The foundation of a good business relationship, or any relationship for that matter, is trust. At Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, we believe that the most effective way to build trust is with transparency and open communication. With more than 25 years of experience in rental property management, Bridgeport landlords have learned that they can rely on our expertise to help them build a successful rental business. We begin with educating our clients on our two-pronged approach to establishing a foundation of trust between owners and tenants: thorough tenant screenings and comprehensive communication strategies.
It All Begins with Careful Tenant Screening
Developing a thorough screening process is more than just a means of protecting yourself from unfavorable tenants; it’s about communicating your expectations for the kind of renter you want to build a business relationship with. Ideally, you will be build a good rapport that will lasts for years. That is why tenant screenings are vital to your success as a rental owner.
The key to successful tenant screening is consistency. Consistency in who you rent to, and what questions you ask. A proper screening process will help you avoid violating Fair Housing Act laws and the risk of a lawsuit. We recommend that you evaluate every rental applicant for the following information:
- Net Income Verification: to prove they produce at least 3X the monthly rent
- Verifiable Employment History: to establish that they are financially stable
- Positive References: particularly from past landlords or employers
- Clean Credit: they are clear of collections and evictions
- Criminal Background Check: history is checked
Regardless what your findings are from these screenings, it is imperative that you treat every applicant fairly and lawfully in your requirements. Establish a clear litmus test that determines the kind of tenant you will and will not accept and be consistent in your application of it. However, it’s important to remember that you are allowed to reject tenants with bad credit history, insufficient income to meet the rent demands, previous damage to other units, a history of late rent payments, poor job history, etc. You cannot, however, reject an application for discriminatory reasons including: race, religion, nationality, gender, age, disability status, and/or familial status. When you partner with a company like RPM Southern Connecticut for your rental property management in Bridgeport, you can rest easy knowing that our property managers are thoroughly trained to comply with all federal and local housing regulations. As our client, you’ll also gain access to a multitude of resources that will help you screen applicants in a comprehensive yet efficient manner.
7 Ways to Build Trust Through Communication With Your Tenants
Now that you’ve established the kind of tenant you are willing to trust and desire to enter into a lasting business relationship with, it’s imperative that you demonstrate your trustworthiness to your tenants as well. As the leader in rental property management in Bridgeport, RPM Southern Connecticut advises that you consider the following these communication tips from Day 1 with your tenant, so you can build a strong rapport with them:
- Be crystal clear about your expectations – Nothing sours a relationship faster than unmet expectations so be clear with your tenant about what you expect from them at the time of the lease signing, which is very important. Whether it’s what kinds of maintenance are covered by you, who is responsible for lawn upkeep, how to keep the property safe, etc, you need to have it in writing. You and your tenants will have a much better experience when you establish clear communication from the beginning.
- Don’t micromanage – Allow your tenants to figure out how they want to live in the house, they do not want or need your advice on how to set up their household. Instead, focus on making the transition period as streamlined as possible. Provide a welcome packet that explains utilities set-up, trash days, local amenities and your contact information, which will make them feel right at home. Don’t forget to make yourself available should they have questions.
- Keep the lines open – Your tenants deserve to hear from you often. Whether it’s by email, phone or mail, it doesn’t matter, just make sure you’re staying in communication. This is especially important when it comes to performing regular inspections and maintenance repairs; your tenants have a right to know what is going on around the home.
- Always provide hard copies – Whether it’s maintenance fulfillment, receipts or policy updates, it is vital that you provide written hard copies of this information to your tenants at all times.This is especially important for maintaining your records with regard to legal or financial issues. Verbal and electronic communication aren’t reliable options for conveying official matters.
- Certify all your mailed communications – At RPM Southern Connecticut, we strongly advise that you certify every piece of mail that you send to your tenant. This verifies your attempt at providing written communication to your renter was mailed on a specified date and was either received or refused by the tenant. This record can help you should you encounter any legal issues.
- Take take it personally – Whether you have great tenants or challenging renters, you need to see the owner-tenant relationship like a business venture. Treat your residents professionally and with respect. Don’t let personal feelings get in the way of you maintaining honest and clear communication with them.
- Work with local professionals – If you choose to hire professional rental property management in Bridgeport, make sure the firm you choose has extensive local experience to assist you and your tenants. Each market is different so having local professionals who are well acquainted with your area can determine how well they market and manage your property. This also communicates to your tenant that you value your property by investing in local support that can provide conveniences like 24/7 emergency maintenance and online bill pay.
Working with the Best Rental Property Management in Bridgeport
Managing the screening process and maintaining adequate communication with tenants can be an overwhelming experience for self-managing owners. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be with RPM Southern Connecticut on your side. With tools and advice for establishing sustainable methods of tenant communication, our property managers can help minimize the stress of owning rental real estate. When you partner with RPM Southern Connecticut, you’ll have access to resources that only a company with more than 25 years of experience in property management can provide. Call us today and see how we can help you streamline the communication process with the help of our highly trained and friendly property managers.