Everyone is born with different strengths and weaknesses. In some areas of our lives, these variances have trivial effects. However, there are other areas in which these personality types mean the difference between success and failure. This is especially true when it comes to professional pursuits.
While most people would classify themselves somewhere in the middle, there are substantial segments of the population that identify either as extremely passive or very confrontational. As a landlord, both of these personality types can be dangerous.
In this article we’ll take a look at the dangers of having a passive personality and a few ways in which you can overcome and become a more assertive landlord.
Signs and Symptoms of Passivity
Passive behavior is what causes you to sacrifice your own needs and preferences in an effort to help others meet their needs and preferences. While this may simply be characterized as selflessness in many situations, it becomes an issue when it’s a chronic aspect of your life. Just as there are times when it’s totally healthy to be passive, there are other moments when you need to pursue your own best interests.
As a landlord, there’s no room for passivity. Not only does passive behavior make you look weak in the eyes of your tenants, but it can also directly hurt your bottom line. Not quite sure if your passivity is damaging your business? Here are a few signs and symptoms:
- Hesitant speech. When you call to ask a tenant about late rent, do you begin with statements like: “Would you mind if…” “I’m sorry to bother you, but…” or “I’m not angry…”? These hesitant phrases show weakness.
- Self-deprecating. When something goes wrong, is your first instinct to blame yourself? This reveals a lack of confidence in yourself and a desire to avoid blaming others at all costs (even when they’re in the wrong).
- Avoidance of confrontation. Do you avoid confrontation at all costs – even when it means losing money? Passive people will do anything possible to avoid disagreements, regardless of what’s on the line.
If one or more of these symptoms sound familiar, then it means you’re a passive person. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s important that you recognize who you are and seek to overcome some of the unhealthy byproducts of being passive.
5 Tips for Becoming More Assertive
While you don’t want to become this overly confrontational landlord figure that’s seen as a bully, you can’t afford to be walked all over. Here are some healthy tips for becoming more assertive:
- It’s Okay to be Selfish
When it comes to passivity as a landlord, you have to constantly remind yourself that it’s okay to be selfish. In the business world, you have to take a “you or me” mentality. Either you’ll be profitable, or someone else will be. In order to put food on the table and cash flow on your properties, you must seek out your own needs.
This doesn’t mean you have to cheat or belittle your tenants. It is, in fact, possible to be selfish without mistreating someone. In the context of this article, being selfish simply means expecting rent on time or not giving back security deposit money when certain terms of the lease agreement were clearly broken.
- Make Clear Requests
Your natural inclination is to ask questions in a passive aggressive way. For example, if you’re trying to collect a delinquent rent payment from a tenant, the passive aggressive way of making the request would look something like: “If you have a few minutes after work, would you mind dropping the rent check off in my mailbox? If you can’t today, then tomorrow is fine.” Notice all of the passive elements in this request, as well as the weakness implied.
A clear, assertive request might look like: “Please drop your rent check off in my mailbox by 6pm this evening.” It’s a simple statement that gives you the upper hand and leaves no wiggle room.
- Express Your Needs and Expectations
As a passive individual, you may operate under the assumption that others should recognize your feelings and know when you need or want something. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work this way. If you expect a tenant or business partner to do something, then you must verbally express your needs and expectations.
- Don’t Forgo the Art of Listening
As a passive person, one of your greatest strengths is your ability to listen. You’re most likely skilled at listening to others and understanding what they want. In your pursuit of becoming more assertive, don’t bury this skill. Being a good listener and an assertive speaker is a valuable combination. It allows you to explain yourself without appearing domineering or overly selfish.
- Believe in Yourself
During your childhood, you probably heard the phrase “believe in yourself” a number of times. While it’s a cheesy piece of encouragement, it’s actually valid advice when it comes to overcoming passivity. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, self-deprecation is a leading factor in being passive. Thus, believing in yourself is a quick way to overcome these tendencies.
“If we believe in ourselves and what we have to say and respect ourselves enough to show how we feel, then it is easier for us to become more assertive in how we respond to others,” says Cynthia Kane of Bustle.com. Always remember that your opinions and viewpoints matter just as much as the next person’s.
Contact Green Residential
Sometimes it’s impossible to overcome your personality traits. We’re all made differently and there’s nothing wrong with pointing out our shortcomings. However, just because you’re passive doesn’t mean you can’t be a landlord. You simply need to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and arm yourself with the right tools.
One such tool you may find useful is a property management partner that can handle all of the major responsibilities like tenant screening, rent collection, repair scheduling, and evictions.
If you’re interested in learning more about professional property management and the many benefits it can provide you, then please don’t hesitate to contact Green Residential today!