There is a harsh reality of managing properties nowadays. Whether you have one small stand-alone dwelling or a portfolio of multiple properties, there is no doubt that over time you will encounter a vast range of different personalities and characters that respond differently to how you manage your properties.
It’s more crucial than ever for property managers to be at the top of their game to build and grow their business and personal brand. This means being able to empathize and relate to their tenants to create a peaceful, easy-going relationship that both parties benefit from. Here are three useful tips to help you become a better property manager today.
1. Roll with the punches
Some tenants can be very passionate. They often can prioritize their feelings and emotions over facts, act on impulse and can continue an argument purely in spite. You are far better equipped to deal with this type of tenant when you understand their dominant, hostile communication style rather than fighting against it.
A lot of the time these tenants are most commonly found in residential properties and are no stranger to the renting market. You can make small adjustments to your negotiating style to compliment theirs. During the negotiation, it is human nature to return fire with fire. When someone makes unreasonable demands, ignores the facts and seem uninterested in our interests, we become offended and annoyed and tend to mirror them retaliating in their style. As a result, this cripples relationships, tensions rise, and progress goes backward.
Remember to put yourself in their shoes- it’s crucial to understand both sides of the argument to gain a better understanding of the issue at hand, and how it is best solved. This style of negotiation labeled by Harvard law school in a recent study as the “Complementary Approach” has been found to work best when dealing with a confrontational tenant.
“You jump off a cliff, and you assemble an airplane on the way down.” —Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
2. Do not fear Millennials, Adapt to them.
Millennials are always rocking the boat and challenging traditions. This is not a bad thing, and can often result in positive change. Millennials are most commonly found renting student housing. In prominently student cities, Property managers are making lucrative amounts of money renting property to students. Naturally, this comes with a lot of risks and ongoing stress. Most students attend university for one reason, and it sure as hell isn’t to learn. The chances of finding respectful students that will maintain the property to a clean standard and pay rent on time consistently are about as low as a finding a decently priced coffee these days.
However, if dealt with correctly, millennials in student housing can become a great asset in your portfolio. Coping with change in a graceful manner is a sure way to create a mutual respect between the tenant and property manager. Change is inevitable; the way business was conducted throughout the property industry has drastically changed in the last five years. This is due to the rapid increase and advancement of digital products available to the property industry. A recent report by Goldman Sachs shows that close to 80 Million Generation Y renters will enter the market shortly, which is a whopping 25% of the population. Millennials are looking for technologically savvy services to fit with their lifestyle- which is mostly already configured around technology. Don’t get left behind.
Try new apps, experiment with inspection software, advertise on Facebook, update your social media, reply to the marketing email from that SEO expert promising increased website traffic, try it all! Find what works best for you and your working style. Once you find something that works in harmony with you, your tenants and company you will reap the rewards of using digital products to their full advantage, and you will wonder how you stayed afloat without them. Flow with the current not against it, and you will become more relatable, relevant and respectable in the eyes of your millennial renters.
“Business change is never popular and a messy affair, but survival depends upon it.” – Kevin Chou, CEO, and co-founder at Kabam
3. Nobody likes a brick wall
As indicated by Forbes, business is all about interacting with humans and building relationships. Many argue the dated point that emotions have no place in the business world. Humans prefer to buy from humans and acting like a mindless robot will only hold you back in a world that is more personal than ever before. Successful property managers strive to have a high emotional intelligence and display a robust set of controlled emotions as they know these directly affect the length of stay tenants have.
These industry leaders learn the importance of recognizing diverse opinions and consider all information and factors to help better understand their tenants. Emotional Intelligence is a great skill to have especially when leasing a commercial property. Unlike residential properties finding new tenants for an industrial site can end up becoming a costly and time-consuming task. It can take months on end to find new tenants, often resulting in a lot of time and money spent just to make the property attractive and leasable. Therefore, the best way to uphold your income is to keep existing tenants from leaving by maintaining a relationship that both parties are happy with. This is often easier said than done as all business relationships are unique and need to be nurtured carefully to grow strong.
Take it one step at a time, be humble, be present and most importantly be a human. Humans make mistakes all the time, they reason, they adapt, and they are forgiving. Displaying qualities as such will reflect profoundly on your brand and how your tenants view you. It also means that ultimately, they will be more inclined to stay if you are maintaining an on-going healthy relationship, which will save you time money and energy, all of which you can spend on doing things you love instead.
“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions.” -John Hancock Founder of Hancock Financial Services