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Sugarcoat the ugly truth or give honest feedback?

By Hermione Gardiner
28 November 2014 | 1 minute read

Sometimes, we can be afraid to tell our landlords the honest truth during difficult situations such as a tough market, problem tenants, damaged property, rent arrears, or other escalating crises.

Often we think we are protecting them. We may be afraid of blame – what if they think it’s our fault? What if they don’t listen? We may fear we'll lose the management.

The problem is that when we sugarcoat things, pretend everything is fine or omit difficulties, we may be making our job harder in the long run. The landlord will not fully understand the gravity of the situation, as they have been sheltered from the truth the whole way.


This may make it difficult for them to take our advice or have trust in us. We then get frustrated with them when they won’t listen. 

When providing honest feedback, do not just dump negative news on the owner – the key is to use the opportunity to show you have a plan in place. Explain that you want to be transparent about the situation but that they should not be alarmed because, as the experts, here is our plan to overcome the obstacle. 

If they are confident you have it covered, and you have just been honest to make them aware, the benefits will be twofold. As mentioned, it shows you have the situation under control, and it also emphasises to them the value of having a property manager in place.

The best relationships (whether with our landlords or the people in our personal lives), are built on communication concepts such as honesty, trust and transparency. If you can be honest and transparent in a tactful way, you will generate respect and trust with your landlord, and you will be surprised how much more prepared they will be to listen to your advice and guidance. It will also give them a deeper understanding for what we do each day. 

The word tactful is important here, as we may need to think about the way we phrase things. 

The stronger your relationship, the easier it will be to get the landlord to listen to us when we are providing advice on removing difficult tenants, adjusting the price in a difficult market, agreeing to maintenance and repairs, settling difficult bond claims, dealing with complex tribunal or insurance claims and many of the other situations we face as property managers each day. 

What do you think? When it is a good time to tell the truth? And when is it a good time to keep things a little sugarcoated, or even hidden! Be sure to comment and let me know your thoughts.... 


Sugarcoat the ugly truth or give honest feedback?
hermione gardiner
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Business Manager - Real+

Hermione has been part of the real estate industry for over 10 years. From Property Management to Corporate Leasing, New Business and Team Management. She has successfully managed a broad range of clientele, and delivered winning new business growth strategies.
Excelling in areas of team training, leasing product development and implementation of new software, her invaluable skills have led her to Real+ where she is passionate about assisting our clients to achieve their maximum potential through the online learning experience, Real Plus.

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