This is a great question, recently posed by a client. The answer really is both, in the sense that Tenants should always be treated personally as a customer and practically as a business partner.
Any competent Letting Agent and Property Manager will have worked out that you need to establish and maintain a good relationship with Tenants to ensure healthy retention rates. We know that careful vetting is crucial to minimising risk and it is true that Tenants are often seen as a problem rather than an opportunity.
Personally, we never hold an “open house” – our viewings are always by appointment, this way we spend time with people, asking open questions and gathering an understanding about them, their personality and their plans for the future.
We try to future-proof our business by constantly building relationships through trust and performance, whether or not they become a client or tenant at this time is irrelevant in some ways. It all goes towards improving our skillsets and increasing our brand awareness as a business everyone can trust.