Like all professionals, property managers spend years mastering the art of time management and are always looking for ways to become more efficient. But what sets property management apart from other occupations is the unique combination of challenges that comprise any given day.
Managers must monitor the buildings, amenities, and grounds; coach and motivate their staff; support residents; and entice prospects to make the apartment community their home. One day can seem drastically different than the one before.
Given their enormous workload and the variability of their days, property managers need a powerful set of time management strategies. Here are three tips you can implement this week:
While this tip may sound like a no-brainer, it’s a good reminder to us all to create a visual layout of everything we need to accomplish during the week. And while many of us already schedule our work time, we could all use new strategies to help improve our day:
When you create your schedule matters as much as what you put on it. Create it early in the week so that you have as much command as possible over how you use your time. Why not create it the minute you reach your desk Monday morning? Pull out your calendar–whether you use a mobile app or an old-fashioned desk planner–and pencil in your tasks.
Account for the amount of time each task will take, with the understanding that unforeseen interruptions are likely to occur. It’s likely that you’ll need to adjust your schedule from time to time, but maintaining this weekly ritual can do wonders for your productivity and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
Flag urgent tasks to help you prioritize the list. Address time-sensitive tasks, such as repairing an existing resident’s plumbing, before less pressing tasks, such as planning your marketing strategy for the following year.
Early morning hours before the management office starts fielding calls and visits from residents can be a highly productive period of the day. Use them for tasks that require more concentration, such as writing emails, reading industry news, or reviewing lease applications.
If you know that a task will be particularly difficult, put it on your calendar to complete first thing in the morning. That way you can give it your best focus and lighten the rest of your day’s load.
When you regularly connect with your team, even for just brief, weekly check-ins, you’ll be setting a positive tone for workplace interactions. We know, of course, that a positive environment will boost productivity for all workers.
At the beginning of every check-in, praise individual members of your staff for their specific contributions to your management office’s success. Pointing out their success in efforts such as leasing new tenants or organizing resident events with great turnout will make staff feel appreciated, leading to better and better performance.
At the end of your check-in, make sure your team knows that they can come to you with issues or concerns. Always allow time for questions at the end of each meeting.
In addition to making every minute count, it’s important to schedule yourself some breathing room. Ask a member of your staff to cover the office for you while you take one of these effective breathers:
Go on a ten-minute walk around the property to get your heart pumping and reset your mind for the tasks that await you when you return to your desk.
On rainy days, spend your ten-minute break in a quiet place. Add earbuds and your favorite playlist and you’ll be in instant paradise. Simply moving away from your desk and entering a different soundscape can prepare your mind and senses for back-to-back appointments with prospective residents.
Several times a week, make time to socialize with your team, especially if you’ve been spending a lot of time hunkered down in your office. Positive interpersonal interactions, just like solitary walks, can put us in the best mood for finishing the day’s to-do list.
Using these four time management tips throughout the week will do more than improve your productivity. You’ll probably notice over time that you ultimately feel more satisfied with your job. Always know your limits and keep a positive attitude, even in the midst of a hectic day, to keep you mentally strong!
How do you manage your time at work? Have you tried any of our time management tips? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Before you go, check out Part II of Time Management Tips for Property Managers!