The Importance of EQ for Property Managers

At the recent National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition in Boston, Susan Sherfield and Christopher Reed of Mercy Housing led a session called “Did I Just Say That Out Loud?,” which presented why it is critical for property managers to improve their emotional intelligence.

Boston—At the recent National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition in Boston, Susan Sherfield, national director of education, Mercy Housing, and Christopher Reed, senior vice president, Mercy Housing, led a session called “Did I Just Say That Out Loud?,” which presented why it is critical for property managers to improve their emotional intelligence (EQ).

In this session, the speakers explained that EQ is the ability to learn skills, and emotional competency is applying these skills. According to Sherfield and Reed, one’s EQ expands and grows until the time they die, unlike the IQ. Additionally they said that only 10 to 20 percent of results people achieve could be attributed to the IQ—the rest is EQ.

Of course, having intelligence is important, but the skills related to EQ, also known as “people skills” are becoming more and more important when it comes to doing a job well.

“EQ is at the core of relationships and impacts absenteeism and productivity,” they said.

Additionally, Sherfield and Reed said the primary reason people leave their jobs isn’t about the money—it’s about their relationships at work.

According to the speakers, EQ is a large factor when it comes to employees performing well, which property managers should keep in mind.

“Employees are twice as likely to miss work where there are high-stress demands and they have poor time management skills,” Sherfield and Reed explained, which is why they say many employers are testing for high EQ skills during the interview for a job in addition to the traditional questions about educational and career backgrounds.

Of course, having a high EQ isn’t just important for employees, but for the managers as well.

“If you’re in touch with your emotions, it will help you work through them,” the speakers said. “When you have a high level of EQ, things just go better.”

Having a high EQ also is important when property managers deal with residents, especially if a resident is angry about the property. By controlling anger and displaying empathy, the situation could be controlled, which ultimately could lead to resident retention.

“I think every property has that resident that just knows what buttons to push,” Sherfield and Reed said. “That’s when you have to say, ‘I need to demonstrate self control here.’”