In today’s world, rarely do we find a property manager work a traditional 40-hour week. IF they do work 40 hours, it is typically not your normal 9-5 leading to a wacky schedule. We’ve all received that 9pm emergency call from a tenant followed by two more phone calls. By the time we ‘fix’ the problem, it is midnight. I guess it would be a different story if the nature of the call were an owner/tenant calling to tell us that we are doing a good job…but I am going to assume that you can count the number of times that has happened on one hand. So, what do we do?
- Define your work hours to your owners/tenants/councils right from the get go.
It can be a challenge when you receive a text message, a phone call, and then an email from the same person all in a span of 2 minutes. Right when you start responding, it tells them that it is ok for them to do that. Clearly define availability including response times before you engage in a new relationship. People may say that providing 24-hour service is the foundation for exceptional service, but you can’t provide any service when you’re run into the ground.
- Manage your time and have a schedule.
Sounds simple. When it comes to it though, many of us have worked through lunch hours, sent ‘just one more’ email or made ‘just one more’ phone call. Train your clients to respect your time. What has worked in the past for me is maintaining an internal schedule for myself. Emergencies aside, I have a daily routine of when to handle phone calls, respond to emails, schedule service/maintenance calls, etc… There is no such thing as finishing all our work; we have to come to terms that we are in an industry where our work is never ending.
- Embrace technology.
There are so many applications out there that can help us manage our schedule, contacts, to-do lists, contractors, properties, tenants information, etc… What really is important is to find the proper tool that fits into our workflow. Just like #2, having a consistent schedule is the key to increasing our efficiency. While Google products, Microsoft Office, and Schedulers are great, it is important to invest into a property management software dedicated to balancing budgets for our owners, automating recurring tasks, properly storing data, and managing communication.