There are many challenges that come with being a property manager. Issues can easily form when having to deal daily with tenants who are frustrated and sometimes upset. Dealing with a difficult person or a conflict is unfortunately part of many jobs, but if you follow these 4 tips, we promise you that your difficult tenants will become easier to work with.
How have we developed this experience?
At Streamside Property Restoration, we have been helping people “heal their properties” at some of the most stressful times in their life. Usually when we meet people, they have just suffered a loss in the form of a flood, fire or other damage. So in addition to being experts in building restoration, we have also earned our stripes along the way as experts in working with difficult people. Usually difficult people are not actually difficult people, they are good people who are unfortunately in a difficult situation which manifests into stress and frustration.
Tip 1: Respond right away
With maintenance issues being the most common problem plaguing most tenants, the first step to handling a complaint quickly and smoothly should be to respond to all requests promptly, ideally providing a time frame when they can expect the issue to be fixed. Always let your tenant know when or how they can contact you and what to do in case of an emergency.
Tip 2: Listen
Really, really listen. Try to listen deeply to what the problem really is. Why it is bothering them. This will help you appreciate their situation and will likely also help you to diagnose their problem faster and more accurately. Write down what you think you heard them say, and repeat it back to them so they know that you know!
Tip 3: Respect
It’s impossible for them to know that you have a pile of other “urgent” problems on your desk that you are trying to solve for other people. Respect that when they are contacting you with a problem, that to THEM, their problem is the most important thing in their life. We don’t always know why something is so important to someone else when it may seem like a small thing to us, but in order to have a positive relationship, respect them and the issue they are presenting to you.
Tip 4: Communicate
Sometimes you can ease a bad situation just by offering details to the tenant such as what you think the problem really is, what the options are to repair or replace it, and how long they can expect to live with it. Even if the news is not exactly what the person is looking for, you will have a better relationship if you tell the truth and keep an open communication with the person throughout the process.
Troublesome and troubled tenants will always be out there. Handling tenants’ complaints in the right manner can go a long way in alleviating their concerns. Using these 4 steps will help you as a property manager to plan, manage and minimize any potential future issues you may have.