Technology is huge. With emails, Facebook, Skype, and other platforms, it’s easy to lose the art of face to face communication and interpersonal communication. People can hide behind digital technology. That means communication and relationships are more important than ever. If you can master how to communicate correctly and develop relationships, your destination is only limited by your imagination.

Introduction to Warren Tate

Warren is a trainer and a coach and has worked as an estate manager for one of Australia’s largest property management companies. He is also the best-selling author of “I GET YOU: How Communication can Change Your Destination.” He worked in the real estate industry for over 20 years, and as a franchise manager doubled the size of a boutique management business. He loves helping people, which is why he decided to focus on training and coaching.

Warren doesn’t deliver anything that isn’t proven in science, so he does a lot of research. All of his work is backed up by the latest data in biology and psychology. In today’s interview, you’ll learn the four different personality types that will help you better connect with clients, how to diffuse difficult situations with clients, and telling more engaging stories.

Personality Types: How to Identify and Communicate with Eagles, Peacocks, Owls, and Doves

There are hundreds of personality tests you can take and if you take them all, you’ll start to feel psychotic. What you really need is a basic understanding of yourself and the people you deal with. If you don’t understand your personality type and their personality type, you could be on opposite ends of the communication spectrum without even knowing it. That can cause clashes and misunderstandings.

As a property manager, the best way to identify personality types is by asking a simple question:

Can you describe your home to me, and what do you love most about it?

Personalities can be introverted or extroverted. Extroverts are The Controller, or the Eagle; and The Colorful, or the Peacock. Introverted personality types are The Compliant, or the Owl; and The Comforter, or the Dove. Let’s break those down.

The Controller |The Eagle

The Controller or Eagle is your smart, sharp person who wants results. They are usually quick talking and they are often managers. They want results and outcomes. They want the facts, and then they will make decisions and move on. These personalities talk fast and make decisions fast. They will know if you’re not telling the truth, and they will lose patience if you don’t get to the point fast enough. You might write a detailed email about maintenance and the response will be a clipped, short response of yes or go ahead. You might worry there’s something wrong, but that’s just their communication style. They made a decision, and they’re moving on. You can tell someone is an Eagle by the way they are short and sharp. They won’t waffle. They’ll tell you how it is, and that might seem rude or blunt. But, it’s how they work.

If you find yourself having to communicate a conflict or a difficult situation to these people, it’s best that you simply provide the facts. State the problem, the resolution, and your plan for follow up. Then, ask if they agree with you or if they’re comfortable with your plan. Be short and sharp, like they are. Don’t provide extra details and don’t share a long story about the tenant not paying rent because a dog died or someone’s Aunt Sally got sick. They don’t want to hear the sob story. They want to hear the facts and your solution.

When you ask the Eagle to describe the property, he or she will give you a short, specific answer: it’s a townhome with four bedrooms and three stories and city views.

The Colorful |The Peacock

The next extrovert is The Colorful or Peacock. These personalities love to talk. They will tell you about their weekend and the movie they saw and the friends they went out with. They will talk until they run out of things to say. It’s obvious that they’re social and they love to name-drop. They are good, fun people. They are the ones organizing social events, and they know where the parties are. They need to communicate with a lot of description and detail. They love everything about themselves, and the best way to communicate is to let them speak. Don’t cut them short. Compliment them. If you’re meeting with them face to face, they probably put a lot of effort into their appearance or their property. Acknowledge and validate that. These people want to stand out.

If you have to deliver bad news to a Peacock, you approach it with feeling from their side of the issue. Maybe a tenant has damaged a garden, so you can spend some time talking about how you understand the importance of the garden to the landlord, and how she worked so hard on it and the plants look so beautiful. Then, you’d explain that the tenant has not maintained it to her standards, but has agreed to hire a gardener to come every two weeks to keep it looking great. It’s a long-winded answer, but Peacocks love that. Offer to send them pictures of the improved garden. They are very visual and they will relate to what you’re saying.

The Compliant |The Owl

The Owl loves statistics. When you ask an Owl about his or her property, you’ll hear exact measurements and perfect details. You’ll know it was purchased on January 20, 1988, and that the living area is 4.2 square meters. They love talking with precision and figures and actual facts. They do not want any ambiguity. If you say maybe to them, they will discount you and move on. These personalities need and expect accuracy. If you have a potential client named John and he is an Owl, ask him if he spells his name with or without the H. He will immediately appreciate that.    

Communicating with an Owl or a Compliant means doing your research and being prepared. If you think your Owl client is asking too much rent, don’t just tell them they need to lower the rent. You need to back that up with math and statistics. If you are having trouble getting a tenant into that property, show the owner that your average days on market is 12 days but you’re now at 14 days. Explain that statistically, this shows you that the property is overpriced for the marketplace. Maybe present data on 20 other properties in the marketplace that are $20 less per week. Then, you can suggest matching that price. Provide facts and give numbers. Owls will relate to that because of their statistical mindset and need for precise numbers. 

Owls will read everything in your agreements and contracts. So, make sure you know them. Be able to quote your lease agreements and any acts. Show them you have done the research and you have the knowledge to match theirs. If you’re unsure of anything, they will lose confidence in you.  

