Phone vs. Email for Landlord-Tenant Communication: Which is Better?

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Emails, phone calls, or text messages: there are so many ways to communicate with each other. However, sometimes it's difficult to decide which method of communication is best when interacting with property owners or tenants. 

As with most things in life, each has pros and cons. Effective communication is essential for building a longstanding relationship with your clients and tenants. Your aim when emailing or making a phone call is to make sure that your clients feel comfortable and informed. In addition, property managers must be able to record and document critical tenant communications for all properties under management. 

Let's weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the different ways of keeping in touch with your clients and tenants for excellent property manager and landlord-tenant communication.

When is the Best Time to Use Email?

Email is a convenient mode of communication that appeals to most people. Therefore, it is suitable for instances when you want to send general information and short, fact-based messages. Emails are also ideal for sending documentation such as lease agreements, invoices, quotes, and copies of property maintenance checklists.

Advantages of Using Email Communication

Writing an email gives you time to think about what you want to write. You can word the email correctly to efficiently respond to the tenant's or owner's complaint or question.

The most important benefit of email communication is that it is a date- and time-stamped way of keeping a record of correspondence. This digital paper trail is helpful when you are working through complex transactions or need to verify the transfer of information. Email can be an essential resource should disagreements arise or if there is a need for proof in a dispute.

New email alert on laptop, communication connection message to global letters in the workplace

Disadvantages of Email Communications

While they can be extremely useful, emails lack a personal touch. The tone you intend is not always transferable in the written word. It can be challenging to convey a written message in a warm and friendly manner.

In addition, emails are not as quick or convenient as text messages. Some concepts require lengthy explanations, which are more easily described in a telephone call.

Some people don't check their emails regularly. Email messages might go unread for some time or even get lost and unopened in an inbox.

Is it Ok to Text Your Tenants?

Mobile communication has pervaded every aspect of our lives. Therefore, many tenants might prefer this instant gratification way of communicating. 

The convenience of texting is a huge plus, but some might feel that texting is not formal enough for a business setting. An advantage of tenant communications via text messages is that they can easily send photos of damages that need repairing. The ability to send and receive images promptly can result in a quicker turnaround time for repairs and property maintenance.

Landlord-Tenant Communications via Phone Calls 

Phone calls are the most personal way of corresponding with tenants and property owner clients. This communication method can convey warmth and interest that will help to strengthen the relationship with your tenant.

If you need an answer on a pressing matter, it can be better to pick up the phone and call your client rather than wait for them to answer an email.

A property manager should use discretion to decide when email communication with an owner or tenant needs to stop, and the correspondence should be conducted by phone instead. The need for this might arise when you need to explain something at length or when you need to reduce tension in a contentious situation. People can interpret incorrect tones and attitudes in emails, which may cause an issue to escalate unnecessarily.

Retro rotary telephone on wood table

However, a disadvantage of phone conversations is that there is no documentation of the discussion. Therefore, if critical issues are discussed in a telephone conversation, create a form of record by sending a follow-up email outlining the crucial points.

The Importance of Effective Communication for Property Managers

As a property manager, communication is an important aspect of your job. Acting as a go-between in landlord-tenant communication, as well as interacting with your staff, requires stringent communication protocols for success! 

breakdown in communication can result in tenants not renewing their leases and clients taking their business to your competitors. If you notice frequent misinterpretations of emails or texts or many of your interactions with owners, tenants, or your team result in unclear direction or expectations, it's time to examine how you communicate and which methods should take priority for different messages or tasks. 

Property Management Tips for Effective Communication

To maximize profit, every property manager must improve client retention and tenant loyalty and reduce tenant turnover. Do this with timely, friendly, and informative communication. 

Different communication methods are valuable at different times. A good idea is to ask your tenants which mode of communication they would be the most comfortable with using most regularly. 

Here are a few more property management tips for communication with clients and tenants:

  • Respond to communications promptly, but let your clients and tenants know that you do not work 24/7. Inform them of your working hours and let them know that you will be slow to respond outside of these hours (unless it is an emergency). 
  • Always be professional. Mobile technology enables us to communicate on different platforms at any time of the day. However, it is vital not to make phone calls or send text messages at inappropriate times.
  • Stay cool, calm, and collected throughout every conversation. As a property manager, you might find yourself in confrontational situations or at the receiving end of some rather heated remarks. Instead, show that you are listening, be empathetic, and respond to concerns or problems as diplomatically as possible.
  • Accept that there are different strokes for different folks. At times, it might be necessary to adjust your communication style to suit the person with whom you are engaging. This will help them feel understood, comfortable, and valued. It will also help them trust you and make them more amenable to any suggestions that you may have.
  • Even with all this communication technology at your hands, ensure that you still schedule face-to-face meetings with your property clients and their tenants. This will establish trust and give them the confidence to approach you about concerns in the future.

When communicating well, you'll find owners, tenants, and your team are happier!

If you feel that your property management company may be suffering from poor communication habits, seek advice from a property management consultant. The experts at Real-Time Consulting Services can help analyze your systems and procedures and advise on where to make improvements!

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