On the list of things most aggravating to a property manager, an angry tenant comes second, if not in a dead heat for first with lazy staff members. Tenants can sound angry about many things. The more quickly you can find out what they’re truly angry about, the faster you’ll be able to find a solution. Most tenants get angry for the following reasons:
- Physical problems: Physical issues can be anything from leaky pipes to icy sidewalks or smelly garbage. Ask the angry individual to give you their story and as you are listening, think in terms of a doctor running down a checklist of symptoms. This is important because many people make a point to avoid complaning and the one person who makes a fuss is possibly presenting you with a way to serve all of your tenants in a better fashion.
- Community problems: One of the rotten, or beautiful (depending on how you look at it) facts of life is that we will always encounter people we find distasteful. When you get a group of people living together, issues are bound to come up. How you respond to those complaints and concerns will make a huge difference in how well a problem is resolved. Make a point to listen to community complaints while making it obvious that you are not taking sides. As you build trust with your tenants, you’ll find that they solve more problems on their own and that when they do come to you, issues are resolved quickly.
- Communication problems: At the basis of most anger is the overwhelming conviction on the part of the angry person that he or she is not being heard by others. If you want to develop your conflict resolution skills, it’s important to make an effort to truly hear what others are saying. If you are easily insulted or listen poorly, you’ll probably just cause more frustration and lose a tenant, or possibly your job. But if you take the time to discover the root cause of a complaint, pay attention to your community, and listen effectively, you’ll be well on your way to managing even the sourest tenant with a flourish.