The Comforter |The Dove

The Dove is an introvert who takes a lot of time to build trust. They are often soft-spoken. They are the last to speak in any situation because they’re listening and observing. They are taking in information, understanding everyone’s point of view, and acting as peacemakers. Doves will try to come up with solutions. These personalities want to trust you before they commit to anything. If you’re trying to get a Dove as a client, listen to them and build trust. Until they trust you, they won’t do anything with you. But once they have your trust, they are your client for life. They will love you forever until you break their trust. And, Doves won’t come back if they do lose you.

You can identify a Dove by the way they speak. They speak slower, and they are deliberate in their words and how they choose their words. They may pause and think a lot, and it takes a while to get them to speak openly. Be clever with your questions and keep them open ended. Use words like feelings and comfortable and peace of mind. Tell your Dove client that it’s best to get the right tenant in place so they have the peace of mind that their asset will grow. Don’t try to get a decision immediately from a Dove, because they won’t do it.  

If a Dove hires you and you let them down, you need to be extremely apologetic. Show that you understand the impact on the client, and express your wish to change things. Instead of an email, send a handwritten card or letter. This will make them feel honored that you took the time and effort for them. It’s powerful with Doves.   

Communicating with Personality Types on an Enterprise Level

There’s a spectrum, and no one is 100 percent one style. There’s usually a mix of at least two of these personality types, but one will always dominate. The ideal way to use this information is to put a person’s personality type into your property management CRM system. This way, you know who you’re talking to, and you’re notified. That’s the Ritz Carlton brand of service. At the Ritz, they know who you are. They know you and your preferences. This has to be part of your culture of service, where you are consistently delivering.

When you’re managing 150 different properties, you’re coming across lots of personality styles among your landlords and tenants. You want to understand the person you’re talking to before every conversation. Whether you’re in a networking environment or you’re meeting someone for the first time or talking on the phone to a tenant or a landlord, you need to try and get who they are and what their view of the world is. Then, your connection will be quick. If you’re on the go and not thinking about this, you’ll get a lot of disconnect.

This is a simple thought pattern, but it does take some time to develop. Once you’re attuned to it, you can work through it easily and change how you communicate immediately.

Using The Echo Effect to Connect With Your Clients

The easiest way to prove that this type of communication matters is with the echo effect. Have you ever spoken to someone from another country who has a strong accent? You might have noticed that you’re suddenly talking to them slowly, and you might even start to mimic their accent. That’s a subconscious way that you’re trying to adapt. Humans do that automatically. Your brain kicks in and your cognitive subconscious takes over. Tribes were built this way. It’s very primitive, and it happens on a subconscious level. You probably don’t notice it until about 7 seconds in. You should concentrate on doing this with everyone you speak to.

Bring it down to a word level. If someone says that a property is beautiful, and you call it fantastic, there’s a very basic disconnect. But, if you mimic what they said and call the property beautiful as well, a connection is formed without either of you knowing how or why. Mimic, or echo, your words. When you ask someone for a description of the property, echo it back to them. That repetition provides an instant connection and they don’t know why.   

This comes from our primitive brain, and it hasn’t changed. Technology has taken over, and people are forgetting how to have a conversation. But, if you can mimic your words, your tonality, and your body language, you’re going to be amazed at the transformation. If someone is speaking to you in a monotone, speak back that way. That’s an instant connection. Match and mirror everything.   

Communicating Through Difficult Situations

Property management is full of conflict and difficult situations. Most people will tell you to stay calm, but that might not be the best way to handle an escalation. When someone is angry, the last thing they want to do is be told to calm down. That’s adding fuel to the fire. You need to match their outrage, their voice level, and their tonality. Get to their level and echo it back to them. That connects you quickly. It can feel confrontational and uncomfortable, but it works. Raise your voice. Get the pace right, and always ask what the person wants you to do.  

Repeat everything back, and communicate at the angry person’s level to show that you’re listening to them and understanding. This is very powerful. The vital step is to ask – is that all? This is the most important part of the process when it comes to navigating conflict. It will tell you whether the situation is resolved.

So, when you’re dealing with a hot situation in your property management business, remember to:

  • Match the tonality and intensity of the person you’re talking to.
  • Dig around and understand the problem in multiple ways.
  • Repeat what the person says to show you understand.
  • End with, is that all?

Storytelling to Overcome Objections for Property Managers

Multiple stories are happening every day in real estate, but many people fail to use them. The biggest key in telling a story is telling it with dialogue and not narration. When you tell a story, don’t fall into the trap of narrating what happened and what you did. With dialogue, you can set a scene and let your characters speak. Use dialogue. Say, I understand what you are going through because my clients Bill and Mary recently went through it, and this is what they told me…. You can use dialogue from prior conversations to show how a problem was resolved. This brings it to life.

Make sure that you tell these stories to overcome an objection. If someone is deflecting or not agreeing with you, tell them the story. I understand you want this much rent, but Bill and Mary were in exactly the same situation, and this is what Mary said once we lowered the rent and quickly found the right tenant… Go into the story and carry out the message. Remember that you are not the hero of the story. Your clients are the heroes. You can say, I’ll always remember Mary saying that she was glad we were managing her property instead of their previous management company. You’re not giving yourself the credit; Mary is giving you the credit.  

Be authentic. You hear this all the time. People know who you are and what you’re about. They’ve Googled you. Now, you have to be you. Everyone else is taken.

You can buy his book on Amazon.

A Note about Our Sponsor:

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If you are looking to find ways to grow your property management business, reach out to us and we’ll set you up with a marketing plan that fits your business at