4 ways to communicate effectively as a property manager
On any given day, a property manager needs to communicate effectively with a wide variety of people. This includes tenants, landlords, colleagues, tradespeople or references.
It's important to be confident and assertive in your delivery. But, you also need to know how to listen, provide solutions and, if necessary, defuse a situation. A property manager who uses these skills correctly is more likely to achieve better results.
Here are four ways property managers can communicate effectively.
1. Be a good listenerWhen you're speaking to your tenants or clients, are you actually listening? Or are you simply waiting until it's your turn to speak?
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 a good way to show your listening skills. It will also clarify that you're interpreting what they're saying 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 set you apart from your competitors.
2. Reply PromptlyReplying to a query from a tenant, landlord or colleague in a timely fashion is the right thing to do. Besides being polite, it allows you to get on top of situations before they escalate.
This doesn't mean that you need to answer every email or phone call straight away. Instead, it means you should be able 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 state how urgent their query is, so you can prioritise your replies accordingly.
3. Adjust your communication style to suit the audience and scenarioConsidering 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's not going to understand you. 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 will help you get your message across. It will also make them feel comfortable, valued and understood by you.
4. Know how to defuse a confrontational situationIt's not unusual for property managers to deal with a confrontational situation. For that reason, it's crucial to have 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 hear their point of view. Often, all an angry or upset person wants is for you to listen.
c. Work on a solution - what can you do to resolve the issue? Hint: this does not always mean giving the person what they want. Finding a resolution that benefits all parties is sometimes the most ideal situation.
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