fbpx
Skip links

15 Proactive Steps Every Landlord Should Take For Good Tenant Relationships

Forbes Biz Council Expert Panel

Real Estate

A good relationship with a tenant can mean the prevention of problems down the line. However, the opposite is also true. If you have a poor relationship with your tenant(s), you can face overwhelming trouble as they navigate their agreement with you.

While you don’t want to be a pushover and hurt yourself financially, you must find a way to strike a healthy balance with your tenants while holding them accountable to their terms of the lease. To help, 15 members of Forbes Biz Council shared proactive ways all landlords can build a good relationship with tenants.

1. Humanize Your Relationship

Most investors are numbers-driven which oftentimes fosters a transactional feel with their tenants. While maintaining a professional distance is important, humanizing the relationship with some thoughtful, caring gestures will naturally incentify a tenant to go the extra mile to help a landlord. I’ve been inspired by many landlord clients that have offered relief to tenants this past year. – Sheryl HouckeXp Realty LLC

2. Don’t Treat Tenants Like Employees

One of the common mistakes landlords often make is that they treat their tenants like their employees. The landlord-tenant relationship should be considered a partnership. By paying the rent, the tenant helps you, the landlord, pay the bills. Have regular meetings, in-person or virtual, and engage them with the property, what’s coming up in the future and ask for their feedback. – Valon NikciLink NY Realty

3. Treat All Residents With The Same Respect

There’s a common misconception in property management to treat residents of luxury apartments differently than those of more affordable, “workforce housing”—and that’s a big mistake. This attitude percolates from the top, and the result can be toxic to an apartment community. Treating every resident with respect reduces attrition, yields better reviews and builds better communities. – Spencer GrayGray Capital

4. Drop In On Your Tenants When Appropriate 

There is no better way to see what tenants are seeing and how they are seeing it than to walk the property and drop in on your tenants—and not just on a nice sunny day, but also right after a storm when there may be actual issues with downed trees or water leakage. – Robert JafekBoomerang Capital Partners

5. Make An Effort To Build Healthy Relationships

Create opportunities to build healthy relationships. Plan a BBQ or send invites to holiday gatherings. Care about the person and family rather than just the profits. – Jammie Jelks, JelksMBA

6. Be Clear On Goals And Expectations

Be clear on your investment goals and expectations with your tenants. Ask about your tenant’s long-term plans and identify areas of potential conflict to allow opportunities for proactive resolution before issues arise. Clear, proactive communication will help build your relationship, avoid future conflict and align objectives. – Megan MiccoCompass

7. Offer A Touchless Experience

People expect touchless experiences. It’s almost like any touch we have has more of a chance of having a negative impact on the experience than a positive impact. Eliminating the underlying friction in managing facilities, turnovers and maintenance services that degrades the resident experience should be a priority for every landlord. – Elik JaegerSuiteSpot Technology

8. Be Accessible And Attentive

A good relationship between a landlord and their tenant is paramount and one that is predicated on mutual respect. A happy tenant will generally stay longer, take better care of your property, and pay their rent on time. To foster a positive relationship with your tenant, remember to be a good landlord. Be accessible and attentive, and fulfill service requests promptly. – Tara HotchkisCompass

9. Actively Listen To Feedback

Listen to feedback and act on it. Operators in residential and commercial real estate are not traditionally known for proactively seeking constructive feedback, so the opportunity to seek such feedback and then act on it will set your brand apart. Knowing that your landlord is listening and cares about your feedback will go a long way in creating a long-term relationship that boosts retention. – Benjamin PleatCobu

10. Host Events For Tenants

Many landlords never attempt to establish direct relationships with tenants and this is a big mistake. Some of the most successful “luxury” apartments have monthly, if not weekly, events for their tenants, as well as having onsite staff to monitor issues on a daily basis. Landlords with smaller properties can do small events quarterly and look for ways to connect one on one to stay in touch. – Sherman RaglandThe Realinvestors®️ Academy, LLC

11. Address Issues Immediately

In 2021, it’s important to be easily accessible to your tenants no matter where you are. If you fail to quickly address a maintenance issue, for example, you could be at risk of losing a good renter. How can you prevent that? Choose one digital communication channel and stick to it. Also, make sure you use a tool that will save your communication history to reduce confusion in the long run. – Joseph EdgarTenantCloud

12. Provide Extra Touches Throughout The Year

One proactive thing all landlords/management companies should be doing to build a good relationship with tenants is to humanize the landlord/tenant relationship by providing extra touches throughout the year. For example, send happy birthday cards or emails and holiday salutations throughout the year. – Cheryl AbramsRe/Max United Real Estate

13. Be Transparent

Transparency and clear communication as if your tenant is your business partner are important. A good landlord will have a checklist of items that will be serviced or maintained weekly, monthly and yearly for the property. This checklist will be shared with tenants and marked for each person’s responsibility to avoid miscommunication. The home’s upkeep should be important to both parties. – Ralph DiBugnaraHome Qualified

14. Communicate Effectively

Communication is key. Landlords often feel pressured to create strict boundaries with their tenants, often leading to a disconnect in trust. While boundaries are important, so too is the ability to effectively communicate. A landlord’s ability to create a two-way dialogue with their tenants helps to create trust, which is what is needed for any successful relationship. – Michelle RisiRoyal LePage Connect Realty

15. Engage With Tenants Before Problems Arise

Engage with tenants ahead of problems; proactivity is always cheaper than reactivity especially in light of labor and supply challenges. The higher the engagement, the more proactivity you have and vice versa. Remember: where there is trust as a reflection of engagement, things move more quickly (speed) and at a lower cost (higher efficiency).  – Clark TwiddyTwiddy & Company

Latest news