Avoid an argument

07-Feb-2013

Human nature tells us that someone will be upset at us at some stage, maybe by their actions or what they say.  It’s inevitable!  You become defensive, your temperature rises and calm soon turns to agitation. 

How do you handle conflict with tenants?  What strategies do you use to manage touchy situations, but still maintain a good long term relationship with your tenant?  It’s not always easy, but here are a few tips that can help:

  1. The other person may be wrong, but you don’t have to tell them so.  What can be gained by proving them wrong?  Is it your pride that wants to tell them?   Often what is more important than your pride is the relationship - specially within a tenancy. Both parties must be happy for a tenancy to move along without conflict and drama.
  2. Be willing to admit it when you’re wrong, even in the slightest way.  Often our natural defence is to defend our mistakes and make excuses.  Be humble and apologise, this alone can diffuse an argument.
  3. Let the other person talk first and listen.  When you’re angry you find yourself getting your next attack ready rather than really listening. Try to identify with what they are saying and feeling, look at it from their side and be sympathetic and bite your tongue. If you have a Property Manager, then they to must  listen and have empathy.
  4. Validate their feelings.  Let them know that you have listened.  Let them know you want a solution and want to help.
  5. Don’t raise your voice and be condescending.  That will move a mildly confronting discussion to a full blown argument within seconds.