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For a property manager, few resources are so precious as time. No matter how well your rentals are performing, how effective your staff, or how precise your budgeting, you can't create more time out of thin air!
So, how do superior property managers make the most of their 24 hours?
Let's look at some tools and strategies you can use to create more time in your workday, thus lowering your stress and helping you perform more effectively.
Tools For Managing Your Time
1) Block Out Your Time in Advance
This tip may seem a bit obvious, but the best way to manage your time is to sit down and manage it—don't just guess your way through each day, hoping to achieve your goals in no particular order.
By figuring out what you need to do on a given day and then allocating time appropriately, you can prioritize more effectively. By planning ahead, you can gain insight into workplace time wasters, what you could do faster, and tasks prioritization.
This sort of planning is crucial if you want any of the other tools on this list to work; if you don't know where your time is going—or where it should go—then you can't implement any other improvements.
2) Start the Day Strong
A general rule for conscious time management, for any position, is to start the day strong. This rule holds as true in property management as it does anywhere else.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, it's quite simple: figure out something important that you don't want to deal with, and get it out of the way first thing in the morning instead of leaving it to linger until midday or later.
This strategy helps put you in the right mindset for efficient work, helps take the stress of the unfinished task off your mind, and avoids the nasty situation of an unpleasant but critical task going undone until it becomes a disaster.
3) Document and Take Notes
Good property managers know to document everything—not for liability purposes or general bookkeeping, but because it helps you to run a stronger organization.
Documentation habits help property managers better understand the state of all properties, including identifying important to-do's, optimizing staffing workflows, and planning long-term projects. What are you doing with your time and other resources, and where are you losing efficiency?
Your impression of how you spend time might be distorted by personal biases, preferences, and things out of your control. Proper documentation practices, including good note-taking, will help you keep an accurate picture of the scene on the ground, keep poor time management at bay, and make more informed decisions.
It's also an excellent way to stay on top of little problems while they're still small and easily manageable—warning signs you might overlook without note-taking can blow up in your face in a big way down the line.
4) Simplify, Organize, and Automate Processes
How you manage your properties should be subject to scrutiny and planning. That means looking at the different processes involved in the job—administration, advertising, staffing management, ticketing of maintenance issues, general complaint resolution—and figuring out how it should work compared to how it does work.
From there, you can implement fixed, reliable processes for different tasks to optimize the way you spend time on those tasks. Where mere planning won't suit, you can find tools to automate or assist in those processes, to ensure no more workforce hours goes into a given endeavor than is strictly necessary.
This all also helps keep your books and records more accurate and accessible, always a benefit in property management.
5) Keep People in Mind
As a property manager, nothing will sap your time or throw your schedule into disarray quite as much as other people. You want a reliable staff you can comfortably delegate to, and you want well-screened tenants who don't cause problems. Unfortunately, people create chaos, and property management is about people—even if you're working primarily with corporate renters.
This truth means you always need to consider the human element in your time management, how you plan to spend time, how much wiggle room you leave, how you organize your staff. You want to minimize chaos while accepting its inevitability; anything else will waste your time or leave you facing implausible schedules.
Crucial time management comes down to money—so make the most of yours. Creating a strong start to the day, using effective documentation practices, using technology, practicing effective delegation, and optimizing your workdays can all come together to transform your time efficiency.
Just make sure you don't waste your newfound time on other time leeches like social media or excessive water cooler chat, and don't let anyone else add inefficiency to your day!
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Learn more about growing your assets with our free guide just for Property Managers.
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Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the benefits of retrofitting impact windows!