It may seem counterintuitive, but meetings remain one of the biggest productivity killers in business today. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our careers – those long, drawn out gatherings where everyone sits around for an hour yet nothing seems to really get accomplished. Unfortunately, eliminating meetings altogether isn’t usually an option. The key is for leadership to recognize when a meeting is absolutely necessary and understand how to optimize that time so that it is as effective as possible. That being said, here are 6 things you can do to really get the most out of your property manager meetings.
Set clear objectives
Before you schedule a meeting and send out all the invites, get a clear understanding of exactly what you’d like to accomplish. Is it coming up with a new budget? Advising your team of a change in policy or work procedures? Developing a better marketing strategy? Most importantly, determine what the desired outcome should be by the time the meeting is concluded. If you need to arrive at some type of decision, know this ahead of time so you can stay on track.
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Create (and stick to) an agenda
Once you’ve got your objectives figured out, plan out the meeting in a timely fashion. List the topics you’d like to cover and designate who will cover them and how much time should be spent on each one. And make sure that whoever is moderating the meeting keeps to that agenda; otherwise things could easily go off track and result in some or all of the objectives not being met. In other words, it could easily turn into a huge waste of everybody’s time.
Figure out who “needs to know”
Property managers are busy people. Asking them to set aside blocks of time in their hectic schedules to attend meetings should only be done if it’s absolutely necessary. Only invite those individuals who are pertinent to the discussions taking place and decisions that are to be carried out in the meeting. Doing this consistently will drive home the importance and let your team members know that when they do get an invite, it’s worth the investment of their precious time.
Specify the time-frame
Set a specified time-frame during which you need to accomplish everything on your agenda and don’t stray from it. Always start meetings promptly and keep small-talk to a minimum. Remind all attendees how important it is to stay on track so you can conclude the meeting on time and without the need to reconvene again. It may seem a bit strict, but getting those property managers back out into the field and avoiding unnecessary follow-up meetings is important for your bottom line, so stay the course.
Utilize technology the right way
Today’s technology is a double-edged sword. Things like software applications and cloud communications have made it easy and convenient for the modern property manager to stay connected on the go. These tools can also facilitate more efficient meetings by allowing people to attend from anywhere. On the other side of the coin, however, there’s the risk of BYOD getting in the way of accomplishing what’s on the agenda. Make sure you’re clear about what is and isn’t acceptable use of technology during meeting times.
Follow up accordingly
Once the meeting is concluded, make a point to share a brief synopsis with all attendees so they can see what was accomplished. This is also important for keeping track of next steps and additional work that needs to be done based on the findings or decisions made during the meeting. Making sure everyone is aware and accountable will go a long way toward helping your property management business run more smoothly.
Nobody knows the importance of good time management better than a busy property manager. Taking the above steps can help ensure that every meeting you hold is both productive and a valuable use of everyone’s time.
What meeting hacks do you use in your office? Please share your tips or advice in the comments below.
Find out what more you can do to boost the productivity of your property management business. Download a free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Maximizing Productivity.