If you say “I’m sorry” one more time, I am going to raise your rent.

One of the little discussed professional hazards of being a landlord is something I call “apology fatigue.”  I used to call it “compassion fatigue,” but then I realized that it is not the being nice to people that wears me out, it is their repeated apologies when they pay their rent late or make too much noise or park in the wrong spot.  Just do what you are going to do people and then get over it.  You can say I am sorry once, but fifteen times just gets on my nerves.

Even before I became a landlord I was never a fan of apologies, but now it is safe to say I am a total non-believer.  Most people use apologies like they use paper plates.  It’s in front of them, it is easy, it is convenient and they can throw it away when they are done with it.  I am not saying they are insincere, but when someone pays their rent late four months in a row and laces their explanations with apologies; well, they come off as insincere.

The other camp, let’s call them the stoics, they don’t bother with apologies.  They are so chronically late, that they know an “I’m sorry” is like spitting at a hurricane.  I sort of have a begrudging respect for this camp.  They are late. I leave them a stern voicemail warning. They drop off wads of cash in the middle of the night. At least I don’t have to listen to them apologize.

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About Learn to Be a Landlord
I currently am a real estate investor in Spokane, WA. I own and manage 79 rental units. My background is not in business, but in social services and community organizing. I also had way too much liberal arts education. Somehow that all fits together to make me a landlord!

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