Effective communication is paramount for landlords to maintain positive relationships with their tenants. In today's digital age, landlords have multiple options for reaching out to tenants. email, text messaging, and phone calls.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, which should be carefully considered to ensure clear and efficient communication. This article examines these communication methods and offers insights into when each may be most appropriate for landlords.


Email is a popular communication tool due to its formality and ability to convey detailed information. For landlords, email offers several advantages.

  • Documentation. Emails provide a written record of communications, which is essential for documenting agreements, notices, and repairs. This record can be crucial for maintaining clarity and accountability in landlord-tenant relationships. It helps ensure that both parties have a clear reference point in case of disputes or misunderstandings, enhancing transparency and trust.
  • Convenience. Both landlords and tenants can respond at their convenience, making it suitable for non-urgent matters. This flexibility allows for efficient communication without the need for immediate responses, accommodating busy schedules and differing time zones.
  • Accessibility. Most tenants have email accounts, ensuring broad accessibility. This widespread availability makes email a practical choice for reaching a wide audience of tenants, regardless of their location or preferred communication style.

However, email may not always be the best choice for urgent matters or situations requiring immediate response. Emails can also be less personal and may not always guarantee that the recipient reads or responds promptly.

A person on a laptop

Recommended Practices When Using Email

  • Clear Subject Line: Use a clear and specific subject line that summarizes the content of the email (e.g., "Rent Payment Reminder for June").
  • Professional Tone: Ensure your emails maintain a professional and polite tone at all times.
  • Response Time: Aim to respond to tenant emails promptly, ideally within 24-48 hours.
  • Attachments: If sending attachments, ensure they are in a common format that most tenants can open (e.g., PDF).

Text Messaging

Text messaging is increasingly popular for quick and informal communication. Key advantages include.

  • Speed. Text messages are usually read promptly, making them ideal for urgent messages or quick reminders. This immediacy ensures that important information reaches tenants swiftly, minimizing delays in communication.
  • Conciseness. Due to character limits, text messages encourage brevity and directness. This succinct format helps convey key points efficiently, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
  • Accessibility. Almost all tenants have mobile phones capable of receiving text messages. The widespread use of mobile devices ensures that text messaging is a reliable means of communication, accessible to tenants wherever they may be.

On the downside, text messages lack formality and may not be suitable for conveying complex information or official notices that require a formal record. Additionally, tenants may perceive frequent texts as intrusive of their quiet enjoyment if not used judiciously.

Text messages generally do not serve as formal documentation in legal contexts unless supported by other evidence.

A person texting on their smartphone

Recommended Practices When Texting Tenants

  • Permission: Obtain permission from tenants to communicate via text messages before sending any texts.
  • Business Hours: Respect business hours unless it's an emergency when sending texts.
  • Privacy: Avoid discussing sensitive or detailed matters through text due to potential privacy concerns.
  • Clarity: Use clear language and avoid abbreviations or jargon that might be misunderstood.

Phone Calls

Phone calls offer a personal touch and allow for immediate interaction. They are beneficial in the following ways.

  • Urgency. Phone calls are suitable for urgent matters that require immediate attention or detailed discussions. It's advisable to follow up important phone calls with an email summarizing the discussion to maintain a documented record. This dual approach ensures clarity and serves as a reference point for both parties in the future.
  • Clarity. Verbal communication can clarify nuances and reduce misunderstandings that may arise from written messages. The tone of voice and real-time interaction in phone calls allow landlords and tenants to address concerns comprehensively and swiftly.
  • Relationship Building. Regular phone calls can help build rapport and trust between landlords and tenants. By engaging in direct conversations, landlords can demonstrate their commitment to addressing tenant needs promptly and personally, fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship over time.

However, phone calls require both parties to be available at the same time, which may not always be convenient. They also lack a written record unless followed up with an email summarizing the discussion.

A person on a phone call.

Recommended Practices When Calling Tenants

  • Scheduled Calls: Whenever possible, schedule calls in advance to ensure both parties are available and prepared.
  • Professionalism: Maintain a polite and professional demeanor during calls.
  • Emergency Use: Reserve calls for urgent matters or complex discussions that cannot be effectively handled through email or text.
  • Document Details: After a call, summarize important points in an email to confirm understanding and agreement.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right communication method is essential for landlords aiming to maintain positive relationships with tenants and effectively manage their properties. Each method—email, text message, or phone call—offers distinct advantages depending on the specific circumstances.

Action Properties, Inc. is dedicated to assisting landlords in optimizing their communication practices through tailored solutions. Whether you require the documentation capabilities of email, the immediacy of text messaging for quick updates, or the clarity of phone calls for urgent matters, we provide the necessary tools and expertise to support your needs.

Contact us today to explore how we can enhance your communication efforts and elevate your property management experience.