How To Create A Tenant Involvement Strategy
Tenant involvement has increased in popularity in recent years, emerging as an effective way to improve tenant satisfaction. While rewarding, increasing tenant involvement can seem like a daunting task, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
Well, the best place to start is a good tenant involvement strategy. Below, we will discuss the importance of a tenant involvement strategy and discuss some key elements you should include in your strategy.
Why is it Important to Have a Tenant Involvement Strategy?
Tenant involvement, in the context of commercial real estate, entails tenants taking part in managing their leased commercial premises.
An involved tenant is included in decisions made on matters concerning the premises, for example, housing conditions, policies and services.
Generally, the more involved your tenants are, the easier it is for you to satisfy their needs and meet their expectations.
This is because an involved tenant will communicate their needs and expectations. They should also indicate when these are, and are not, being met. Moreover, an involved tenant might even provide advice on how to meet their needs and expectations.
Although increasing tenant involvement is rewarding, it can feel like a vague, abstract goal. It is hard to measure tenant involvement, and there appears to be no one-size-fits-all approach to increasing it.
Unless you have a clear strategy for how you will increase tenant involvement, an attempt to do so can fall by the wayside.
Therefore, you should take some time to decide how you will attempt to improve tenant involvement. You need to have a plan of action – a strategy. Decide what your goal is, and break this up into smaller, concrete, bite-size objectives.
With a tenant involvement strategy, you can start taking deliberate and concrete steps towards increasing tenant involvement. If you are not getting the results you hoped for, a strategy allows you to go back to the drawing board, see what you are doing wrong and make adjustments.
What are the Key Elements in a Tenant Involvement Strategy?
When putting together your tenant involvement strategy, here are four key elements to consider.
1. Two-way Communications
Like all relationships, the cornerstone of a good relationship between a commercial tenant and a property manager boils down to good communication. A tenant cannot be involved in property-related matters if they are unable to communicate with property management.
This communication must go both ways. The tenants must be able to easily express their concerns, ideas and feedback to property management. Moreover, property management must be able to easily respond to tenants, as well as keep them in the loop on any recent developments.
Therefore, it is essential to prioritise good communication about the rental space in your tenant involvement strategy. Think about how you are going to encourage communication from both parties.
For example, newsletters and announcements are great tools that property management can use to keep tenants up to date on any property matter.
However, tenants don’t want their email boxes being clogged up with endless announcements and communications. It’s better to communicate through a mobile app through which tenants can easily access updates and announcements and communicate directly with the property manager.
2. Get Feedback from Tenants
It is not enough to communicate with tenants at the beginning of your working relationship about their expectations. You need to stay in constant communication with your tenants throughout your lease period.
There is a lot that changes throughout a lease period. New problems may arise, such as plumbing issues or maintenance concerns. The needs of your commercial tenant may change. You might make alterations to the premises that could have a positive or negative impact on your tenant.
The best way to ensure that you remain in touch with your tenants throughout these changes is to ensure that you are getting sufficient feedback.
Tenant feedback helps you realise what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. It is also a great tool to gauge tenants’ overall satisfaction with the property.
Therefore, it is recommended that you prioritise getting tenant feedback in your tenant involvement strategy.
Any time a major decision has been taken, or a major change has taken place, make sure to get feedback from your clients.
It is also a good idea to send out a periodical survey, inviting tenants to provide feedback on the property. If you don’t invite feedback, many tenants will not actively set aside their time to provide you with feedback.
3. Take Action on the Tenants' Feedback
It is not enough to receive feedback from tenants if you do not act on it. What use is providing feedback if nothing comes of it?
Show your tenants that you mean business – that you value them. Whenever they provide you with feedback, you must act on it.
Acting on tenants' feedback does not mean you have to fix every single problem they raise, as it may not always be feasible. Rather, do the best that you can, given your resources.
However, if you cannot fix a problem, communicate this to your tenant! This, too, is taking action. Explain why you cannot fix that particular problem for your tenant. Keep them in the loop. Never ignore important feedback!
Remember that you should, whenever possible, try to deal with and resolve any issues that tenants raise in their feedback.
4. Create a Channel for Tenant Involvement in Property Management
To encourage two-way communication and tenant feedback, you need to set up good channels of communication.
Establish a tenant communication channel that is easy to use and allows for timely responses. This will allow you to track reported issues and ensure that your tenants are up to date on any recent developments.
Not only does an effective tenant communication channel help you track feedback, but it makes it easy and convenient for your tenants to report issues as they arise. As such, they will be more likely to do so.
It is difficult to increase tenant involvement if you do not have a good tenant involvement strategy. Follow the tips above to ensure that you design and implement an effective and rewarding tenant involvement strategy. This way, you will be able to better meet the needs and expectations of your renters.
If your organisation is looking for a tool to involve all tenants in property management for better decision-making on workplace and property strategies, have a look at Falcony | Observe.
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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