How to reframe a conversation with a stressed tenant or landlord

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There’s no denying we are all living through tough times right now. In this industry, whether you’re a tenant worried about paying rent, a landlord worried about their property, a Property Manager supporting both tenants and landlords or a Principal supporting your team, we’re all in this together. 

When intentions for 2020 are derailing and the goalposts have been moved due to external factors outside of our control, we can get a little wound up. The intention of this article is to support and enable you to not just endure, but to be able to grow, support your team and stakeholders and potentially thrive in the challenging environment we are currently in.

Recently we took the time to sit down with Geoff Jowett, (Mentor and Mindset coach) and David Gray (Elders Lifestyle Group), and unpacked the current market and really looked at the three areas that are helping improve Property Managers daily workloads during this time. There were three clear concepts we took away that can help support our teams and ourselves. These are: 

  1. Separation
  2. Tolerance 
  3. Mindset

Print these out, stick them to your phone, or better yet, make yourself a desktop wallpaper so you are always reading; separation, tolerance and mindset. These are challenging times for each of us, so we have to agree that we are all doing our best with a difficult situation and, as human beings, we don’t always behave perfectly when under extreme stress

Let’s dive a little deeper into why these 3 concepts are such a potent framework to follow right now.

1. Tolerance

COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on a global scale. People are afraid, financially at odds and need credible and reliable information to process and make decisions to help them move forward. The good news is you’re in the perfect position to assist. Your role in this time is to advise, not apologise. Provide information to the people who need it most, in a calm and efficient manner, clear language and sprinkle on some authentic empathy. Most people aren’t inherently rude and don’t want to upset you, they just want a resolution to the issue at hand, with efficient, precise and empathetic communication. Tolerate some of the challenges in behaviour from otherwise moderately behaved people, and manage up when you are no longer able to support that person to an outcome that works.

“You didn’t cause COVID – your role is to advise, not apologise.”

– David Gray

2. Separation

The challenges you are facing in advising people are emotional problems with logical outcomes. As an empathetic person, you might struggle to separate your personal feelings about someone’s behaviour from the trigger of that behaviour, and while it’s not nice, it’s a challenge the industry is taking on as a whole right now as we aid in providing the fundamental right to shelter in Australia. The thing is, that behaviour? It’s not about you.

Take a step outside yourself and take a breath. Remind yourself that your role is to provide service and advise, not apologise. Acknowledge the person on the other end of the phone is looking for your advice to support them in their next steps. They might not know how to communicate effectively under the circumstances, so assist and step back when you need to remind yourself – it’s not personal. 

3. Mindset

Providing service in a challenged marketplace can be tricky. But growth is hard and it’s when you struggle that you do the work and evolve. To get better every day you have to have the habits and the standards that will meet your goal. You can’t get on a good trajectory with sub-par standards.  Setting up your headspace to deliver, even under difficult circumstances, will test and expand your ability to operate in any aspect of your life and any goal you’re trying to achieve. Energy is contagious, whether it’s positive or negative, and it’s important to aim up on spreading the good stuff around the office with a laugh, a relief chat or a break when you’re dealing with empathy fatigue. 

“Remember you can’t stumble across success – you have to engineer it.”

– Geoff Jowett

Immediate action you can take to improve your mental health

If you’re not ok, that’s ok. Though there’s some things we can do to take care of ourselves and support our team mates.  Now’s not the time to be setting lofty fitness goals or stretching yourself thinner, though you can improve your mental and physical wellbeing (and support your positive mindset) with these quick wellness tips: 

  • Fill your cup – whether it’s horse riding, surfing, board games with mates – if it makes you feel refreshed and gives back to you, then make time for it and do it. 
  • Rest – You should be sleeping 25%-30% of your day. Sounds like a lot, because your body and brain needs it to function well. Don’t skip it.
  • Exercise – Move your body. Yoga, bike rides, kicking a footy with your kids – MOVE. It releases your endorphins which you need to improve your outlook. It also helps you bust out any of those tough frustrations you’ve had from the day.
  • Preparedness – As with rest, having enough time to get it all done, and not rushing is amazing for your feeling of productivity. Meal prep, daily routine, maybe iron your shirt the night before – give yourself the space to have a cup of tea or a quiet space to yourself in the morning before heading out for the day. 
  • Mindset – Negative energy is contagious. Focussing on the wins and sharing these helps the team stay positive. Set these habits and intentions for the day, everyday and build that routine. 

Stepping ahead of the constant challenges and leveling yourself to step into the support role for your  customers helps you not just endure, but thrive in the current climate. Ensuring you’re aware if you’re feeling fatigued and have a strategy to combat will enable you to create space for both yourself, and for customers to feel heard and advised.  

If you’d like to learn more about setting your mindset for success, you’re invited to join our on-demand chat in full with Geoff Jowett, David Gray and our own Andrew Coligiuri here:

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