What renters want their property manager to know about communication [The Lookout]

Robin Young
Robin Young | 2 min. read

Published on May 23, 2024

Would it surprise you to know that 59% of renters want to communicate with their property manager via text message?


For years, email has been the most popular communication method.

But over the last two years, we’ve seen renters’ openness to communicating via text increase by double digits.

Chart: How Renters Prefer to Communicate with Their Property Management Company | Buildium Research

Just under half of renters say that email remains a good way to get in touch with them.

But nearly as many renters say they wouldn’t mind communicating with you via phone call—and that number is on the rise.

What’s behind these shifts?

As so many aspects of our day-to-day lives have moved online, we’ve all experienced a tidal wave of digital communications.

This means that important messages are at risk of getting lost in the shuffle if they’re not sent in the way renters prefer.

Here’s what property managers need to know about communicating with today’s renters, according to the thousands we survey each year.

1. Ask About Their Preferences During the Lease Signing Process

Take this opportunity once a year to get a sense of which communication methods are the lowest common denominator for your residents.

2. Acknowledge Their Concerns & Offer Transparency

Even when immediate action can’t be taken in response to renters’ feedback, they appreciate being listened to.

And be sure to communicate exactly what they can expect from your team, especially when it comes to maintenance and repairs.

3. Be Reachable During the Hours When They’re At Home

For example, consider providing access to a maintenance contact center to assist with repairs outside of standard business hours.

4. Give Advance Notice of Upcoming Work

When major maintenance work will be taking place within the property, renters appreciate receiving as much advance notice and flexibility as possible.

5. Proactively Check In with Them Throughout the Year

Renters said they appreciate periodic check-ins to see whether anything in the unit needs attention, or if anything could be done to improve their experience.

6. View Each Interaction as an Opportunity to Create a Memorable Experience

Our respondents told us that empathy and professionalism go a long way when they’re interacting with your team.

7. Give Your Renters Access to a Resident Portal

Be sure to make it possible for your renters to pay rent, submit maintenance requests, and communicate with your team online.

Better communication is among the most prominent themes that comes up in our renters’ survey year after year.

For more well-researched advice on building strong relationships with your residents—plus intel on a variety of rental market trends—check out Buildium’s 2024 Property Management Industry Report.

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Robin Young

As Buildium’s Senior Researcher, Robin leverages her background in social science research and interest in real estate economics to identify trends in the rental market. She combines intensive market research with insights gleaned from surveys of property managers, renters, and rental owners to examine topics like shifting renter demographics, the housing affordability crisis, and the transformation of property management during the pandemic. She's best known as the author of the annual State of the Property Management Industry Report.

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