Effective communication is an essential skill for property managers to have. You communicate daily with tenants, service vendors, and of course, property owners. While all communication is vital, the importance of clear communication with owners can’t be overstated. You should have a thorough understanding of the owners’ needs, and the owners should feel secure knowing that you’re being transparent and providing a valuable service. Even if you’re already a skilled communicator, you should always work to improve your skills. Here are a few easy ways you can improve your communication with clients.
Property owners are not one-size-fits-all. Some of them may want to be closely involved in the management of the property. They’ll want all the details about the work you’re doing for them. Others may take a completely hands-off approach, only expecting crucial updates. Many owners won’t volunteer how much they’d like to be involved, so as a property manager, it’s your job to find out. Ask them how much involvement they would like to have. The level of owner involvement is extremely important to know, as this will dictate how and when you communicate with the owner. You should learn where each owner falls in the range of involvement and be prepared to accommodate owners from across the spectrum.
Determine the Owner’s Goals
Healthy communication often doesn’t occur organically. Instead of wondering if your clients’ goals have changed, you should make a point to schedule a conversation with each of them every six months. This will give them time to discuss anything they may not think to bring up during your routine communications. They’ll appreciate having dedicated time set aside to discuss remodeling projects or property purchases.
Transparency is crucial to your relationship with your clients, particularly when it comes to financial matters. One way to communicate to owners that you value transparency is to walk them through the details of their first statement. Give them all the details, so they understand precisely what they’re paying you for. This will give them peace of mind and possibly prevent questions about their statements down the road. If the owner is tech-savvy, you can even set up screen sharing so you can literally be on the same page, line per line.
This is more of an ongoing philosophy that you should try to apply to every interaction you have with owners. Sometimes your interactions with clients will test your patience. You may have a meticulous client who wants to know every single detail of the maintenance that was done, or one that’s disputing charges. Regardless of the situation, you should try to step back and look at things from their perspective. This doesn’t mean that you should only look at the property through their eyes. You should try to understand where they’re coming from and determine if you’ve earned their trust. Coming from a place of understanding rather than frustration or annoyance will improve your business relationship and make it more profitable.
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