The interactions between commercial real estate professionals and tenants strongly impact the success of our properties. They are not just customers; tenants are our partners, and we must do a good job of communicating and keeping them informed. While you do not need to tell tenants everything, keeping them in the loop on anything that could or will impact their operations will help you develop a strong and effective relationship with them. Being the person tenants want to hear from will be a boon to your property, here are a few tips on how you can enhance your tenant communications.
Communication between staff and tenants should always be clear, professional, and respectful. Make it a point to respond to tenant queries and requests within a reasonable period. Responding within 24 hours is a good rule of thumb, though a quick response of “I am looking into this” can help show your tenants that you have seen their email and are working to help. Keep tenants aware of any changes or issues that may impact their workplace, whether it is routine maintenance, renovations, changes in parking or nearby roads, or anything else that may affect them.
Make sure tenants are informed of what you are doing to enhance their experience as well, such as events, recycling drives, or ongoing building improvements. A regular email or newsletter highlighting amenities can encourage tenants to use them, and highlighting events around the property (not just on) can help give tenants a better understanding of the community in which they work.
Additionally, consider the “voice” and “tone” used in your emails with tenants. Should your email be direct? Should it be friendly? Will the tone be conversational or professional? Understanding the voice and tone of your organization’s emails will help you and your colleagues communicate consistently with tenants, and employing email etiquette will help you in communicating with tenants professionally.
Adopting a structured feedback process is another useful strategy for communicating with tenants. This structure could entail tenant satisfaction surveys, suggestion boxes, town hall-style meetings, or even an internal communication platform. Giving a specific communication channel can enable tenants to voice their concerns and provides you with valuable insights to enhance property management and the overall tenant experience.
As you consider tenant feedback, keep in mind that most feedback is given when something is either going very right, or very wrong. Remember to independently verify any claims made in feedback before acting on them. A structured approach to communication can help your team respond to tenant inquiries and conflicts quickly while developing a stronger relationship with them.
There are many efficient communication tools at our disposal. Email updates, mobile apps, social media platforms, and property management software can significantly streamline your teams communication processes, making it easier for tenants to contact you or report issues. Embracing these tools can not only facilitate seamless interaction but also improve overall tenant satisfaction.
Fostering a strong relationship with your tenants is a process that requires consistent effort, clear communication, and a sincere commitment to their satisfaction and success. Through professional and structured communication, and by utilizing digital tools, you can enhance your communications with tenants, and provide a consistent and authoritative “voice” for the property. As a CRE professional, your role is not just about managing properties, but also about managing relationships, and communication plays a key role in those relationships.
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