When managing properties some of the most important time management skills to develop are ‘attention’ and ‘focus’. These two skills can only be developed once we give the proper attention to the tasks ahead of us.The role of managing properties whether is student housing or the hospitality sector is a very demanding job. It usually requires multitasking, making decisions on the spot and it requires planning ahead.
That is the reason why we should all start improving our time-saving strategies so our workdays are more efficient and productive. If we do it consistently we will reduce the likelihood of chaotic situations happening and we will increase our overall productivity. Property managers not only have to manage their own time wisely, they also have to deal with other people’s dependencies and crisis. A property manager will liaise daily with tenants, banks, maintenance workers and contractors just to mention some. So it is not easy to juggle your list of priorities when you have to deal with the crisis of a tenant that is having a leak in his apartment for example or when you have to fix an urgent payment issue.
In order to be the best property manager you can be, you have to take control of your schedule and understand how to use your time and efforts wisely even if you get interrupted very often.If you would like to accomplish all your property management goals for the week quarter and year, improve your current system by following these 5 time management tips:
1. -The power of a list
This is probably not the most innovative tip you have heard, I know. But the power of lists go beyond what you can imagine. It is well known that the most successful people do make lists of what they need to do, what they wish they could do and review these lists every day to see where to improve or how they could have done it better. They tweak it a bit every day and they get amazing results. Why? Because they know that a busy person can’t be productive by just remembering things from the top of their heads.
Develop your own system but studies have shown that simple paper and pen is all you need. Some people work very well with lists they can see on the computer, or by using an app. The choice is yours!
2. -The list is your virtual assistant
This is a way to look at it. You have a million things to do and you are getting through those things. But then, someone calls, you get interrupted by a visit, then a meeting and then another call. By the time you go back to your priorities chances are you only remember things selectively maybe not accomplishing as much as you could have accomplished.
The list will be there, waiting for you when these distractions end and you can continue your work right where you left it. You will know that there is nothing left to chance and that is a great skill to have as a property manager.
3. -One task at a time
Whoever said that multitasking made them more productive never had an audit on his results. Why? Because chances are that the ten things they are doing at the same time get sort of done, but badly. A better way to use your time is to take your list and do one thing at a time.
And better yet, if you have been working in that role for some time you should check what are your daily, weekly and monthly most recurring tasks and group them together in chunks. That way when you start your day you can just do one thing: like replying to all emails for example. Try not to do anything else until you finish the task. Then move on to tenant queries or maintenance issues. Whatever it is that you have to do and allocate time to it in a ‘chunk’ so you are giving these tasks the attention and focus they deserve. As a result you will see your productivity skyrocket.
4. -Brainstorming and exchanging daily
Allowing time for brainstorming or simply meeting with your colleagues to know what each one of you is doing, how to improve certain things and to brainstorm together on better ways to approach particular challenges or situations will help you and your team to focus on what it is really important to accomplish. Sometimes when you don’ do this, you may end up simply working away. You may feel very busy but your work may not be used in the best possible way. So pay attention to the exchange you have with your colleagues as it will motivate you and let you know the best possible direction to move forward to.
5. -Minimise Interruptions
At the end of the day it does not matter if you have the best drafted list in the world if you get distracted every two minutes. It is important to deal with small and unnecessary interruptions like another colleague stopping by to chat, a phone call that goes for too long or getting drawn into a coffee machine debate on politics.
What it’s better is to take breaks that you decide beforehand to take. Studies keep showing that these scheduled breaks bring more relaxation and are improve the productivity of people more than the improvised ones.
6. -Make technology work for you
You can do many things yourself but there is nothing like the feeling that you have when you know that many things are being taken care of for you. The software you use to manage properties do matter and there will be some programmes that will make your life easier than others. It is important to consider exactly what you need to be automated in your business first. These are the little things (sometimes not so little) that rob your time every day, as chances are; there is software out there that can simplify that task for you.
I like to think about technology and good software as a great outsourcing system for those repetitive tasks that need to be done but that don’t bring any additional value to your business. These are maintenance tasks like sending invoices, reminders for tenants…etc. All those things can be automated and when you chose a software that does that, you can then offer a better experience to your customers and be more productive with your time.
Do not worry if you have days when you feel you haven’t accomplished as much as you wanted to. Just take a step back and keep enjoying your job and make a promise to yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow.
By using some of these time management tips you will see how you end up working more efficiently and happily as a result.