Don’t you just love it when a tenant is happy?
It makes being a landlord or property manager SO much easier. But, it is impossible to please everyone ALL the time. And there are situations where some tenants just aren’t going to be happy no matter what you do!
Lets take an example from a tenant who had repeatedly complained about an older gravel drive way at the property they were renting. After going over some options, the owners decided that they wanted to put asphalt down the side of the drive where the gravel was.
Notice was given to the tenant that they would need to move their RV & small boat from the area, and onto the back section of the yard , so that they could begin the process of removing the gravel, grading the area, and placing the asphalt.
And that is when the “situation” got worse!!! The tenant demanded that the owner pay for a covered and secured storage area. (Even though a place around the back of the house was available for them to store them) They screamed at the owner over the phone, that this has destroyed any chance of them staying at this rental. And that the owners were in breach of contract for “forcing” them to move the items. (none of which was in the lease).
In the end the owners opted to NOT place the asphalt, in yet another attempt at pleasing the tenant. Which only upset them more!!!!
So what do you do? How do you avoid an argument???
It is never easy avoiding an argument. But in the book by Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, he states “I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument – and that is to avoid it.”
- No matter how hard it is – do not get involved in an argument. It doesn’t usually matter if the other person is wrong, avoid saying that they are wrong! No one likes to hear that, even you. Do you want to risk a good relationship for a fight?
- When you are wrong – even just a little bit – admit it quickly! “Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes” (Dale Carnegie).
- LISTEN!!! Actually truly listen and put yourself in their shoes. Consider their view point, it is usually easier to stay calm and continue listening to the other person when you can understand their emotion. Letting them know that they are truly heard can go a long way. Just validating someones feelings can avoid a lot of arguments.
In the situation I mentioned earlier, the owner sat down with the tenant and asked what solution they would prefer. They found out a few things by simply taking the time with their tenants.
- The tenants actually thought that asphalt was a WORSE option because of their small children constantly running around without shoes. The new asphalt would be hotter, as well as destroy their socks and clothes.
- The problem they were actually having wasn’t with the gravel itself, it was with the grade of the gravel. There were high spots and low spots that were causing puddling. An easy fix with a regrade to the gravel!