As you move through the process of renting out an investment property in San Francisco, you’ll quickly become aware of how important communication can be. It’s impossible to have a successful investment experience without communication. You’ll need to interact with a number of different audiences.
Tenant communication is of course critical. Your residents are your customers, and you’ll need to be available to them at all times in case something happens at your property. You’ll also need to communicate with vendors and contractors and other people who work with you to lease and maintain your rental home.
If you’re working with a San Francisco property management company, you can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Most of the communication will come from those professionals, and your main responsibility will be communicating with your property manager.
Renting out your own property requires you to communicate openly and transparently at all times. Today, we’re providing tips on how to do that more effectively.
Maintain Accessibility and Availability
We’ve never met a landlord who was excited to be interrupted late at night or over the weekend with emergencies at their rental property. It’s frustrating to have tenants call during dinner because they’ve locked themselves out of the house. It’s irritating to have 10 emails on a Sunday morning because an appliance isn’t working. However, you need to be accessible and responsive.
Share your cell phone number, your email address, and any other contact information that you have with your tenants. If you’re going out of town and you know you’ll have a hard time answering your phone or responding to questions, make sure your tenants have the name and number of someone you trust.
You also need to be prepared to communicate in potentially new ways. Many younger tenants hate the idea of phone calls and they’ll text or send emails. Some tenants might prefer in-person conversations. It’s important that you’re willing to be available in ways that they communicate.
Communicating During Maintenance Issues
Communication is especially critical during maintenance emergencies. If the water heater bursts in the middle of the night or a storm blows a tree through a window, your tenants will need to get a hold of you right away.
Be prepared. This doesn’t mean you have to be the one who rushes over there, but it does mean you have to have someone on speed dial who can get there right away and mitigate the damage. You have to be sure you’ve effectively communicated the definition of an emergency to your tenants as well. A flooding bathroom is absolutely an emergency. A torn window screen is not.
Even with routine maintenance, you want to respond with a sense of urgency. This will help you preserve the condition of your home, and your quick response times and open communication will show tenants that you care about them. That’s going to keep good tenants in place longer. The main things that will cause you to lose tenants are poor communication and a delayed response to maintenance and repairs.
Technology Enables Better Communication
Professional San Francisco property management companies utilize customized property management software that makes communication efficient and easy. With online portals, tenants can pay rent online, make maintenance requests, sign leases and other documents, and send messages to their property manager.
While it might be difficult for you to offer an online tenant portal on your own, you can utilize technology as much as possible to communicate with your tenants. Most renters are comfortable with online rental payments, and they’ll appreciate being able to send you messages and make requests at any time of the day or night. This also helps you to document your tenant’s requests, questions, and complaints.
We’d be happy to tell you more about how great communication can help you with your rental property. For more information about San Francisco property management and our services, please contact our team at Leading Properties.