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Relationships matter.

That’s the mantra of successful property managers who have learned that, rather than being static, leasing properties is an ongoing process.

That process relies on building relationships with everyone who can affect the profitability of your business. Here’s how to follow their lead:

Don’t Ignore Tenants: Going weeks without communicating with your tenant is like not showing up for work. Your silence speaks volumes. Confused tenants may assume you don’t care, leading to all sorts of problems, such as not reporting repairs, paying rent late or skipping out.

Make Nice with Contractors: Successful property managers don’t pay top dollar for repairs — but you will if you don’t nurture relationships with contractors,  including those that you might need on a regular basis and in emergencies.  Treat contractors well and they’ll be more  likely to respond quickly when you need them most, and will treat you fairly when it comes time for the invoice.

Know the Neighbors: Having a relationship with neighboring property owners is like having eyes in the back of your head. If they know you and have your phone number, you’re much more likely to find out when your tenants are acting badly — possibly even in real time so you can catch them in the act when they’re doing something that would upset you. Neighbors who know you are far more likely to call you before they call the police or other agencies to resolve potential problems.

Build Community. Show you have some skin in the game by developing relationships within the community. Showing you care about the neighborhood can be as simple as keeping the property well-maintained. Develop credibility with other landlords, neighboring property owners and the police by participating in neighborhood meetings or a local crime-free program. Take up a cause like helping the local animal shelter or a youth sports team. Pull tenants in so they feel a part of the neighborhood. This not only increases tenant retention but can lead to more tenant referrals, thus reducing your tenant acquisition cost as an extra bonus.

With AAOA, landlords have resources at their fingertips. Check out our new Landlord Forms Page.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at

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