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Time Management Tips for Busy Property Managers

August 6, 2015

As a property manager, time management is no stranger to you.

Property management is known for being a fast-paced career, and is jam packed with responsibilities from sunup, to well past sundown.

Still –juggling too many responsibilities can get complicated real fast. We all have those days where we look up and the clock is past five and we are left wondering what we accomplished, and where the day went.

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Even the most astute property managers have days where they feel out of sync and out of control. According to the Wall Street Journal, white collar workers waste an average of 40 percent of their workday –simply because they don’t have the organization skills to cope with increasing workloads and demands. We don’t waste time on purpose –that’s just what happens when things get too busy.

Too Many Tasks, Too Little Time

Property managers have a number of roles and responsibilities. On any given day, you could be doing any of the following:

  • Collecting rent
  • Managing current tenants
  • Renewing contracts
  • Conducting property inspections
  • Performing maintenance
  • Doing repairs/upgrades
  • Connecting with vendors
  • Sourcing tenants
  • Marketing

No wonder you’re overwhelmed! Having a schedule that’s packed full of tasks will take up all of your time, and leave nothing for important, pressing issues.

Fortunately though, there is hope. By implementing some effective organizational tactics, and taking a cue from other experts in the field, you can get back on track –and stay there. Here are some tried and true methods that will help you reclaim your time –and be more productive.

Time Management Tips

  • Start With a List

While it may sound basic, taking the time to map out your day is essential. All too often, we go with the flow and before we know it, mundane tasks have eaten into our day and used up all of our time. Instead of simply dealing with issues as they arise, be proactive about tasks that you need to accomplish. Grab a notebook –or open up a new document in the computer, and start writing. Plan out what needs to be done first, and list other tasks to follow. Keep track of your list throughout the day, marking things off as you finish them. Make sure you review your list at the end of the day to see how well you did and to note what needs to go on the list for the next day.

  • Always Eat a Frog

Have you heard about eating frogs for breakfast? Yum! This time management tactic is attributed to Mark Twain himself who reportedly said:  “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Identify the most difficult tasks, and try to accomplish them first. If you can do this, the rest of your day will be a breeze.

  • Schedule Time Blocks

Once you have your list, you should start formulating an action plan for the day. Schedule in blocks of time to realistically accomplish your tasks, and try to hold yourself to this plan. Some people find that devoting mornings to pressing issues, and afternoons to out-of-office business works well, but you’ll want to find a schedule that works for you. Identify which times you’re at your best and try to fit the most important and pressing issues into that timeframe, saving the other tasks for other times.

  • Avoid Interruptions

When we’re interrupted, it takes time to get back on task –so avoid interruptions at all costs, especially during those times that you’re working on important projects. You may find it helpful to let phone calls go to voicemail, and set aside a time for returning calls and responding to emails mid-morning, and again in the early afternoon. Streamlining communication will reduce interruptions, helping you to stay focused on the tasks at hand, and allowing you to see them through to completion.

  • Learn to Say “No”

The average career span for property managers is only 9 months in the business –with burnout almost certainly a contributing factor. As a property manager, you’re probably not wired to say no, but being able to turn down certain tasks in order to commit to others is vital. Equally important: is learning when to delegate. Sure, you can do everything yourself –but that doesn’t mean that you have to –or should! Outsourcing tasks that you don’t enjoy or aren’t able to do as efficiently can boost your productivity, and prevent burnout –important for your career’s longevity.

  • Take Advantage of Helpful Tools

These days, there’s a wealth of tools available that can help to make your job easier. Many simple tasks can be automated, which in turn will free you up to focus on more pressing issues. Some helpful tools you should be using include bookkeeping software, like Quicken, and online collaborative tools –like Dropbox or Google Documents. Also, consider implementing an online rent payment system –like eRentPayment, that makes it easy for tenants to pay rent. You could even set up a standing order to automate rent payments each month.

Managing your time will not only make you more efficient; it will also lead to better performance, and increased productivity. Since you will no longer be spinning yourself in circles, you will be able to tackle issues head on –and give your full focus to the tasks at hand.

Here’s to managing your time more effectively as a property manager, and no longer being managed by it!

At Renters Warehouse, we offer tools and solutions for busy professional property managers. Learn more about time-saving solutions today!

Photo Credit: Negative Space