As a property manager, you interact with a lot of people; people who heavily influence (if not dictate), the success of your business.
Whether it’s dealing with a possible tenant, a property owner, or a trade supplier, you need to learn how to be persuasive without coming across bossy, or getting them offside.
But just like property management, mastering the art of successful persuasion is not a simple task.
We’ve put together a few tips – after attending RED’s Property Management Bootcamp – that we think can help you become more influential, and reduce the tension in your daily tasks.
1. Keep your promises
In this business, keeping your word is critical because you want to build trust. Don’t be tempted into overpromising – be realistic on what you can do by when, and then stick to that plan. Make sure you keep your contacts up to date with your progress if you see a deadline slipping, so their expectations of you and your workload are accurate.
2. Be reliable and take responsibility.
Being a rockstar property manager means that you are responsible for the property – and the people connected to it. Always being available to hear concerns and take proper action when there’s an issue is key. That’s not an easy feat, given your already large workload, so remember that being reliable can come with boundaries too. Make sure your owners and tenants know that you’re not available literally 24/7 (you have a life too!).
3. Always be honest and sincere.
Honesty and sincerity also build trust. Telling a white lie here and there or being being flippant with the truth can often disappoint the people around you, and we need them to be on your side. Trust is easily broken and incredibly difficult to repair after a letdown.
4. Be an expert on the subject before broaching the topic.
You should make an effort to know and understand everything you need to, before making that phone call. Never assume or presume anything; if it eventually turns out you were mistaken, your relationship with owners and tenants will take a significant hit. Take some notes about the topic you need to discuss so you don’t lose your train of thought, or forget the purpose of the call. Most importantly, do your research, and be prepared to answer any questions with confidence.
5. Build rapport.
Building rapport is about establishing a healthy and harmonious relationship with everyone you’re in contact with. You probably already have great rapport with a lot of your tenants and owners, and perhaps a not-so-great rapport with others. When you’re building your properties under management and seeking new landlords, make sure you start building rapport from the get-go, this can make a big difference to the way they communicate with you in the future. Communicate well and be consistent.
6. Don’t argue.
Arguing creates friction, and friction will always negatively impact the outcome you are hoping for. Even if you disagree, still make sure the other person feels heard and understood – they will never compromise happily if they feel you don’t understand their perspective. Re-stating their viewpoint can often help with this. If all else fails, agree to disagree, and end the argument in a professional manner rather than an angry or emotional one.
7. Ensure the solutions you propose will work.
When there’s a problem and you suggest a solution, it almost follows by implication that it had better work, right? If it doesn’t, your tenants or owners will feel let down, and that is never a good thing. If this happens, being persuasive in the future with the people around you will become much more challenging, if not impossible. Like ‘knowing your topic’ above, make sure you do your research and think about your solutions thoroughly before offering them as suggestions, this will increase your credibility and show your customers that you care.
Lastly, let’s talk about what not to do:
Don’t be a nag: While persistence is an important element of persuasion, there’s a fine line between persistence and nagging. You should be available to your owners and tenants, and while you might need to be in regular contact with them, make sure you’re following up with them without crossing the ‘nagging’ line.
Don’t force people into decisions: Coercion is forcing or pressuring someone to make a decision, and is a form of manipulation. However, our tenants and owners can sometimes be much smarter than you think, and they’ll quickly recognise your tactics. No one enjoys the feeling of being pushed around, so think about how they might feel if this is your tactic. Coercion can often lead to resentment, and we want our tenants and owners to like us, not resent us!
As a Property Manager, your opportunity is to turn persuasion into an art form. It will help you become an influential and successful communicator, saving you a lot of time and hassles dealing with the people around you, every day.