Resolving Conflict In Real Estate Investing

Here in the Midwest we try hard to avoid conflict at all costs. But we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t recognize that conflict is inevitable. We’re all human beings with different backgrounds and experiences that shape our current position on any given subject! When those various positions come together, there are bound to be differences.

In real estate investing, there are a few main relationships where we’ll usually see conflict:

  • Owner : Tenant
  • Owner : Contractor
  • Owner : City (Licensing, Inspector, etc.)
  • Owner : Property Manager
  • Owner : Business Partner
  • Owner : Institutional Lender
  • Owner : Private Investor
  • Owner : Seller
  • Owner : Buyer

I recently interviewed Heidi Pliam from Resolve Counsel, PLLC to discuss this topic (see video below). Heidi shared some global principles that we can apply to each of these relationship. It begins with asking three basic questions:

  1. What do I really want
  2. What does the other party really want
  3. What do WE really want

On their surface, these questions seem very simple. In reality, people are known to have an inward position but outwardly present a different position. This is often because there are multiple goals that make up our position.

For example, as investors one of our main goals is to make money from our investments. If we aren’t making money, then why take the risk and spend all the time, energy, and money? At the same time, most investors want to provide a quality product to their customers. They also want their business operation to not engulf their personal life. On the other side of this discussion might be a residential tenant who wants to have affordable rent, to have a property that is well cared for and to otherwise not be bothered by their landlord. Although expressed through different words, both parties actually want the same thing. Verbalizing and discussing this can help each party recognize their common ground.

Once the common ground is established we are better equipped to work through the differences that remain. Finding common ground in conflict is essential to the success of your career as a real estate investor because it’s through conflict that we can actually grow deeper in our relationships. Those deep relationships can be the foundation of future success. At the same time, dealing with conflict incorrectly can result in severe damage to our relationships and this can have negative effects on our future success.

Remember, conflict is inevitable. We can either let the conflict define us, Or we can define the conflict.

You can learn more about Heidi Pliam by visiting

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