The Best Ways to Communicate With Tenants: Email, Text, or Call?

Many landlords overlook the importance of effective communication in rental property management. Keeping open lines of communication with your tenants can help you address requests promptly and better coordinate maintenance and repairs.

It can also help you foster a better relationship with your renters, which will translate into longer, more stable tenancies.

With so many options available, it’s important to use the right communication channels. For instance, a quick text is probably not the ideal way to discuss serious matters. On the other hand phone calls are not good for messages that don’t require a response, such as sending routine updates or reminders. So when is it best to email, text, and call tenants?

In this guide, the experts at Draper Realty will go over everything you should know to effectively communicate with tenants. Keep reading to learn when it’s better to email, text, and call your tenants.

When Should I Email?

Emails are one of landlords’ preferred methods of communication due to their documentation capabilities and non-intrusive nature. Because every message is automatically saved, landlords can keep a documented record of important information.

Emails offer a professional and transparent way to communicate with renters, contributing to positive landlord-tenant relationships. They’re also great for effectively communicating non-urgent matters, as tenants can review information at their convenience.

A man on a laptop.

We recommend emailing tenants for the following situations:

  • Important documentation. Emails allow you to keep track of important information, such as invoices and relevant rental documents. Through email, both you and your tenants will have a written record for reference.
  • Routine announcements. Regular updates, such as maintenance schedules, policy changes, or announcements about community events should be shared via email. This way, you can send your tenants precise information or even several updates at once.
  • Lease renewal terms. This way, you can provide tenants with sufficient time to review and respond.
  • Official notices. Certain legally required notices, such as notifications for property entry, changes to lease terms, or other official communication, can be discussed via email.
  • Non-urgent matters. Emails are great for information that is not time-sensitive and doesn’t require an immediate answer. This can include reminders, updates, and even relevant announcements.
  • Updates on property improvements. Emails are great for informing tenants of upcoming or scheduled maintenance, renovations, and enhancements.
  • Rent payment confirmations. Emails are great providing rent payment confirmations or receipts. This way, you and your tenants will have dated records of each payment submitted.
  • Emergency preparedness. You can email tenants to share emergency preparedness information. This can include procedures for natural disasters or unexpected events.
  • Appointment scheduling. Emails are great for scheduling property inspections and maintenance appointments. By using automated features, you can even create monthly or seasonal reminders for these events.
  • Policy reminders. Even with a solid lease agreement, there will be times when you need to remind tenants of the terms of the lease. Emails are a great way to do this, as they allow you to attach documents, like the signed lease.

An Apple “Mail” app icon with 20 notifications

In each case, it's essential to craft clear and concise emails. Providing links or documents for additional details when necessary ensures tenants have all the information they need. Additionally, maintaining a professional tone contributes to a more positive landlord-tenant relationship.

When Should I Text?

Texts are becoming more popular. They’re a great way to communicate with tenants due to their immediacy and convenience. Unlike emails or phone calls, people are more likely to see and answer text messages sooner.

Text messages are great for discussing urgent matters, as well as for sending quick updates and reminders. Here are some instances when you should text your tenants:

  • Urgent matters. Texts are great for time-sensitive and concise communication. This makes them a great way to communicate urgent matters, such as maintenance or repair emergencies.
  • Reminders. Writing a text is fairly quick and simple. This makes it easier to send tenants reminders for scheduled property inspections, maintenance appointments, or other time-sensitive events.
  • Emergency notifications. Text messages can be a great way to communicate with tenants during emergencies, such as major repairs. After all, by telling tenants how to navigate an emergency through short text, you’ll have more time to coordinate the next steps with contractors or even property managers.
  • Quick updates. A short text is great for sending tenants simple updates that don’t require a detailed explanation. This can include letting them know when a handyman is coming over or when an issue has been fixed. This is information that tenants are always happy to receive.

A person holding a smartphone.

When texting tenants, you must respect their privacy. Keep every text short.

As well, avoid texting tenants about unrelated matters. For instance, you can text tenants to let them know you’ll be out of town for a while. However, sending them photos or constant updates of your vacation may not be appreciated.

When Should I Call?

Nowadays, younger tenants tend to stray away from phone calls. However, there are instances in which phoning tenants is the best way to communicate. This includes the following:

  • Serious matters. Calling tenants for complex or detailed matters that may require a nuanced discussion or explanation will help you prevent misunderstandings. Sensitive matters, such as lease violations or complaints about a tenant are also better discussed over a call than an email or text.
  • Emergencies. In urgent situations where immediate attention and real-time interaction are crucial, phone calls are the best way to communicate. By calling your tenants during an emergency, you can ensure they’re safe and coordinate next steps better.
  • Pre-scheduled discussions. Phone calls are great for discussing serious matters without having to travel to meet your tenants. By pre-scheduling a call, you can ensure that both you and your tenants have allocated time for an in-depth conversation.
  • Follow-ups. When following up on unresolved issues, a phone call can provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussion and resolution.
  • Tenant feedback or concerns. Calls are great for addressing tenant concerns or feedback. This type of talk typically requires a back-and-forth dialogue that can lead to misunderstandings if communicated via email or text.

A person on a phone call.

While phone calls can be powerful tools for certain situations, you must be mindful of tenant preferences, privacy, and the nature of the communication. Some tenants might not like talking over the phone, so you may have to stick to emails and text messages, or even discuss serious matters in person only.

Bottom Line

Landlords must know when to text, email, or call tenants. After all, each of these channels has features that make it better for certain instances but not ideal for others. Striking a balance between different communication methods will help you create a positive and effective relationship with your tenants.

Need help communicating with tenants? Contact Draper Realty today! Our team will help you streamline all kinds of tenant communication so you can have more free time.

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