Naturally, most of us are Yes People. Saying yes is easy, comfortable, and non-combative. When it comes to new opportunities, saying yes is easier than the alternative, which could lead to regret. Unfortunately, the more successful we get, the more opportunities, choices, and requests we’re going to encounter. Continuing to be a Yes Person eventually becomes crippling.
As a landlord, you have to learn how to say no. You don’t necessary want to become a No Person, but you should stop looking at the word in a negative light. Saying no can be challenging, but it’s often the best thing you can do for your career and sanity.
Successful People Know How to Say No
“We have an instinctive need for connection to other people—it’s essential to our survival. We worry that saying no will break these bonds,” says Vanessa Bohns. “Saying no stirs up intensely negative emotions—embarrassment and guilt.”
But do you want to know the truth? The most successful people in the world – including landlords and real estate investors – are good at saying no. This doesn’t mean they’re jerks. It just means they understand how to process choices and have learned how to provide honest answers, even when it’s more comfortable to respond in the affirmative.
7 Tips for Saying No as a Landlord
As a landlord, you encounter dozens of choices, decisions, options, and requests each and every day. From tenants and business partners to family and friends, you can’t go very long without having to make some decision. Learning how to say no more often will help you become more successful.
Here are some tips to help you get past this fear and enjoy the freedom of truly speaking your mind:
- Set Boundaries Ahead of Time
You have to know exactly what you’re going to do in a situation before the situation ever occurs. If you’re making key decisions in the moment, your answer will be heavily influenced by situational factors and emotions.
As a landlord, you’ll be a lot more successful if you set boundaries ahead of time. You need to know exactly what your response will be when a tenant asks if it’s okay to pay rent a week late, or someone breaks a clause in the lease agreement. Once you set these boundaries, all you have to do is stick to them.
- Remember It’s Business
It’s easy to let personal issues leach into business. But the moment you start making your landlord-tenant relationship personal is the moment that you lose all leverage and your ability to say no.
It’s really important to remember that you’re running a business. When you tell someone no for business reasons, it’s a lot easier and less emotional.
- Slow Down
One of the biggest reasons people say yes is that they don’t take the time to actually think an issue over and come to a conclusion. As a result, they force themselves into saying yes as a way of eliminating discomfort.
“Feelings of anxiety generated by the possibility of saying ‘no’ can escalate into a full-blown threat response, an emotional state in which we have diminished capacity to process information and consider options,” Ed Batista writes for Harvard Business Review. “Slowing down the pace of an interaction or a decision-making process can allow us to catch up and make the choice that’s right for us, not merely the choice that alleviates our anxiety in the moment.”
- Be Cognizant of Delivery
Not every no is created equal. You can give the same no to two different people and the way it’s received will be entirely unique in both situations. Some of this is on the person receiving the no, but a lot of it depends on how you deliver the message.
Your body language and tone of voice can do a lot to soften the negativity of a no. While a cold, hard delivery is sometimes necessary, there’s definitely a time and place for a warm, soft letdown. Being able to consistently differentiate between these situations will help you tremendously.
- Explain Without Apologizing (Too Much)
“Offer an explanation as part of the message,” landlord Jennifer Maughan advises. “When you can present your reasons clearly, the other person is more likely to accept your answer as final. They may not like it, but at least they will see your reasoning.”
The key when explaining yourself is to avoid excessively apologizing. You don’t want to be the sort of person who says no and then spends five minutes expressing your guilt. This makes you look weak and wishy-washy.
- Be Firm With Your No
Let your yes be yes and your no be no. That’s one of the simplest, yet most important pieces of advice you’ll ever hear in your life. When you say no, stick to your guns and maintain your no. As soon as you let a tenant or business partner change your no, you lose all leverage and credibility.
- Practice Makes Perfect
Like anything else, you’ll get better with saying no over time. The more you say no, the more natural it’ll feel. The first few times might be excruciatingly painful for you. You’ll replay every little word and reaction over and over again in your mind. However, you’ll eventually get to a point where you can rest easy knowing you were honest. Practice makes perfect.
Green Residential: Houston-Based Property Management
As a landlord, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the decisions you have to make. While any one choice might not be such a big deal, they tend to add up over time and breed a feeling of inadequacy. Saying yes to everything becomes reflexive, though it’s rarely healthy.
At Green Residential, we offer reliable and cost-effective property management services to Houston-area landlords. That way, they can spend less time dealing with day-to-day tasks and more time focusing on the big picture: turning a profit. If you’re interested in getting your free Houston property management analysis, please contact us today!