Time Management Tips for Busy Property Managers
Renters Warehouse Blog
Time Management Tips for Busy Property Managers
As a property manager, a jam-packed schedule is no stranger to you!
Property management is known for being a fast-paced career; one that's full of 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 organized among us have days where they feel out of sync and out of control. According to one recent survey of American workers, nearly half of respondents said that they spend up to 50 percent of their day scheduling calls and meetings. Almost six in 10 U.S. workers reported spending up to half of their days in meetings and on calls.
From excessive email to pointless meetings, constant interruptions, and more; we waste a lot of time. Not 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
- Showing the property
No wonder you're overwhelmed. Having a schedule that's packed full can easily consume your day, leaving no time for handling those important, big-picture tasks.
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 on 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 admire your diminishing to-do list. Tasks that didn't quite get finished can be scheduled for completion on another day.
Schedule in Time Blocks
Once you have your list, you should start formulating an action plan for the day. Schedule in blocks of time to accomplish your tasks, and try to hold yourself to this plan. One trick is to identify which time of day you're at your best, and then schedule the most important and pressing issues into that time frame, while assigning less crucial tasks to "off peak hours." Some people find that devoting mornings to pressing issues, and afternoons to out-of-office business works well.
Eat a Frog First
Have you eaten a frog today? 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." Twain knew that by getting the hard things out of the way first, the rest of the day would be a breeze. Start by identify the most difficult tasks, and try to knock them off your list first of all.
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 should! Outsourcing tasks that you don't enjoy or aren't able to do as efficiently can boost your productivity and prevent burnout.
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 think about 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 help you to work more effectively, and productively as well; allowing you to achieve that elusive work-life balance. Instead of spinning in circles, jumping back and forth from task to task, you'll be able to tackle issues as they arise, giving your full attention to the tasks at hand.
Here's to managing your time more effectively; and no longer being managed by it!
At Renters Warehouse, we offer solutions for busy professional property managers. If you'd like to learn more about outsourcing to one of our Professional Landlords, get in touch with us today.