Whether managing rental properties is your full time job, or a means of supplemental income, prioritizing and completing tasks accurately is one of the biggest challenges for a property manager.
In a given day, a landlord is responsible for screening tenants, managing move ins and outs, tracking maintenance requests, organizing financial reports, collecting and depositing rent, marketing property vacancies and handling tenant or owner questions and concerns. The list of tasks can become daunting with an email inbox constantly filling up and your voicemail light blinking.
As with any well managed business, having a way to efficiently complete your daily goals proves to be the most effective way to thrive at work and lower job related stress.
The key to productivity lies in great planning; remember that tired and true adage about the 5 Ps of success…”proper planning prevents prevents poor performance”? To help property managers succeed, here are some ideas to keep you on track.
1. Write Down Your Goals
It might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who do not write out their goals. Use your goals to create a to do list for what needs to get accomplished today, this week, this month. Include short term and long term goals so you can think ahead about the big picture. Be realistic about your daily goals and honest about your long term goals so you can accomplish all of them.
2. Time Blocking
Structure your day in segments to help accomplish your goals more efficiently. For instance, give yourself the first hour of the day to answer emails and voice-mails, spend the next hour processing applications, market vacant properties from 11-Noon, meet potential tenants from 2-4 p.m., etc. Giving yourself a daily schedule with blocked out time frames helps you know what you’re doing when, so you can manage your work day effectively.
3. The Five Minute Rule
If a new email or message comes in with a task that takes under 5 mins, like forwarding a document or scheduling an appointment, do it. If a bigger project comes across your desk, save it for when you have more time to focus on it without getting distracted from your current task.
4. Take Breaks
It might sound counter productive to take time away from your daily goals but research shows that taking short breaks at regular intervals throughout the day not only keeps you healthier, but it also helps you refocus on the job at hand. Go for a walk around the block, meet at the water cooler to chat with a coworker about your weekend, take 15 minutes to meditate at your desk. Whatever it takes to help you recharge is important to fit into your daily schedule.
5. Use technology
There are so many tools available to landlords that help make property management more efficient. Online services can let you set up reminders, routine payments, and automated emails. One of the best things property managers can do is provide tenants with an online portal through rental software. Tenants can use the portal to pay rent and submit maintenance requests, and you can track everything online. You will not need to waste valuable time tracking down rent checks or visiting the bank or figuring out who missed a payment.
6. Plan Tomorrow Today
Take time at the end of each work day for a little self reflection. Did you meet your daily goal? Are you on track for the week? Using the momentum from your current work day gives you a realistic idea of tasks that need to be accomplished the following day. When you make your to do list in advance you can hit the ground running, instead of wasting valuable time in the morning trying to figure out what needs to be done.