a hurry to get an apartment that they don't take time to ask about the important stuff. These unasked questions become the foundation for unmet expectations and lead to the breakdown of the tenant-property manager relationship. Don't hold back when you're searching for a home. Ask the necessary questions to make sure you're comfortable with your new spot.
Assumptions don't help relationships; the tenant-property manager relationship is no different. It's best to find out from your property manager about their tenant communication preferences. Don’t assume that texting or calling is the preferred or most effective option. By contacting the property manager in the way they want, you end up in their good books and are likely to gel better.
Except when there's an emergency, keep tenant communications with your property manager to official times. Usually, things can wait. Respect their privacy by leaving business to business hours. No one likes unnecessary late-night phone calls.
Listening, as simple as it sounds, is a skill many do not have. Yet, it is one that sits as the bedrock of effective property manager-tenant communication. When issues arise, listen and make sure you understand your property manager's position, before putting in your own two cents.
Hold onto all paperwork, keep your lease agreement handy, get promised repairs in writing, and keep all text messages and email conversations stored. They can take on added importance in cases of litigation so practice proper documentation from the start.
Give your property manager more than one way to get in touch with you. If something urgent comes up, they won't want to wait around for you to respond to a WhatsApp message.
At the end of the day, your property manager is a person with their own responsibilities, stresses and feelings. They might not be able to respond to you immediately, so understanding is key to maintaining the tenant-property manager relationship. Practice mutual respect and keep your tenant communications open and honest.
Sometimes, misunderstandings will arise between you and your property manager. There's nothing unusual about this. What is unusual is allowing that tension to degenerate into a full-blown domestic war with scathing words as missiles. For that reason, it's crucial to have the right property manager-tenant communication skills to diffuse tensions before they escalate.
An easy two-step formula to manage such situations is:
If you're unable to meet in the middle and believe a property manager is being unreasonable, consider reporting them to the necessary authorities.