Managing a property is a demanding job. From planning your next resident event to collecting rent and reviewing lease applications, many responsibilities require your attention at every moment of the work day. But managing a property also offers many rewards, like the warm, fuzzy feeling you get knowing residents feel at home in your community or the personal satisfaction you get from increasing the community’s revenue from one year to the next.
You work hard during the week, so evenings and weekends are yours to relax and enjoy yourself. But have you ever thought about how some of your hobbies and activities could actually improve your job performance? For example, if you like curling up with a good book, then you’re probably good at skimming industry news articles for ideas you can implement in your community. If you like parties, then you’re probably good at planning resident events and welcoming prospects to your community.
Keep up the good work! Once you start thinking of hobbies as career enhancement tools, you’ll come up with even more ways to experience both fun and career success. Try one or all three of these hobbies below!
#1 – Compete in a sport or game
Everyone knows that competitive activities boost our fitness and strategic thinking skills. Whether we’re crossing a finish line or slam dunking for the winning point, we are in the game to win the game.
Over time, a winning mentality can branch out into other areas of our lives, like managing a property. Instead of just maintaining order, a property manager with a competitive mindset will always be setting new goals, serving as team captain, and striving to be the best in the rental community business. For example:
As with competing in any sport, you’ll want to be a positive presence among your peers. For example, when you hear that another rental community in your area has added new amenities, take the time to send a thoughtful email or handwritten note of congratulations to the property manager. By supporting other industry leaders at the same time you compete with them, you will build alliances and give yourself an incentive to make your rental community the best in the business.
#2 – Get involved in the art world
A big part of creating a community where residents and prospects will enjoy living is making it visually attractive. This includes sprucing up the management office, upgrading the landscaping design, and remodeling vacant apartments.
But what if you’re struggling to come up with unique and cost-effective ideas? Look to the art world to get you in a visual mindset, even if you know very little about art. Visit local galleries and festivals, make friends with local artists, including interior designers. Take an art class yourself or start a flower garden at home. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend at events and galleries, try simply Googling images of “art” or “design” and clicking through the search results. Pin some of the more interesting ones to diversify your “apartment interiors” and “leasing office ideas” boards on Pinterest.
You don’t have to like every piece you see or engage in a fancy-schmancy conversation about what you see in order to benefit from exposure to art. Just by looking at a display and asking yourself, “How does this make me feel?” “What ideas does it bring to mind?” you’ll be fine-tuning your sense of the different emotions that colors and shapes can evoke.
With just a little bit of exposure to the art world, you can brainstorm ideas for improving your community’s look and build brand awareness at the same time.
#3 – Taking an acting or improv class
Now this hobby is not for the faint of heart! It takes a lot of guts to get in front of other people and perform in any capacity. Public speaking, for example, leaves many of us quivering in our boots. But with practice and the courage to keep putting yourself out there, on stage or out and about in your rental community, filling the role of property manager will be your finest performance.
Acting is an especially demanding performance, physically and mentally, because you take on different characters, temporarily replacing and using your whole body and voice to convey these characters to your audience.
Improvisation works a little differently than rehearsing lines and blocking scenes in advance of a performance. Through exercises like word association games–“I say fork, you say ___?” “Spoon!”–improv teaches us to respond to surprises and get through a performance without freezing up. Additionally, skilled improv actors can work through their mistakes without dwelling on them and take risks without fear of failure.
Just think about the possibilities for managing a property! Taking an acting or improv class will prepare you to “perform” the different roles of your job and even switch between roles at the drop of a hat. One minute, you could be mentoring a new staff member and the next you’re inspiring a prospect to sign a lease. No matter what, the show must go on!
Maximizing the benefits
In addition to these specific career enhancements, there are other ways that taking up a hobby can benefit you. Physical activity keeps you healthy. Social interaction keeps you happy and balances your work and play. Skill-building keeps you sharp. Creativity keeps those great ideas coming.
So what are you waiting for?
What hobbies do you pursue and how do they help you succeed as a property manager? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Before you go, check out more ideas for excelling at your job: Four Time Management Tips for Property Managers!