Any good property manager will have a busy schedule. Large growth in real estate investments over the last five years in Australia have left people in the industry with more work than they can handle.
If property managers aren’t careful, they can end up spending up to one day a week on a single property.It makes sense that they are always on the lookout for new ways to manage their time more efficiently.
We've put together three of the most essential time management hacks that will help property managers boost their productivity and reclaim their lost time.
1. Use the 'Time Blocking' technique.
A property manager’s job is filled with all kinds of emergencies that can affect a tenant’s time at a property, and solving urgent problems will seem essential. But making every problem a priority, will leave you unable to do anything else. You can avoid this by using the ‘Blocking’ technique.
Start by allocating a block of time at the beginning of each work day and another one at the end of it to communicating with your clients. During these periods of time you will talk on the phone, check your messages, emails, and post mail.
Next you can assign a longer period of time to working on a certain project without interruptions. Projects will vary, some days you might be working on marketing campaigns, others doing property inspections, or you might search for new ways to reduce the costs of the utilities. Whatever the day’s tasks are, make sure your attention is undivided.
Now that a large chunk of your time is accounted for, you can freely assign the rest of it however you like. In time, you will notice that having this schedule will dramatically improve your performances.
2. Use the 'To Do Matrix'
The “To-Do Matrix” is an organisational concept that helps you prioritise your tasks. Imagine a big box that is divided into quarters. The bottom half of the box will be labelled ‘unimportant’, while the top half will be labelled ‘important’. The right half is ‘non-urgent’ and the left half is ‘urgent’. Now, each quarter will be labelled as follows:
- Important/Urgent - This quarter has high priority and should be solved first.
- Important/Not-Urgent: This quarter is where long-term tasks go. You should keep these in mind and assign time for them in the future.
- Unimportant/Urgent: These tasks should be rejected. Explain to your clients why you won’t be available for these tasks. You can assign someone else for these tasks or offer advice as to how the client might be able to solve them.
- Unimportant/Not-Urgent: These tasks should be avoided, as they will distract you from more important tasks. Avoid wasting time on them, and assign them to your assistant, if possible.
Now that you understand how the ‘To Do Matrix’ works, each time you receive a new task from any source, spend a moment to assign the task to one of the four categories.
3. Be SMARTER about assigning tasks
If you have several people working for you (or working with you for a property management company), you can apply this technique in order for everyone to work smarter. It is important to know what tasks require your attention and which should be assigned to someone else. Make sure the tasks that you assign are:
- Specific - Every task must have clear specifications and a defined endpoint.
- Measurable - The tasks must be compatible with the person’s set of skills and should be useful in evaluating their performances.
- Actionable - Each task has to be something that can actually be done, instead of an abstract notion or goal.
- Realistic - The task must be given to someone who can solve it in a timely manner. You should never assign a very difficult task to someone who was just hired at your company.
- Timely - If the task must be solved immediately, make sure you assign it to a team with sufficient members.
- Ethical - The task must be reasonable, and solving it should result in a positive feeling of accomplishment.
- Recorded - The whole task, its stages and final goals should be recorded both in the request and in the completion report.
When you use the SMARTER technique to assign tasks you reduce your workload and avoid problems and confusion often associated with poor management and faulty task assignment.
By applying the ‘Time Blocking Technique’, the ‘To Do Matrix’ and delegate tasks SMARTER, you become more organised and waste less time. As a result, it will be easier for you to grow your business, or at least, to remain at the same level but with a reduced amount of stress.
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