Two Tips To Reduce Burn Out As A Property Manager
Updated: Mar 16, 2020
You would think that tenants and landlords have a common interest in housing and would get along well. Unfortunately, from my experience over the last 10 years as a property manager, most times landlords and tenants have conflicting views on market rent, rights around inspections, who pays for maintenance, and much more. Property managers are caught in between it all, and it can become a negative environment to work in.
This negative environment can be turned into a positive if it is viewed as an opportunity to rise above the conflict and tension, using it to become a better property manager. Sadly though, some get pulled down by it, and eventually burn out. Thus, learning how to manage tension and conflict is as important to property managers as being familiar with the Residential Tenancies Act, as it will allow one to carry out the act in a more graceful way.
Here are two quick tips on how I deal with tension and conflict.
My first tip is about managing tension. To me, tension is stress that builds up throughout the day, and is carried around with you from one activity to the next.
Brendon Burchard, author of High Preformance Habits, talks about purposely working on better “transitions” from one activity to the next. Transitions are the moments between the different activities you do during the day, like the moment you sit down to work on email, after being out on the road. Being aware of your transitions will increase the energy you bring into each activity.
Using the moments between different activities to boost energy is done by pausing before starting your next activity to “release tension and set intention”.
Releasing tension can be done in the moment with a few mindful... deep breaths, and repeating the word “release“ a few times quietly to yourself. Tell yourself that you want to release tension in your body and your thoughts. I try to do it several times during the day with mindful breathing. At the start or end of the day I will fully energise myself by working out, which revitalises my mind and body - Thank you Brendon Burchard for these learnings on transitions.
My second tip is about conflict, which is different from tension. B
ecause conflict arises in the moment and triggers your fight-or-flight reaction.
To manage conflict, self awareness is the key. It is important to understand that fight or flight is a natural response that will kick-in when we feel threatened. This is how humans survived the wilderness. Bending self-aware of how you feel as a reaction to outside influences is the first step to managing conflict.
With good self awareness, I can expect fight-or-flight to kick in during moments of conflict, and I know how I feel when it’s in control. With that level of self-awareness I can take a step back when fight-or-flight kicks in, and I will not make any decisions while it’s in control. While I’m feeling angry, confronted, or threatened I have simple go-to questions to ask the other person to keep them talking while I level out for 30 seconds until I can take control of myself again.
This is a lesson I learnt from Jeb Blount, author of Sales EQ, as he applies it to cold calling. And Seth Godin, author of Lynch Pin, calls the fight or flight response your lizard brain taking over. Thanks for the lessons Jeb and Seth!
I am in no way as cool and calm as I would like to be when stress and conflict arise. But, if I’m on my A-Game, I will be able to use these tools, which will make me at least look like I know what I’m doing and get through my work day as gracefully as possible.