I'm having a problem with a rental property. My tenant doesn't seem to find it important to pay her rent; go figure. I've been managing my own rental properties for 14 years now and rarely run into this problem, believe it or not. I've arrogantly attributed my success with my rental properties to my sweet disposition and the respectful attitude I take with my tenants.

But, alas, my nearly-perfect track record is shot. Darnit.

It's been stressing me out something awful. I'm losing sleep, I'm losing money and I finally lost my patience (took long enough!).

So, I decided to find someone to help me evict my tenant. I called two management companies. The first started off our conversation telling me how difficult it is to evict a tenant in Alabama, due to a new law passed last year. She warned me how expensive and time-consuming it would be. Great. Just what I needed to hear. I grew a few new gray hairs.

But the second company -- ahhhh -- the second. The guy I spoke to took me by the hand (figuratively, of course) and told me he'd take care of it. He does this all the time, you see. He works with a lot of long-distance landlords and it's very common for tenants to take advantage of the situation. "But don't you worry, Jennifer, once the tenant knows you have a local company managing the situation, they'll either pay up or move out. We'll get that notice on the door today and you'll either have your rent in ten days, or we'll take the next steps to get the tenant out of there. Just fax me your lease agreement and the details of what she owes you and we'll handle it from there."

My entire body relaxed. I didn't realize HOW stressed out I was about the situation until someone relieved me of it. Time will tell if my warm fuzzies toward my new property manager are justified, but for now, I'm thrilled.

How does this relate to your business? Well, when someone calls you wanting your help with whatever problem they find themselves with, do you take a Can Do attitude? Or do you immediately launch into a disclaimer, of sorts, as to how difficult it will be, how frustrating it will be, how time-consuming, how -- whatever? As a real estate agent in a recession, I know I do it sometimes! I can't seem to help myself - maybe I'm just showing off how knowledgeable I am, or maybe I'm even a wee bit insecure myself about my ability to help in this tough market!

Yes, our businesses are frustrating and difficult and often seemingly impossible. But let's try a new approach. The next time someone contacts us asking for help (assuming we want to help), let's start out by assuring them that WE CAN TAKE CARE OF IT. Not only will this relieve their stress, it may even give US the confidence and the motivation to actually -- well -- TAKE CARE OF IT.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Allan is a former top producing real estate broker, a published author, a speaker and a trainer. She has written five books about the business of selling real estate, including her flagship book: "Sell with Soul: Creating an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate without Losing Your Friends, Your Principles or Your Self-Respect."

Jennifer's message to agents and other self-employed salespeople is that they should strive to be competent advisors, rather than simply competent prospectors. Her books are written with this philosophy in mind. The title - Sell with Soul - is really just a catchy phrase for following the Golden Rule in the salesperson’s day-to-day practice. Treating clients and prospects respectfully, as the salesperson him or herself would like to be treated. Being competent, reliable and fair, and motivated by a true desire to earn a commission, not just show up at closing with hand outstretched.

She is a regular columnist at Realty Times and RIS Media, a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and one of the industry's most popular bloggers. To learn more about Jennifer's books and philosophies, please visit her website SellwithSoul.com.