The Property Manager and Tenants—6 Tips to Do it Better


Do you love the logistics of property management but you dread getting those calls from tenants? You’re not the only one.


Of course those calls are unavoidable because tenants make up a huge part of a PM’s day. So we’re here to help.


Perhaps all you need is a few adjustments in the habits you’ve acquired in handling tenants and new applicants. Let’s show you the best way to go about a few tasks so your days are filled with victory instead of dread.

Do You Have Clear Policies in Place?

Why do you dread that phone ringing?


More often than not PMs feel tenants’ expectations are too high or they make unreasonable requests:

  • Requiring help after hours if anything on the property goes wrong
  • Contacting you and expecting immediate response
  • Not acting according to required rules about moving in, making payments, being evicted or giving your notice of moving out

Here’s a word of caution: You can’t expect your tenants to act according to your wishes if they’re not communicated clearly.


For this I suggest clear policies that aren’t only discussed during the initial interview—I hope you interview all your tenants—but they should also sign a document in which these guidelines are clearly set out.


Can You Find the Best Tenants? It Will Make Your Life Easier

So we mentioned interviews. I hope you don’t simply accept anyone that applies to rent one of your premises.


Whether it’s for commercial property or residential units you have the power to manage your level of frustration. How? By only allowing quality tenants to rent from you.


A background check should not only involve details about credit scores and financial aspects. What about how the tenant acted towards previous property managers? You’ll be treated the same way so make sure you’re not accepting someone who is used to verbally abusing the landlord or PM.


For this you need some time to contact references. You may even want to build relationship with other PMs in your area. Tenants who are unruly will quickly get a reputation and you can prevent them from making life difficult for you or their neighbors by simply not approving their application.


Rent Collection—Can it Be Easier?

One situation that draws out the worst in people is talking about money. In property management it’s inevitable that it will be part of your day as you have to ask for rent, change rental amounts or collect it.


While the latter is easy to manage if someone pays promptly, the other two are bound to cause some conflict.


But it can be limited with a few healthy habits:

  • Always put rental communication in writing so there’s no chance of misunderstandings.
  • Ask for payment at least more than once before sending warnings or legal writings. Your tenant could just be having a bad week and perhaps he or she forgot to pay. If you don’t show some understanding you may create a negative attitude towards you for no reason.
  • Changes should be communicated well in advance even if yearly increases are part of the initial contract. Help your tenants plan ahead and you’ll have fewer problems with them.

Responding to Queries—What’s the Best Possible Plan?

Rent isn’t the only thing you’ll be talking about though. A lot can go wrong on residential or commercial properties and it’s all up to you to fix it. Tenants are entitled to have optimum usage of the facilities.


These rights are partly why you’ll get angry messages by email or on your phone every morning. Tenants don’t like to wait long for responses.


This is why you need a dynamic reporting system that gets the detail to you as soon as possible. You know you can’t answer your phone all the time but your tenants expect that of you. Give them a dynamic alternative and they’ll be satisfied.


Important tip: This part of managing property also requires dynamic communication towards third parties such as maintenance crews. You want them to respond as quick as you respond to your tenants and you need timeous feedback.

Keeping and Managing Records

Everything discussed here takes quite a lot of administration, right? And there are even more aspects you need clear records of:

  • Complaints
  • Repairs
  • What repairs cost
  • Insurance relevant to tenants
  • Records of inspection
  • The leases all tenants signed

Do you have a system where you don’t only file these details but you can also retrieve them easily?


Final Tip: Use Field Service Management Software to Stay One Step Ahead

So how would you rate your current functioning? Are there areas you can improve so you and your tenants will be more satisfied?


If you’re committed to making it work I have a challenge for you. Why not go high tech and use software to everyone’s benefit?


Field service management software can help you manage most of these tasks much better than you’re capable of doing it at the moment. It’s an online platform that can be accessed via computers but also mobile devices. Users will have access to information and you can use it to communicate via text or sending digital documents to both tenants, employees and third parties.


Here’s how it’s going to make your PM duties easier:

  • You can use a communication application to provide tenants with a 24/7 option to log queries.
  • Communication, documents and notices can be sent via the software which minimizes your paper work and everyone will have instant access to it.
  • Historical information can be kept on the platform for easy access.
  • You can manage maintenance crews and third party service providers from the platform. By viewing their schedules and getting real time feedback—instead of waiting for someone to report to the office—you can provide tenants with accurate timelines & updates without even leaving your office.

Ready to make a few tenants smile now?

About the Author:


Povilas V. Dudonis is a serial entrepreneur and likes to dig deep into methods and processes of business operations to find ways to reach maximum performance