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How to build a relationship and gain your tenants respect

14th November 2012
Gaining respect from tenants is all about walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

Gaining respect from tenants is all about walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

Fact: it’s hard to take hypocritical people seriously. You know, there the ones with the “do as I say, not as I do” approach to life. Sure, they might have the gift of the gab and promise great things, but when they don’t follow through on these promises, we lose respect for them. (And even worse is the hypocrite who expects you to jump through hoops of fire while they do nothing. I’m sure we’ve all come across a few of those…) Gaining your tenants’ respect requires you to follow these steps!

In short: you need to walk the walk as well as talking the talk, if you want to earn respect.

Earning respect in property management is vital

If you can earn the respect of your tenants early on, you are far less likely to encounter problems with that tenant further down the track. We’ve already discussed some of the leadership qualities a property manager needs: the next step is to demonstrate that you mean business.

How to demonstrate that you mean business

To lead from the front, you need to demonstrate the standards you work by. This way there’s a good chance that your tenant will respond positively to you and will treat you with courtesy and respect. Simply put: walk your talk; and back up your words with actions. People believe what they see more than what they hear.

Examples of how to demonstrate your standards include:

  • Make sure the property has been cleaned: At the start of the new tenancy, make sure that the property has been professionally cleaned, and ensure that the tenant is happy with the standard of cleaning.
  • Call back contractors who do an incomplete job: For example, if the commercial cleaner who cleaned the property before the tenant moved in didn’t do a thorough job, call them back. This way you’re demonstrating to the tenant that you always deliver your part of the agreement and jobs aren’t left half completed.
  • Complete repairs on time: If you say you will fix something by a certain date, then do it. After all, the tenant is paying rent in return for good management of the tenancy. You’ll find that tenants will respond more quickly to your requests if you’ve demonstrated that you respond quickly to their requests. When your tenant advises that the gutter adjoining their bedroom window is leaking, or one of the lounge window security stays is broken, then act on getting these small repairs organised.

By demonstrating that you’re committed to delivering your part of the agreement, it communicates to tenants that they’re part of a valuable team: you rely on them, and they rely on you. Making the tenancy run smoothly is a team effort.

What’s more, all tenants will always show appreciation for tasks that have been completed quickly by the property manager. Why? Because they’re appreciative of being treated with respect. All human beings appreciate things being completed by other parties in a timely fashion; and if that doesn’t happen, that’s when niggles, complaints and discontent starts to grow. But if you treat people with respect, you’ll be appreciated.

You need to show your appreciation too

There’s a flip side to this: and that is, if the tenant resolves a problem quickly, the landlord or property owner should express their appreciation too. Communicating this is important to maintain that team effort.

In summary, always let your actions show that you care about the tenancy and the property. That’s the way to making sure that the tenants respect both you, and the property you’re managing.



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