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Property Managers Need to Know how to Deliver Bad News

Property Managers Need to Know how to Deliver Bad News

Image is two male hands, one giving the thumbs up sign and one giving the thumbs down sign.One of the realities of rental property ownership is having to deliver bad news to tenants.  While some owners don’t mind being the bad guy once in a while, those that do choose to utilize an experienced and professional property manager.  A good property manager such as Martin Feinberg will know how to give bad news in a tactful manner, making the process more pleasant for everyone involved.

Though bad news can negatively impact a tenants’ experience their rental property, these tips could help them handle it better.

Think Ahead:

Most property managers will know about rent increases or scheduled maintenance a head of time. They should give their tenants such information early enough that they will have time to adjust their plans or make moving decisions if necessary. Tenants should be told about upcoming maintenance 1-2 weeks before it happens with another reminder 1-2 days before it begins.

With emergency repairs, property managers need to inform tenants as soon as possible.

In the case of rising rent prices, property managers should first check with local and state laws to see what the required notification time periods regarding changes in rent prices are.  For good tenants that a property manager hopes to keep, they should consider giving them a couple months notice.

Be Considerate:

When a property manager needs to schedule community wide repairs that could negatively affect residents, they need to be as considerate of their time as possible.  Turning off water in the middle of the day, for example, is usually more convenient for people than having it off in the morning or after work.  Pool maintenance should take place during the winter instead of the summer.  If the majority of tenants are students who will be out of town during the holidays property managers could take advantage of that by scheduling needed parking lot maintenance during that time.

Pay Attention to Delivery:

Property managers should choose a delivery method that works best for them and their renters.   This could be anything from a personal phone call, text, group email, or notification letter.

Be straightforward:

Property managers need to tell their tenants exactly what is happening.  They should be clear and concise; stating the facts about what is happening and when it will take place. Be kind and respectful but be careful not to open the conversation up for negotiations or opinions.

Provide reasons and benefits:

When giving bad news, property managers need to point out how the minor inconvenience will benefit them in the long run.  If rental rates need to rise, give tenants the reason why.  Property managers do not need to hide the fact that rent rates sometimes need to be raised to stay competitive with fair market prices, pay for increased city fee, or to pay for tenant approved upgrades.   All are reasonable explanations.

Image is a sheet of paper with a smiley face, neutral face, and a frowny face on it, each with a check box next to it.Acknowledge the impact:

Though property managers should focus on the benefits a tenant could receive from some inconveniences, they shouldn’t forget to acknowledge the burden that the tenant will be bearing.   This will help renters understand that their needs are being considered when changes are being made at their rental property.

Though a lot of bad news is not at the discretion of management, as the main point of contact with tenants, property managers can positively influence the reception of bad news.

Please email martin(at)martinfeinberg(dotted)com directly for immediate attention.