Four Fundamental Soft Skills for Property Management Success

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Being a property manager means dealing with challenging situations, differing personalities, and sometimes tense emotional conflicts. As you know, it's not all happy clients and smooth sailing. From late payments to dreaded evictions, highly developed emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills are fundamental components of a thriving work environment and a dedicated property management company leader. 

Whether you're looking to expand your team with emotionally competent new hires or discovering how to be an effective property manager, in this blog, we'll cover four key competencies to help you develop the soft skills necessary to achieve both.

1. Empathy and the Ability to Form Social Connections

On any given day, a property manager may deal with tenants from various income brackets, external vendors, banks, local council members, property owners, and more!

A successful property manager must be able to relate and communicate with various stakeholders at any time. This includes an understanding of different circumstances and points of view. 

For example, imagine a resident calling and saying they can't make rent due to hard times. How would you react? 

Coming up with a solution requires an empathetic approach by recognizing the situation, asking respectful questions, and deciding on a solution, whether a payment plan or something else.

The critical point is to think through how you would want to be dealt with if you were in that situation. Luckily, empathy can be developed in a professional setting. 

Some ways to develop this soft skill both as a manager and within your business include:

  • Favoring in-person and face-to-face contact where possible

  • Creating company values that prioritize employee mental wellbeing 

  • Empathy and social training, either in-house or externally 

  • Practice active listening 

According to the World Economic Forum, empathy is a net positive for businesses and can reduce stress, increase revenues and fortify relationships. 

2. Cool-Headedness and a "Calm Under Pressure" Mentality

High-pressure situations are bound to arise in property management, whether you're dealing with finances or frustrating landlord-tenant communication. 

Successful property managers know it's their job never to lose their cool while dealing with people who may sometimes get a bit heated! It's important not to get drawn into the negativity and to maintain a cool head.  Beautiful businesswoman meditating at workplace, ignoring work, not listening to annoying clients or bothering colleagues talking to her

Some strategies to help you develop cool-headedness include: 

  • Blocking sufficient time to manage high-priority or challenging situations

  • Accepting and owning mistakes (they're bound to happen from time to time)

  • Not taking things personally and understanding that people say and do things in the heat of the moment.

  • Develop some practices to de-escalate feelings of hot-headedness, such as meditation or exercise

  • Communicate clearly and effectively with disgruntled parties

Keeping your cool is not only crucial for building good relationships with tenants and property owners, but it can also help you avoid dangerous situations or lawsuits that can become an issue if things get out of hand. 

3. De-Escalation and Conflict Resolution

Keeping your cool relates closely to this next soft skill every property manager needs. High-drama events can be emotionally draining and deplete valuable time, causing internal issues within your team and snowballing into more significant problems over time.

To help with this:  

  • Try to understand the conflict from both sides.

  • Offer reflective comments to show you're listening. 

  • Refrain from interrupting. 

  • Determine how you react to conflict and whether it is appropriate—do you dive in head first? Withdraw? Go silent? 

  • Be aware of emotional invalidation through comments such as "it's not that big of a deal," as these can escalate situations and make parties feel devalued. 

As a property manager, you're no stranger to daily drama. Unfortunately, it's part and parcel of the business. Learning how to manage it appropriately helps you experience better outcomes!

4. Problem Solving and the 'Fixer' Approach

Property management success is only sometimes landing a new client or adding to the portfolio. Often, it's simply making problems go away and resolving outstanding issues. 

Whether there's a leak at a property or a problem renter, it's your role to step in and solve the issues as quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently as possible.Smiling diverse employees listening to businesswoman coach at briefing

Some strategies to develop this skill include: 

  • Become a "fixer" who looks for solutions. Although it may sound obvious, many people get dragged down into the problem pit hole and start looking for even broader issues rather than answers.

  • Determine the fundamental issue by examining the motivations or driving factors of individuals causing the problem. For example, an employee failing to meet their work demands may be due to burnout, issues at home, a lack of passion, or something else. Like a doctor, once you diagnose the issue, you can begin treating it.  

  • Encourage your team to collaborate on issues and have an open policy toward problem-solving.

When tenants, owners, and your team members see that you proactively look for solutions to problems as they arise, you'll build trust and long-term success as a property management business in your market!

Consider Property Management Consultants For Team Development

Developing soft skills is not an overnight exercise. It requires determination, a willingness to consider your biases, emotional intelligence, and an openness to change. 

Bringing in an external party like Real-Time Consulting Services is the perfect way to gain an outside perspective and develop interpersonal skills necessary for success in your team.  

Property Management Success Starts With People Skills

Without the appropriate people skills, every component of your property management business will fall apart. Following the tips above will put yourself, your team, and new hires on the road to success!

For expert consulting and team training, reach out to the team at Real-Time Consulting Services today! 

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