When issues and events become “newsworthy” they are often presented in a context of the “3-C’s”: Crisis, Conflict and Controversy.
For example, during the hot summer months of August, the media focuses on stories of how extreme heat results in many people living at higher risk, and how the heightened dangers of wildfires reveal further evidence of climate change.
Obviously, there is great value in knowing about important and serious issues. Individually and socially, we carry a responsibility to cope with and manage daily realities and participate in efforts to address them, as we may each be so called to do in our daily lives.
Yet, there is always more to the story. August is a month of summer recreation; county fairs and family vacations, along with annual pilgrimages to the “great outdoors” (whether golfing, hiking and camping, or attending farmers’ markets, having picnics, or just enjoying porch or patio dining). Our social responsibilities are equally dependent on the relationships that we foster together. We should not overlook that important “4th C” to a story that ought to be presented in the news: Community.
As Rental Housing Providers, we most commonly find ourselves in front of the media when we are called out to answer questions that are framed as conflicts between tenants and property owners: Will the landlord allow tenants to install air conditioning? Are rents being raised too high? Are we witnessing more evictions? Are landlords responsible for the rise in homelessness?
Unfortunately, many times when the media calls looking for a “local landlord response”, we are unwittingly being pitted against our own tenants, and then we end up on the defensive to share “our side of the story”.
But there is so much more to the story!
Most Rental Home Providers have great respect for their relationships with their tenants. After all, there is no such thing as a rental market without rental units occupied by renters! Owners of single-family rental homes, or small plexes work hard to keep-up their properties. They know the names of their tenants and are often the first responders in times of trouble or crises – and will try to give the chance to “work things out” during periods of hardships.
Community is what the rental housing industry is built on, literally. When the opportunity arises to share what’s good in a story, we would all be better served to make sure it’s told.
Happy summer. Stay cool and have fun