Communicating with Tenants: Should You Call, Text, or Email?

When you self-manage your rental property, you should be good at interacting with others. Today, landlords can text, email, and call tenants, relaying information instantaneously from where they are. While you might have personal preferences for certain methods of communication, there are financial and legal factors that make some more suitable than others. Here are things to consider about text messaging, calling, and emailing your tenants.

Texting Tenants

Text messaging is easy and convenient, making it a preferred method of communication among many property owners and tenants. It is easy to keep communication lines open through simple greetings through text. You could even use messaging platforms to send and receive photos of the property, surrounding areas, or other matters of concern.

One downside of texting is that it is difficult to archive. Tracking and saving your conversations can be challenging if you communicate solely through text. If you’re a property owner, you need to keep records of conversations with tenants—these can be valuable in the event of legal issues or disagreements. Another disadvantage of texting is that some tenants get too familiar and text their landlords at all hours of the day, expecting immediate replies even to texts sent beyond office hours.

Calling Tenants

A phone call is pleasant, straightforward, and personal. Hearing someone’s voice and speaking with them in real-time helps you communicate your concerns more clearly. When you speak with someone through a phone or video call, you can see and hear more information than if you just read their text message. It’s easier to detect someone’s emotions through a call. For example, if your tenant seems upset about something, you’ll naturally try to appease him or her. It also means being careful to broach certain topics, which you might not know to do if you’re communicating through text.

However, like texting, it is challenging to document phone and video calls. Whether you self-manage rental property or hire a property management company, documentation is vital. You must have documentation for when you must settle disputes or discuss liability issues. Tenants might also expect you to answer at all hours, and if you keep sending their calls to your voicemail, they might not want to contact you anymore.

Emailing Tenants

Email is convenient and accessible—most people use email and are comfortable doing so. It also makes documentation easy. All conversations with tenants are date- and time-stamped in email, and you can send documents and attachments through these messages. When you email, you can also think through your responses—you don’t have to respond right away. 

A disadvantage of email, though, is it is not as fast or convenient as calling and texting. Some tenants prefer not to write all their concerns through email. The message you send might get dumped in your tenant’s inbox—if you are waiting for a response, you don’t know how long it will take for you to get one. Finally, it is harder to be warm and friendly through email, especially if you aren’t the type of person who uses emojis.


Before your tenant signs with you, talk to them and agree on a primary channel for concerns and updates. Whatever mode you choose, remember to keep it friendly, frequent, and secure. Also, ensure that you can document your conversations to protect both you and your tenant. When you do this, you’ll ensure many months (or even years) of smooth coordination.

Quest Real Estate helps make property management simple for you. We are the best property management company in Jacksonville, FL, and we provide personalized services that include advertising and showings, application processing, preparing leases, and much more. Call us today for more information!