One of the best landlord guides was written in 1943 when Abraham Maslow explained our basic needs as follows:

1. Physiological obtaining oxygen, food, water –  things required for survival

2. Safety – securing your personal body, property, and loved-ones

3. Love, affection and belongingness – overcoming feelings of loneliness and alienation

4. Esteem – overcoming frustration related to feeling inferior or worthless

5. Self-actualization – seeking to be and do that which a person was “born to do”

As his framework suggests, the goal is to move from worrying about physical needs to contemplating how best to contribute to the world.  Maslow also pointed out that moving up the hierarchy is only possible once the previous group of needs have been sufficiently satisfied.  You can’t skip steps or leave lower needs unmet.

Maslow’s Hierarchy is an important guide for Leading Landlords to closely follow.  It should be considered before deciding how best to invest limited funds  – as in my case when deciding whether to install “real” security gates or landscape the front yard.

This hierarchy should also be considered when trying to transform a neighborhood.  Your whole block needs to feel secure before they will participate in belongingness projects.  This is critical to avoid failing initiatives and losing the momentum needed to make change.  As the leadership guru, Dr. John Maxwell says, “Momentum is a leaders’ best friend”.  According to Maxwell, to create and sustain momentum, one success should immediately be followed by another.  So it would be wise for a Leading Landlord to measure the neighborhood’s mood before reaching for the next level in the hierarchy.  We must address the first things first.

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