The Black Hole Of Tenant Communication
Poor communication between the property owner or manager can be frustrating for tenants as it means they cannot resolve issues efficiently. This happens when tenants don't know who to contact about an issue or how to get in touch with the relevant parties. As a result, it affects their experience of your facility.
This lack of clarity is just one way that communication impacts the client relationship. We’ll discuss a few more in this article and share three ways that you can address them.
What Are The Difficulties Of Tenant Communication?
The biggest issue when it comes to tenant communication is clarity. Many factors affect communication clarity with your tenants including the use of multiple channels, the inability to track responses, undefined contacts, and more. These all leave tenants barrelling down a black hole without any knowledge of how to report their issues or track their progress.
Property managers may get lost in the same murky darkness as they struggle to keep track of tenant requests and concerns. For example, if you are using the same email address for multiple properties, it's easy to miss emails and forget to follow up on issues.
How Does This Lack Of Clarity Develop?
There aren't a set group of universal causes that lead to unclear communication. These causes may differ from facility to facility depending on how you manage your communications right now.
However, some of the main causes include:
Multiple Points Of Contact
When you aren't clear about who tenants must contact with an issue, they may make that decision themselves. Tenants may evaluate the issue and choose who they think will best handle the problem. They might find it easier to just report things to different people on the property. For example, facility issues to the facility manager or superintendent, renovations to the property owner, etc.
This leads to pockets of information spread out without any means to connect them. In turn, it can result in issues going unaddressed as there is no central person monitoring the issue. It can also lead to mismanagement of the issue as each actor would handle it differently.
The risk of information being spread out between different people is that there isn’t a way of tracking what has been reported, by whom, why, and where.
Typically, tenants communicate via email or phone calls. This is how they file reports or complaints or request assistance. The problem here is that it’s easy to miss a phone call and emails tend to stack up. The property manager may get overwhelmed with emails and struggle to track all the different issues that tenants report. So, things might not get immediate attention or a reply.
The property manager may even completely miss the email. This leaves tenants with no reply at all, which can be frustrating.
The other side of this is that the tenant may miss responses from the property manager in their inbox, too.
These factors are what create the “black hole” in tenant communication. They make it almost impossible to accurately track progress and updates on issues, thereby confusing communication and delaying efficient management.
Clearing Up The “Black Hole”: 3 Ways To Fix It
It goes without saying that if you identify with any of the issues of tenant communication mentioned above, you want to fix them urgently.
Brilliant tenant communication is the foundation for designing excellent tenant experiences and maintaining good facilities. It improves tenant satisfaction which results in a great tenant lifetime value.
Your communication can make the difference between tenants staying and moving on. To avoid the latter, implement these clear communication tips:
1. Introduce A Tenant Portal
A wonderful place to start when repairing your tenant communication processes is by introducing a tenant portal. A single, centralised portal makes it easier for you and your tenants to keep track of open issues.
With a tenant portal, tenants can file requests, ask questions, share issues, and more. Tenants will never have any confusion about who to talk to about an issue. They can simply log it onto the portal for you to view and address as you see fit. This makes it easier to monitor incoming issues and assess their progress.
A single portal allows you to easily track issue progress and keep tenants informed about how far you are with addressing an issue. It’s a fantastic tool for transparency and seamless communications.
2. Onboard Tenants
It's necessary to teach tenants how to communicate and about the channels available to them. Don’t just introduce the portal without showing them how to use it. You should have steps available on how they can use it at all times. Posters around the facility, for example. Or reception services should be able to guide them through the channel.
Onboard existing tenants when you introduce the system. Ensure they understand how it works to get the full benefit of introducing the technology. You must also onboard each new tenant that occupies your building. The better they understand the portal, the better they can use it for your and their convenience.
3. Have A Feedback System
Feedback is a must-have communication tool. When you try new things like introducing a new portal, you need a way to evaluate how tenants receive it. Encourage tenants to give you feedback or engage you on any concerns they might have. The feedback you gather can help you improve processes further.
You can also use the insight you gain from your feedback to create responsive announcements. Share updates with tenants using detailed announcements that keep them in the loop. Keeping tenants informed about any developments or updates on the property can help you retain them as clients.
Nothing affects a work relationship like communication. When it's lacking or poor, you can harm the relationship, sometimes beyond repair. This can have adverse effects on your reputation, profits, client attraction, business growth, and more. The same goes for your work as a property manager. Implement these three communication tips to encourage clarity between you and your tenants today.
If your organisation is looking for a 360° tenant experience tool to involve all employees, service providers and tenants to improve the quality of your operations, have a look at the 30-day free trial of Falcony:
We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.
By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.
More information at falcony.io.
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