In a game of chess, every move is dependent on the move of the other player.
So a good chess player will pre-empt the various moves the opposition player makes, to counter any threats before they happen.
The last thing that a chess player wants is to end up being checkmated – or even in a stalemate!
You want to avoid a stalemate in your tenant relationships too
Just like a game of chess, the moves you make will have a bearing on how a tenant responds to you.
So if you want a tenant to pay the rent on time, you need to keep up your end of the bargain. If you want the tenant to deliver on their promises, you need to act on your word, too.
There’s one thing that you should never, ever say to a tenant…
And that is: “I don’t have time.”
It’s unacceptable for a property manager or landlord to ever say that they’re too busy; the tenant will start wondering what your job is, and will question your skills, ability and professionalism.
Worse than that, the tenant will perceive such a property manager or landlord to cut corners. And the tenant may well respond by cutting corners too. There may be more damage; or the property will be in a state of disrepair; or the rent payments will be late.
In short: the tenant will start playing a game of “tit for tat” and the property manager who says that they “don’t have time” to fulfil a tenant’s request is only bringing this on themselves!
You shouldn’t expect your tenant to treat you any different to how you treat them. And a tenant will make a judgment call every time you communicate with them.
But what if you really don’t have time right now?
Instead of saying, “I don’t have time for that”, just phrase your response differently by telling them when you will be able to tend to their request.
Or if you miss an agreed deadline, don’t give the tenant a long list of reasons why the agreement was broken. Instead, tell them the date and time that the work will be completed by. This is just one of the ways that you can build a relationship of trust and gain your tenants’ respect.
Fostering a two-way relationship based on trust and respect means that both the property manager and the tenant will be the winners.
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