Property Managers are constantly assailed by the demands of others, all of whom want their issues addressed. Immediately.
How would you rate yourself as a communicator in such a challenging environment? We’ve put together six tips that could help improve the quality of your interactions so your day is that little bit easier:
Know your audience.
Property Managers have a lot of stakeholders, including landlords, tenants, contractors, owners and even your colleagues. You have a unique and often very detailed view of things that may not necessarily be shared by everyone else. While you’ll never know all the details of someone else’s situation, the quality of your communication is much better when you have some idea of what they need and how they feel.
So, how do you know your audience? Ask questions! It you have a tenant in rent arrears, instead of nagging them to pay it, try asking them what the circumstance is that is causing them the delay, this helps personalise your interactions and lets them know you’re listening to them and their problems- and you can take this insight into consideration the next time. Insight is an imperative for quality communication.
Know your purpose, topic, or issue for discussion.
Often the best solutions come about once you ask the right questions. Discover what the central issue is that needs to be resolved. That doesn’t mean you have to launch straight into problem-solving mode at the beginning of your communication, but knowing what the required outcomes are will help you get to the solution faster. Use thoughtful, open ended questions to lead the conversations and make sure you listen to the answer. The conversation needs a direction, and you are there to be the guide.
Anticipate objections by the other party.
You are in the service business, which means you often have to deal with emotional people. Keep in mind that you won’t always have all the information that’s causing, or is relevant to an issue at hand. An objection by a landlord or tenant doesn’t always have to be the beginning of a conflict – even though it feels like that sometimes. Instead, see it as part of a process, and an opportunity to make your service even better. Take a breath and keep calm in your approach and you’ll find those around you will react the same.
Communicate bit by bit.
Business communication is different to the way you communication with friends and family. Keep in mind that the recipient of your message is reading or listening to your communication for a particular reason, and they’re probably seeking the problem or issue from the outset. Keep communications confident, brief and clear. Staying in regular contact with your more difficult stakeholders will make sure that they don’t ever feel ‘out of the loop’ and you can tackle any small issues at the time, before they have time to snowball!
Present information differently.
How you communicate information can make all the difference. An upset or angry landlord probably doesn’t want to receive an email from you in response to their problem or issue. Instead, give them a call or suggest they come in and see you in person – this can often reduce tension and help you come to a resolution faster. Similarly, keep in mind keep in mind people’s circumstances before attempting communication – a text during work hours might be more appropriate than a phone call, which could be inconvenient for some occupations.
Seek feedback along the way.
Just because someone is silent on an issue, does not mean they agree with you. Communication is two-way, and people want to feel they are being listened to, and that you appreciate their perspective. Be present and engaged in the conversation, listen and provide constructive feedback or suggestions. If it get’s heated, take a breath and try to consider their point of view before becoming defensive.
Property Managers invest a lot of time and effort in satisfying the needs of others, so it’s important to understand issues and opinions before searching for solutions to those problems. If you find yourself caught up in an issue that’s bigger than it needs to be, chances are the person on the other end feels the same. Communication is key and can often be the start of every problem that needs solving – so start with good communication and you might find yourself with less problems to solve at the end of the day!
Would you like to know more about Console Group and how we help Property Managers and Principals in their daily tasks? Contact us now.