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Listen not merely to what is said, but to the tone of voice in which it is said. – Chinese Proverb

Everybody is busy! We are usually too busy to sit down and finish a novel or to write a letter, or volunteer, even to look up an old friend. Today’s society can be very productive and we always have a lot to say. However, is this always a good thing?
Property owners and managers must always keep their listening skills fine-tuned so they are able to prevent any emergencies down the road. Listening is also the key to communication between a tenant and an owner. It is easy to hear someone, but, it takes good listening skills to really pick up on someone’s meaning inside a conversation.

– A good skill to practice is to repeat the statement or question posed by the other person. For example, if a tenant calls to say they are hearing scratching noises at night, you might want to respond, “So you are hearing some odd noises at night?” This could be a red flag alerting you of pests getting into the property and should be taken care of as soon as possible.

– Stop talking and do not interrupt. Always wait until the tenant is finally finished. It may not hurt to politely ask if they are finished before you offer a solution.

– It’s always a good idea to document every conversation so you can look back at what was said if you need to.  Words like damp, drip and moist is telling you that there could be a leak on the property.

– When listening to a tenant, it’s important to be empathetic to their situation, not judgmental. Try placing yourself in their situation. Do not take anything personally, maybe folks on the other line are having a rotten day and they are taking it out on you.

– It’s always important to answer in a reassuring voice, not a defensive one.

Listening requires extra patience and time, which, in the end, will pay off and lead to a better understanding between owners and tenants.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.