4 Ways to Communicate Effectively as a Property Manager
On any given day, a property manager is expected to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people, whether it be tenants, landlords, colleagues, tradespeople or references. While it’s important to be confident and assertive in your delivery, you also need to know how to listen, provide solutions to problems and, if necessary, defuse potentially confrontational situations. A property manager with these communication skills is more likely to achieve better results for all parties involved.
Here’s four ways property managers can communicate effectively.
1. Be a good listener
When you’re speaking to your tenants or clients, are you actually listening? Or are you simply waiting until it’s your turn to speak? In order to communicate effectively, you need to listen to and engage with what the other person is saying. Repeating what they’re saying back to you is not only a good way to demonstrate your listening skills, but to clarify that you’re interpreting what they’re saying correctly should you need to make a note of it later on.
As any property manager knows, your clients or tenants sometimes need a friendly ear to talk to. While at times this can feel exhausting, it’s important to remember that you’re either managing the place they call home, or taking care of one of their most valuable assets. Offering a friendly ear from time to time is a small gesture that can really set yourself apart from your competitors.
2. Reply Promptly
Replying to a query from a tenant, landlord or colleague in a timely fashion is not only polite, but allows you to get on top of situations before they escalate. This doesn’t mean that you need to be glued to your phone or emails around the clock – simply, it means you have protocols in place to respond to urgent requests on time, while also having a system for lower priority communications. An easy way to do this is to have an auto-reply on your emails which asks people to indicate how urgent their query is, so you can prioritise your replies accordingly.
3. Adjust your communication style to suit the audience and scenario
Considering who your audience is an integral part of communicating effectively. For example, there’s no use in rattling off industry-specific jargon to a tenant who is going to be left confused once you hang up the phone. Similarly, a landlord may feel less respected if you don’t address their concern about rental prices in their area with informative research and statistics. Adapting your communication style to suit the person you’re speaking to not only helps you get your message across, but makes them feel comfortable, valued and understood by you.
4. Know how to defuse a confrontational situation
Whether it’s an angry tenant, frustrated landlord or stressed-out colleague, it’s not unusual for property managers to stumble upon confrontation. For that reason, it’s crucial to be equipped with the communication skills to defuse tensions before they escalate. An easy three-step formula to defuse confrontation is:
a. Stay calm – do not try and match their level of anger, as it will only make things more heated.
b. Empathise with the person, and make their point of view be heard. Often, all an angry or upset person wants is to be heard.
c. Work on a solution – what can you do to resolve the issue? Hint: this does not always mean giving in to what the person wants, but rather coming up with a resolution that benefits all parties.