It doesn't work this way in real life, but I have an analogy that might help you keep hold of your rental ground. This scenario might even afford you more ground. Imagine landlords as voters. YOU are the politician. Think about how the political system is supposed to work. Politicians should get to know the people in their districts, understanding their issues and responding. What if you did this with your current landlords or landlords you would like to have?
Canvass the landlords. Understand what's important to them. Here are three questions that you could ask the ones you have now:
- What would you like me to stop doing? (Wouldn't it be fabulous if politicians asked that of voters?)
- What would you like me to start doing?
- What am I doing that you'd like to make sure I continue doing?
These three questions will give you great material for your campaign.
Sometimes voters (or landlords) don't feel appreciated. Building a good relationship with them is one way to change that. Get to know them and their families. Communicate with them genuinely. Understand their concerns and do what you can about those concerns.
Think about how we all love smear campaigns leading up to the election. And how about the computer-generated phone calls? We don't. It's likely that you have fewer people to communicate with than a politician, and therefore have the opportunity to make conversation more personal. Keep landlords up to speed on what you've been doing with their land. Keep it positive, yet don't be afraid to be a little vulnerable by revealing the challenges brought on by the Ag economy.
The more they understand the circumstances, the better you can work together.
Being open and transparent is an important part of this. If you consider politicians today, many are not liked because they don't seem real. They're not human. They're not touchable. They have different rules. They're not transparent. They are certainly not vulnerable to the constituents who elected them.
Vulnerability is a good thing if used right. So think about being open and candid, and willing to listen without being defensive. I think these are great ways to achieve a stronger foothold on that land – which is such an important resource for farmers.
Ultimately, you're looking for another elected term on that land.