First, it’s important during these times of COVID-19 and economic instability, that as a property manager you keep yourself from distractions such as the media, specifically TV. A Simplicity Mindset is key here because being informed is important, but succumbing to fear-based decisions based on television reports is detrimental to long-term growth and sustainability.
Secondly, we as property managers are managing the assets for real estate owners, some of whom are relying on this income and monthly cash flow for retirement and other investments. The real estate owners have a right to know beforehand if potential issues are arising, not on the day of, but instead with as much notice as possible. This is truly an opportunity to lead with a servant’s heart.
How can you, as a property manager, manage their expectations and the flow of information?
The key is communication and the deepening of relationships.
This is a chance to truly be there for the real estate owners
Sometimes as property managers we don’t have the time to send emails or have individual discussions with owners, especially when there are 150 to 200 owners to take care of. However, if you’re looking to step it up, now is the time to make that time.
Do whatever it takes to be in front of, and stay in front of, your property owners. Keep them up to date with what’s going on with their properties, and informed of any potential issues. Whether by phone, email or a zoom webinar such as my company hosted the other evening, get creative, but be a consistent communicator.
This is a chance to go deep and get to know your tenants
Now is the time to get to know your tenants, as well. This is especially important. Spend time knocking on doors (when the COVID restrictrions are removed), sending emails, or making phone calls. Let the tenants know that you’re available to them and that you are willing to lend an ear.
The last thing you want are tenants hiding from you, so be friendly and available. Provide them clear expectations, but be willing to be flexible in how they meet those expectations. And, be willing to help them problem-solve. Go deep, and get to know their struggles and successes.
Get it done leadership requires both being there for the real estate owners and going deep in getting to know the tenants, which will require key communication tools, including active listening skills.
What does active listening look like? According in part to Mindtools, it incorporates pieces of the following:
- Pay Attention – Look at the speaker, push out distracting thoughts, put the phone away and be present
- Show that You’re Listening – Nod, Smile, and ensure that you have open and friendly posture
- Provide Feedback – Paraphrase what you’ve heard from the person speaking, and summarize their feedback from time to time during the conversation.
- Defer Judgement – Let the speaker finish speaking before you ask any questions, and avoid interrupting
- Respond Appropriately – Be open and honest with your response, what you can and can’t do and be respectful, keeping in mind how you would want to be spoken to if you were in their shoes.
So listen, dive deep, and be present because developing positive relationships is how we, as property managers, will best manage the current times. The most important thing is that we come out of this on the right side of the equation.
Our company’s goal is to come out these times as being recognized for doing things the right way, for both tenants and owners. We believe in treating people with respect, serving before the reward, and putting people before the profits.
By adhering to these three behaviours and exhibiting them in your actions, you will continue to build a business culture of success.
And, if you’re looking for the opportunity to build your business as a property manager, this is the time. So many self-managed property owners were not expecting this increase in work, responsibilities, and volume of need.
NOW is the time to get in front of those individuals, who are likely looking to offload this additional work, and increase your business.