Whether you’re responsible for one or a number of properties, consistent communication with all involved parties is vital during a house rental. These parties include the tenants, representatives from an agency and any other third party who has been tasked to help with the process, such as a legal or financial advisor.
It’s not uncommon for a landlord to hire a letting agent to deal with either some or all of the tenancy process. While there is some debate on whether this is a necessary investment for landlords, it is often misinterpreted as simply washing your hands clean of the task. Throughout the entire process of signing a letting agreement, the letting agent and the tenant will require a landlord’s input at some point. This is also the case once a tenant has moved in, should they have any maintenance issues. In such cases, these won’t be a tenant’s responsibility, as the property legally belongs to the landlord.
This post takes you through the reasons why a landlord should prioritise consistent communication for a smooth tenancy. We suggest the use of a virtual phone number for remote landlords who want to take a hands-off approach while also remaining contactable for urgent matters.
Negative Tenant Perception
Let’s face it: property management isn’t exactly seen as an award-winning sector for customer service. Out of those who rent, almost half of the UK population is unhappy with their landlord. Many of these unhappy tenants are taking to online platforms to vent about their frustrations and poor living conditions by sharing images with the hashtag #ventyourrent. This national dissatisfaction is resulting in an increasingly critical outlook and watchful eye over landlord’s decisions. A landlord can relieve this pressure by being open for phone calls and instant assistance.
This also works when landlords are unhappy with their letting service. The entire chain of communication in a rental agreement can be confusing. Mark von Grundherr, lettings director at Benham & Reeves, told the Telegraph, “it’s vital to have open communication and a good lettings agent. The main issue I hear from landlords is a lack of communication from their agent.” With a mortgage to pay and considerable amounts of money being transferred, this can be quite a stress-inducing process. For this reason, timely and consistent communication is necessary.
Active Job Nature
Anyone with an active job role can, unfortunately, struggle to keep up with communications on the go. It’s not ideal to catch up on client phone calls outside of a comprehensive office environment. However, being a landlord — or even an estate agent, for that matter — rarely means spending time sat by a desk. The majority of working hours are dedicated to home inspections or other work classified as “in the field”. Because of this, property management is considered one of the top five professions that should invest in a virtual receptionist.
To make sure that people in these active job roles can keep up with client calls, which is crucial for this sector, a virtual landline number that can be diverted to a mobile is key. Virtual receptionists help you to better manage your time, often via mobile applications, with a virtual call system acting as a small business telephone plan that allows you to schedule your availability in advance.
Shared Management of Properties
For what might be considered a contemporary style of property management, shared management of properties is another reason for upping your communication rates. This is common in properties that are only rented on a short-term basis, like holiday homes and homestays on Airbnb. In this case, the responsibility of dealing with temporary tenants is swapped between co-owners on a regular basis. For an effective handover from one landlord to another, an instant communication system is helpful.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) talks about this on its website in relation to critical accidents. This could be highly relevant to a landlord’s role if there is any urgent maintenance work that needs to be completed. In other sectors, such as healthcare, this is commonly recognised. The Guardian notes that a poor handover can result in a life-or-death situation. While this might not quite be the case here, an effective handover does prevent unnecessary hold-ups and miscommunications within a team.