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emotional intelligence property management

Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Property Management

August 15, 2016

Emotions don’t matter –pure know-how is what counts, right?


And now we have the data to prove it.

While IQ has long been considered the standard for predicting someone’s aptitude for success –there’s another often-overlooked aspect that’s just as important: emotional intelligence (EI).

It makes sense when you think about it. People with an average IQ outperform those with high ones all the time. This doesn’t mean that IQ doesn’t matter, but it does show the importance of also having a high degree of emotional intelligence.

“Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are also high in emotional intelligence,” writes Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and the cofounder of TalentSmart. “On the flip side, just 20% of bottom performers are high in emotional intelligence.”

“You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, Dr. Bradberry says, but the chances are slim.”

One thing that makes emotional intelligence so difficult to fully utilize and improve is the fact that EI is somewhat intangible. While IQ is a relatively easy assessment, and most of us know what it entails, EI, on the other hand –is less straightforward. But this doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Put simply, EI impacts how we manage our behavior –and handle social situations. It also influences how we make decisions, and navigate the complexities of relationships. Dr. Bradberry defines Emotional intelligence as being comprised of four core skills: self-awareness and self-management, and social awareness and relationship management.

So how can Emotional Intelligence Help with Property Management?

For landlords, having high emotional intelligence can be a significant advantage when it comes to the issue of tenants –and interacting with them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways that emotional intelligence can drastically increase your success when it comes to residential property management.

Help to Simplify the Tenant Screening Process

The right tenant can make or break your rental venture, and your ability to screen applicants will significantly increase your chances of finding the right renters.

But this process can often be extremely complex. Take, for instance, the issue of running background checks and reference checks. You won’t be able to simply take an applicant’s word for it, instead, you’ll want to call around to verify that the information they have on their application is correct. During this process, you’ll be dealing with a lot of phone conversations. Asking the right questions and having the ability to read between the lines is vital.

When it comes to interviewing tenants, the same principles apply. You’ll want to be a good judge of tone –as well as body language. You’ll need to be able to conduct character assessments accurately, while at the same time giving applicants the benefit of the doubt when appropriate, all while staying calm, without getting too caught up in the process. A high degree of emotional intelligence, of course, will make this much easier.

Help Make Tenant Management Easier

Tenant management can also be an emotionally-charged endeavor.

Managing renters is often a very hands-on and involved process –and you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. Three-in-the-morning wake-up calls, or requests for everything from light bulb replacement to running toilets are just part of the business. Then there’s the real maintenance issues –things go wrong, refrigerators go out, the air conditioning quits in the middle of a heat wave –the toilet overflows, and you’ll have to be able and ready to jump when a tenant calls. As you can tell, a high emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is important for handling these situations properly, and will save you from stressing out and panicking every time the phone rings. At the same time, the ability to look at things from an objective point of view, rather than taking everything personally is an extremely important talent for a landlord to possess.

Social awareness and how skilled you are in relationship management will impact how successful you are at handling tenant issues. Your ability to read people, or accurately pick up on their emotions –will help you to understand what’s happening when your tenant calls you with a complaint. For instance, while you may be tempted to respond to an angry tenant by yelling back at them, being aware of their emotions and yours throughout your exchange will also help you to navigate situations accurately, and appropriately.

Help With the Eviction Process

While evictions aren’t something that anyone looks forward to, the unfortunate fact is that sometimes they’re a necessary part of rental management.

Having a high EQ can help you to navigate the often emotion-filled process, allowing you to respond in a professional and sensitive manner to tenants, while at the same time sticking to the process.  

We’ve heard of landlords who change the locks on their tenants or throw their belongings out into the street during an eviction. The fact is, though, that these approaches not only demonstrate a severe lack of discretion on the landlord’s part –they’re also illegal. Employing methods like these will only land you in trouble. When handling the eviction process, a cool head and steady emotions are important –you have to stay professional and on the right side of the law, at all times –no matter what the tenant may be doing.

The eviction process is a key point where self-awareness and self-management aspects of EI come into play. Being able to accurately perceive your emotions, and stay aware of them will help you to positively direct your behavior; keeping you in charge of your emotions, and your reactions, and allowing you to drive the situation forward in a positive way.  

Whew! This is some pretty heavy stuff –so don’t feel worried if it all seems a bit extreme.

If emotional intelligence isn’t your strong suit, the good news is that you can still find success as a landlord. Hiring an experienced property management company to stand in for you can drastically help to increase your chances of success in this area. Since property managers are experienced in working with others, and adept at navigating the complexities of interpersonal relationships, they’re skilled in the area of emotional intelligence.

When looking for a property manager, you’ll want to find a company that has a high level of emotional intelligence. To find one that possesses this talent, just pick up the phone and call them, or pay them a visit. A qualified property manager will be able to put you at ease, and will make you feel comfortable in their presence. Not every company has this talent, but finding one that deals with you in a professional and polite manner is an excellent indication that they’ll treat tenants in the same way, and will also display these traits in their day-to-day operations and in their interactions with you down the road as well.

To discover how easy property management can be, get in touch with a Renters Warehouse Rent Estate™ Advisor today!

Photo Credit: Unsplash