Property managers must wear a variety of hats in their roles. In any given day, they’re required to serve as customer service agents, maintenance experts, office administrators and sales professionals, among others.
Even more impressively, they must deftly switch between these roles or even juggle multiple tasks at once. In an industry ruled by tenant demands, property managers quickly learn how to balance the daily grind with the never-ending requests of tenants.
Whether you’re new to the role or simply looking for strategies to help maximize your productivity, property managers can benefit from trying these four tips:
As our society increasingly demands more and more multitasking from us, the practice of mindfulness has become increasingly popular. Even if you don’t know much about meditation, everyone can benefit from being a little more present in their daily lives. When you interact with your tenants, staff and prospective renters, it’s important to be there physically. If you’re mentally checked out, though, your relationships will suffer.
Many of the most demanding tenants simply want to be heard. There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for something, not getting what you feel you deserve, and then hearing radio silence from the people who can help. Even if you can’t immediately solve someone’s problem, being present and showing that you understand and empathize with your tenant’s problem can go a long way.
What does this look like from a practical perspective? It means 24-hour, round-the-clock availability. While you and your staff might have on-call policies for emergencies, you’ll need to up your game to truly be present for the needs of your tenants. If you don’t already have one, set up a form on your website for maintenance requests that can be sent in any time of day. Partnering with a property management call center can also ensure that no call goes unanswered, regardless of time of day. That way your current tenants and prospective residents always have a professional representative available to help them out.
Work From a List
To-do lists are the cornerstone of any organized property manager’s time management arsenal. Though simple, a to-do list can provide your day with the structure you need to be as productive as possible. Of course, when tasks are added to the list more quickly than you can cross them off, a to-do list can seem like a burden. That’s why we suggest ranking your list according to urgency. While a ringing phone or pinging instant message can feel especially urgent, it’s easy to lose half your day simply putting out fires.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try listing out everything that you need to take care of in the next day, week and month. Then, break down your list according to weight. Rank the most urgent tasks high and shift the things that can wait to the bottom of the list. By knocking even one or two of the most important things off your list, you’ll realize that the rest will be a breeze by comparison.
When your to-do list is a mile long, it’s tempting to multitask. While some multitasking can be productive, much of it is simply inefficient. A task that might normally take a half hour to complete can end up ballooning because of your lack of focus. If you’re serious about getting productive and giving your tenants the attention they deserve, you’ll need to stop multitasking.
The easiest way to do this? Delegation. If you’ve got a team of skilled employees in your office, put them to work! Of course, no one can get anything done if you’re all trading off answering the phones. Whether you’ve got a staff that you want to focus on their jobs or you are running a smaller operation and just need to focus on your most important items, consider working with a virtual receptionist. A live, off-site receptionist can answer basic interest calls, schedule property showings, alert your technician when units needs service, forward on messages of significance, and plenty more. You’ll be surprised at how much free time you gain when you’re not constantly interrupted by the phone ringing.
Create Healthy Work/Life Balance
After a long day on the job, it can be difficult to switch into relaxation mode. Fail to do so, though, and you could find yourself quickly burning out on tenant requests. Healthy work/life balance is so important, but is so often difficult to achieve. Create boundaries around your time off. While your duties may require you to be on call and attend to occasional emergencies, partnering with an answering service to screen those 2 A.M. phone calls can allow you to get the rest you require to come back strong day after day.
No matter which tactics you employ in your quest to provide excellent experiences and service for your tenants, there is honor in the attempt. By striving to keep your tenants happy, you’re already on your way to being the best property manager possible.