My brother, who taught me a lot about empathy, being kind, and trying to help another person, installed great qualities in me through his own actions.
As a landlord, I wanted to treat all my tenants with those same qualities.
The problem is, the kinder I got, the more I was taken advantage of.
I was confused. I kept thinking to myself, how is it that the nicer I became, the more I would regret it later when not only did they not return the favor, but would clearly take advantage of me.
It wasn’t until I read a few books and realized “I was the problem.”
The problem i had was not setting the appropriate boundaries.
Kindness is not allowing the other person to do what they want.
In fact, it’s the opposite.
Kindness is setting boundaries right from the beginning, with plenty of communication, so that everyone knows what the expectations are.
Then, when a problem arises, you simply review what was discussed in the beginning and more importantly, what was written (contract).
If you have a contract, and what was written was discussed, then everyone should be clear on the repercussions.
The goal is to leave subjective feelings at the door and stay focused on what was written.
If the problem that occurs wasn’t covered, or written, then that leaves room to create a new system in place for the next time. It happens.
If this occurs, try to resolve the problem empathetically, if possible. Remember, the landlord is the leader and by approaching everything with empathy, you’re really creating more empathy for yourself.
When you have clarity, written agreements, and boundaries, it’s far easier to be kinder.
This article was written by Mark Mendez, co-founder of Realest System. Mark has been purchasing income properties since 2009, became a Realtor in 2015, and has since helped many investors purchase their own income properties. Currently, he owns and manages 15 residential units.