The Importance of Correctly Managing Difficult Tenant Situations

Working in property management means interacting with people from many walks of life. You will surely come across good tenants who follow rules, pay bills on time and display friendly behavior. However, you may also face difficult tenants who make life harder.

If you don’t handle these difficult tenant situations proactively, you may end up ruining the tenant relationship (which could affect how you collect rent payments or create a need to fill vacancies), as well as the reputation of your building.

In this article, we’ll highlight several expert tips that may help you effectively deal with difficult tenant situations.

Tips from Experts on Handling Difficult Tenant Situations

Here are the top five expert tips that ensure proactive tenant management and keep everyone pleased at your building.

Set Realistic Expectations During Leasing

Conflicting tenant situations often arise when property owners fail to match the expectations of tenants. Property owners and property managers should ensure realistic expectations are established within the lease.

“If your tenant has one thing they thought they were going to get and they don’t get it, it turns them away from that partnership mentality. They’re always waiting for the next disappointment or broken promise, “ said Cathy Kuebler, VP at Billingsley.

This is why managing tenant expectations from the very beginning is the key to a successful property team-tenant relationship. To set appropriate expectations for tenants, you need to make sure that somebody from the property team is involved in e-mail communications and face-to-face discussions.

Consider the Stress of Increasing Tenant Density

The increase in tenant density will impact the efficiency of day-to-day operations and the quality of services at the property. You should keep an eye on increasing tenant density and make appropriate plans for services such as restrooms, elevators, cleaning services and other maintenance activities. Being proactive and making prior adjustments to support services will help reduce the occurrence of difficult tenant situations.

The increase in tenant density will also result in higher maintenance costs for the building. If you don’t have appropriate policies for distributing increased maintenance costs, you may end up receiving complaints from tenants who use fewer resources.

For instance, if a tenant chooses to have a high-density office that uses more janitorial supplies and restrooms, who will bear this additional cost, the tenant itself or every tenant?

By setting appropriate policies for resource usage and regularly communicating these policies to tenants, you can get ahead of these issues and cultivate good relationships.

Consider Tenant Culture and Location

Property teams should keep an eye on how different tenants impact one another within the building. For instance, if a busy law office shares a wall with a small startup a noise complaint may arise. Property teams should take regular feedback from all tenants and try to address their issues.

Property teams should scrutinize rental applications and conduct thorough background checks by participating actively in the tenant screening process to ensure onboarding of only tenants who fit the cultural characteristics of the community.

Be Systematic About Tenant Outreach

Since property teams take care of everything related to the building, finding time to implement tenant management solutions may be hard to come by. For instance, property teams may overlook the importance of failing to visit tenants at regular intervals to inquire about their concerns. This is why you should create a schedule for visiting each tenant. For large tenants, the cadence can be as often as every few weeks. During each visit, property teams should take detailed notes of tenant comments. These notes help track tenant complaints.

You should also make sure that the entire property team undergoes regular training to develop skills such as phone etiquette, active listening, customer support and conflict resolution.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

The way you, as a property manager, perceive the building maintenance services is different from the way tenants perceive them. Unless you put yourself in the tenant’s shoes, you won’t understand their concerns and expectations. To deliver the best tenant experience, you should think like a tenant.

Experts also suggest property managers handle complaints in person. “Go up to the space, hear the noise, look at the cleaning. I want to see what they see that isn’t getting done,” said Micah Larmie, Senior Vice President at Transwestern-Midwest Asset Services.

Unify Your Building and Tenant Access Control with Genea Tenant Portals

Property teams of commercial real estate firms should implement cloud-based property management software solutions that help automate operational workflows such as building access control, HVAC requests, submeter billing and so on.

Genea is a property technology provider that offers a range of building management tools including access control, visitor management, submeter billing and after-hours HVAC solutions.

  • Cloud-based access control: Genea’s cloud-based access control enables property managers of commercial real estate firms to oversee building access activities in real-time from any device, anywhere, at any time. A unique feature of Genea Security is Tenant Portals. Tenant Portals enables tenants to self-manage their employee’s access to the building, parking garage and other amenities.
  • Visitor management: Genea Visitor Management streamlines the way property teams manage their guest access to the building. It ensures guests pre-register themselves before arriving on-site.
  • Submeter Billing: Genea Submeter Billing is the best property management software that streamlines the submeter reading and billing processes to help property teams avoid costly billing mistakes, thereby billing disputes with tenants.
  • Overtime HVAC: Genea also offers a cloud-based overtime HVAC platform that automates HVAC requests and billing for tenants.

Find out more about Genea’s property management solutions by speaking with a Genea team member