Sharpen Your People Skills and Be Successful
People skills are important in every aspect of life, but certain professions demand more of you in this area than others. While a desk job – such as an accountant or software developer – might not require a whole lot on this front, landlords and property managers must exhibit proficiency.
Do you possess the right people skills? And are they sharp enough? Making improvements in this area will yield positive dividends over the long haul.
Relationships and Real Estate
Many areas of real estate are cut and dry. It’s often a numbers game, with simple mathematical equations and financing terms dictating how decisions are made. Rental property investing isn’t one of these niches.
As a landlord, relationships are at the heart of everything you do. You have to build trust with your tenants and engage them on a personal level if you expect them to pay on time, take care of your property, and speak positively of you to others in the industry.
But what if you aren’t necessarily a people person? Is it possible to improve your relationship-building skills and find success? Absolutely…but you’ll need to be diligent and purposeful in how you address this issue.
5 Ways to Sharpen Your People Skills
Think of your people skills as a knife. Everyone has a knife, but some knives are duller than others. If you have a particularly dull knife, it becomes a liability. The only way to make it effective is to sharpen it.
When it comes to property management and landlording, here are some specific ways you can sharpen your people skills and become better at building relationships with tenants, partners, and peers.
1. Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Shoes
One of the bigger challenges of being a landlord is walking the fine line between being compassionate and avoiding being taken advantage of. You hear a lot of sob stories from tenants, and you don’t always know when to feel for someone and when to be strict.
Developing the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes is an important people skill. If nothing else, it shows you something about people’s motives and gives you the opportunity to look at a problem or conflict with fresh eyes.
2. Call Instead of Text
With all of the technology you have at your disposal these days, it’s easy to take shortcuts with communication. Whether it’s text or email, there are quicker and less confrontational ways to interact with people if you want them.
And while there’s nothing wrong with using these modes of communication, doing it too frequently could stunt your ability to actually manage face-to-face conversations and interactions.
In order to keep your conversational skills sharp, make it a point to call instead of text. It might take longer, but it’ll keep you on your toes and prevent you from getting lazy in your interactions.
3. Pay Attention When Others Talk
“Attention is perhaps the most important quality of charm,” sales coach Brian Tracy says. “It is the most powerful behavior for building rapport and is the key to instant charm. When you pay close attention to other people, the more valuable and important they will feel they are.”
When someone is talking to you, listen and make eye contact. Stop thinking about what you’ll say next and focus on their words, inflection, and emotions. Not only does this make the other person feel valued, but it also helps you understand them on a deeper level.
4. Learn to Resolve Conflict
As a landlord, conflict resolution is supremely important. You’ll encounter many conflicts on a regular basis, both big and small. Having an approach that allows you to resolve conflict in a positive manner is a good skill to have.
The first thing to think about – especially when you’re in direct conflict with another person – is how you can respect the individual rather than control them. Successful conflict resolution isn’t so much about convincing the other person that you’re right and they’re wrong as it is about meeting in the middle and finding a satisfactory result that’s rooted in mutual respect.
It’s also critical that you focus on the present. If you have a past with a person, it’s easy to let previous grudges leach into your current conflict. By blocking your history out, you can focus on building a more promising future.
5. Practice Communicating with Clarity
It’s one thing to talk – it’s something else entirely to communicate. The latter requires confidence and clarity.
Communication breakdowns typically happen when you don’t know what you’ll say or why you’re saying something. According to management consultant Mark Babbitt, good communication with a colleague – or perhaps a tenant in your case – comes down to three points:
- State the challenge and provide the context.
- Provide actionable inspiration.
- Drive toward a specific solution.
“This … works exceptionally well, both verbally and in writing,” Babbitt says. “It also works well when injecting clarity into an ongoing conversation. Take this approach, and you’ll not only be seen as a great communicator, but [you’ll also be seen as] a great leader, even if that isn’t your current role.”
It all comes back to communication. The more proactive and transparent you are, the fewer conflicts you’ll have. They’ll still exist, but they won’t be nearly as difficult to overcome.
Partner with Green Residential
It’s important to build relationships with your tenants, other real estate investors, and various professionals in your community, but you don’t always have enough time in your schedule to devote to endless meetings and one-on-one conversations. That’s why you need a partner who understands the need for healthy relationships, works with you to develop new ones on your behalf, and builds rapport with the people you already know.
At Green Residential, it’s our mission to take the heavy lifting and time-consuming tasks out of property management so that you can focus on the issues that truly matter to your business. For additional information on how we can help, give us a call!