How you handle your renters during a crisis will either help you build better relationships with them or encourage them to leave. While no one wants a crisis to happen, Plano property investors can use challenging times as an opportunity to rise to the occasion and impress your residents.
Dealing with difficult renters who refuse to pay the rent (especially when they can, even in a crisis) is one thing. Managing renters who genuinely struggle to pay the rent and other bills when the economy also struggles requires property investors to balance empathy with practical solutions.
There will always be renters who take advantage of a crisis and decide they 'can't' pay the rent. As a property owner, your job is to help struggling renters pay what they can while maintaining positive relationships. When a crisis ends, you'll have the opportunity to deal with bad renters who chose not to honor the terms of their lease by withholding rent.
Communication Comes First
One of your first tasks is to reach out to your residents. A crisis can catch everyone off guard, but your proactive communication will help reassure renters that you're all in this together.
Even if you don't have the details of a crisis plan in place right away, let residents know:
- You realize there is a situation
- You're here for them
- How to reach you
- You have a plan to maintain operations with adjustments as the crisis allows
- You'll be in touch again with more details (soon).
Ignoring the onset of a crisis or prolonging your first communications can cause residents to panic. As a smart investor in Plano, you set the stage for success in a crisis by taking the lead and assuring your renters that you have a plan and the resources or contacts to help everyone get through a financial crisis.
Payment Plans Help Struggling Renters (and Investors)
After an initial all-resident message, reach out individually to your renters. This helps set the stage for your residents to feel comfortable letting you know that they are struggling to pay the rent.
- Be careful about offering payment plans until you've connected with each resident.
- Not every renter will need help to pay the rent during a crisis.
- If they don't need help, don't offer to adjust their rental payments.
However, for residents who are in good standing—but quickly find themselves experiencing job or income loss—offering a payment plan is appropriate. Payment plans help:
- Residents feel like they are more than 'just' a rental payment check
- Struggling renters adjust what they pay in the short term until they can replace lost income
- Investors keep some income coming in until full rental payments resume.
As a Plano property management professional, we know that payment plans help investors work with struggling residents while minimizing the impact on their monthly income during a crisis. Pre-plan the types of payment options you'll offer to make it easier on yourself and your renters in the middle of a crisis.