Communication – the secret sauce to elevate your tenant experience

December 14, 2023

In a world full of services, customer service and customer experience are key differentiators from competitors. Tenants are your customers – and you probably know this, but customers want to be heard. They want to be heard, and feel seen. They want someone to receive their message, hear their worries, and promise to take action. Nothing is more frustrating than messages that are not going through, and issues and questions that nobody answers. 

This is where we get to the tenant communication. Proactive communication is a huge element in creating a satisfying customer experience.

Proactive communication = good customer service

For most of us, the logic of the headline is clear. Yet too many residential real estate companies are still seeing communication mainly as a one-way road, as a task that is being done mainly when there is a maintenance message to be delivered to the residents. That is a very narrow view, often with no space for the communication coming from the tenants to the property management.

If that one-way road is widened to a two-way street, it opens a world of positive effects. Effective and proactive communication with your tenants will take the customer experience to the next level and give you a clear differentiator from your competitors. 

We will dive into the dimensions of communication vs customer satisfaction with a few interesting studies, and challenge you to reflect on these dimensions from the point of view of your properties.

Your properties' tenant-centricity under the magnifying glass

The findings of Microsoft’s Global State of Customer Service 2015–2022 report illustrate well the importance of customer service. After each of the findings we present, we will also ask you to reflect, how is the case in your properties.

Is your customer service a source of tenant loyalty?

An overwhelming 90% of respondents in Microsoft’s study cite customer service as important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand. 

Question for you: What is the state of customer service in your properties? Would you say that it is a reason for your tenants to choose your property over another one, and become loyal customers? 

Is your tenant communication engaging and proactive?

According to the study, more than two-thirds of customers want an organization to reach out and engage with proactive customer notifications.
Question for you: Is this reality in your properties? Are you engaging your customers with proactive notifications, not leaving the communication only to the bare minimum?

Are you aware of your tenants’ expectations and reasons for frustration?

The expectations are based on previous experiences, which the business needs to meet or exceed. If these expectations are not met, 58% of customers would not hesitate to switch to another service, Microsoft’s study reveals.

Question for you: Do you know what are your tenants’ expectations and are you meeting, or exceeding them? Are you aware of the reasons behind the current tenant churn, and if it could be avoided somehow?

Are you asking for tenant feedback – and reacting based on it?

According to the study, nearly all customers (89%) would like organisations to give them an opportunity to provide feedback, but at the same time, only 7% of companies request feedback from customers regularly. What’s more, only a bit less than half of the respondents believe that most brands take action on feedback provided by customers.

Question for you: Are you regularly asking for feedback from your tenants? And if yes, would you say that your tenants are trusting that their feedback is being considered and acted upon?

Tenants’ communication preferences have changed over the years – have you adapted to them?

In our fast-digitalising lives, good customer service undoubtedly also means modern channels to communicate with the service provider. We can forget phone calls, letters, and bulletin boards as an effective and desired way of communication. Today’s busy and digitalised consumers want to search, find and digest the information where and when it suits them. And this applies to all customer relationships, also tenancies.

SatisFacts Biennial Online Renter Study from February 2022 describes well the tenants changing preferences:

  • Tenants’ preference for using a property portal in communication with property management has increased by 191% between 2011 and 2021 – more than any other communication means. 
  • The next most growth has seen “text messages” with a growth percentage of 125%.
  • When asked, for what reasons would/do you use an apartment community’s resident portal or mobile app, has “to communicate with the management team” grown 59% in two years. 
  • While email is still the most preferred tool, there are clear signals that tenants are expecting modern communication tools from their property management.

Now it is time for another reflection exercise: 

  • What kind of communication tools are you using with your tenants? 
  • Are they digital and synchronized? 
  • Can tenants find the information they need or reach you easily whenever, and wherever they are? 
  • Can all the property management staff find all the tenant information AND interactions with tenants in one, centralised place?

Revolutionise your tenant communication and tenant experience with one single digital tool

If you did all the reflection exercises and found areas where your rental property could improve, you may now also be thinking about how to address these challenges – and where to start. There is no point in trying to find several different tools to solve these issues, it easily obscures the big picture and ultimately serves no one. One digital tool can solve all your needs at once. 

Hococo's Tenant Experience and Operations Platform includes comprehensive communication tools that serve the needs of both property management and tenants. 

  • Provide the tenants with the level of communication they expect – digitally, directly in their pockets.
  • Communicate with tenants with one-to-one messages, broadcasts and push notifications – depending on the issue.
  • Bring all communications with tenants in one place: no matter which staff member is handling the communication, they all find 360° information about the tenant and their previous issues and interactions.
  • Engage your tenants by creating common events with the event feature of the platform.
  • Show that you want to hear their opinion and actively develop the property according to the needs of the tenants: ask for feedback easily through the app.
  • Increase tenant satisfaction and thus tenant retention through improved & modern communication and value-adding events.
  • Gain full visibility of communication between operator and tenants to better understand property best practices and challenges.

Communication tools are just one life-improving tool in our platform. If you want to know, what you get with Hococo’s Tenant Experience and Operations platform, take a look at all the different features here on our site under Product on the navigation – or get in touch and book a free product demo!


Microsoft Global State of Customer Service: The Transformation of Customer Service from 2015 to Present Day.

Satisfacts – Biennial Online Renter Study 2022

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