3 Customer Service Skills to Build Better Tenant Relationships

Real Estate Technology with Rentec Direct

While going through the Rentec Direct Blog archives I stumbled upon a gem of message written by the Rentec Direct’s President, Nathan Miller, examining the importance of treating your tenant as a valued customer.  With years of customer service and public relations under my belt, the idea resonated deeply with me.

“What is the #1 gripe from tenants these days we’re hearing?  ‘We are not treated with respect‘. Property managers often forget that their customer is the tenant.[...] Make your customer love you and they will not go somewhere else.”

 -From ‘3 Critical Reasons Contributing to High Rental Vacancies’, Nathan Miller.  

Whether you manage a couple single-family homes or multi-unit properties, running a successful property management business is a full time job.  With all that goes into the day-to-day in property management, a tenant’s value in the rental equation can sometimes get overlooked.   As Tom Bailey of Crystal Coast Realty & Home Service commented on my blog article about Tenant Welcome Packages, “more often than not I see property managers who act like they are doing tenants a favor to rent to them.

Although tenants might not qualify for the “customer is always right” idiom of the foodservice and retail industry, your tenant does deserve to be treated with respect.  Building this positive relationship starts with the first conversation and continues into the rental process and through tenancy.  A positive relationship with your tenant, in truth, should never end as a they can always provide an outstanding word of mouth recommendation for future tenants who are considering renting from you, even after they vacate your property.

There are few easy Customer Service Skills you can practice to build better tenant relations:

  1. Listen.  Active listening is one of the most important skills in customer service.  Understand your tenants comments and concerns to provide valuable feedback and solutions.
  2. Respond. Fast service is valued in every industry today.  Even if you cannot provide a solution or answer immediately, you should always acknowledge your tenant’s needs as soon as possible.  If it’s a simple question or a maintenance request, your tenant will appreciate being kept in the loop about the status of their concern.
  3. Accommodate. Provide solutions to your tenants’ needs.  It’s easy to get frustrated about late payments and damage to a property that could have been avoided through preventive maintenance.  Give tenants an opportunity to be good renters by providing convenient bill pay options and ways to submit work orders by using an online application like a Tenant Portal.

Taking a moment to remember that your tenants are as much your customers and your owners will set the ground work for building and maintaining a positive relationship.  A positive tenant relationship will lead to long term tenants and less vacancies.  You can find these and more great customer service skills from Zach Culter in his post,  “6 Ways to Make Your Customer Service Better” for Enterpreneur.com.

What customer service values have you implemented in your business to establish positive tenant relationships?   

Posted by

Kaycee Wegener

Marketing Coordinator, Rentec Direct 

Rental Management Software & Tenant Screening Services


Kaycee is a member of Rentec Direct, a web-based property management software program designed to help streamline tenant screening and the day-to-day operations of landlords and property managers. 








Comments (4)

Maria Gerlinger
Reno, NV

My hats of to anyone who can be a property manager of smaller units or single family homes. I have a couple of investor friends who run their own operations. They constantly complain. I think I will share your post with them to become happier property owners and managers.

Oct 20, 2014 03:35 PM
Kaycee Wegener
Rentec Direct - Grants Pass, OR

Thanks for sharing Maria Gerlinger !  Let me know how it goes.  

Do you have any other tips for how to promote a happier, stress-free property management lifestyle?  

Oct 21, 2014 02:30 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Thank you for the post Kaycee.  Frustrations many times start building when managing and it is easy to loose site of what is really important.  Mark

Oct 21, 2014 05:45 PM
Kaycee Wegener
Rentec Direct - Grants Pass, OR

Good point Mark Don McInnes, Associate Broker .  It's always important to take a deep breath and take moment to cool off in order to handle frustrating customers. 

Oct 22, 2014 09:09 AM