One of the trademarks of being a successful property manager is having to maintain a schedule that can be incredibly chaotic. When you’re not filling out paperwork, you’re returning phone calls, scheduling appointments, meeting with clients and juggling any number of other tasks. This is why developing and honing good organizational skills is so critical. If you’re finding yourself constantly forgetting things and feeling as though you’re chasing your tail, here are 5 things you can do to turn things around.
Write up a detailed schedule and stick to it
As mentioned, you probably have a ton of things on your plate every day. Keep track of your to-do list, prioritizing what needs to be done and when. This will help you avoid forgetting something important. It will also help you feel more in control of your schedule. Sometimes just the act of crossing off a completed task can make you feel more accomplished and motivated.
Set aside time that is “off-limits” each day
Whether it’s the time you take to sit down, send and respond to emails, write up paperwork or just take a few moments to breathe, block out time on your calendar each day during which you are not to be interrupted. Close your office door and put your phone on “do not disturb,” if necessary. If you don’t have an office, put headphones on and let your coworkers know not to bother you when you’re wearing them.
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Build in a “cushion” in case you fall behind
If you’ve scheduled out your day to the minute, getting stuck on one task and falling behind can feel overwhelming. Remember, you are a property manager, not a superhero. Allow yourself a cushion of time in your daily calendar so that if something on your list takes a little longer than expected, it won’t wreak havoc on the rest of the day’s productivity. If necessary, add what didn’t get done to the next day and move on.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’
If there’s one thing almost every property manager has in common it’s the tendency to take on way too much. As a result, you end up feeling overwhelmed, overworked and ultimately risk burning out. Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ when faced with a task that you simply cannot handle at the moment. If you’re being asked to do something by your manager and you feel that your schedule is already too full, schedule some time to sit down and talk it over. He or she may not realize how much you’re already dealing with.
If you do happen to fall behind on a particular task, be sure to communicate the situation and any potential delays to whomever you are working with. They may not be thrilled, but at least they’ll know ahead of time what to expect so they don’t end up even more disappointed in the end. Likewise, if you need help with something, don’t be afraid to speak up. Honestly and communication are absolutely critical if you are to succeed in your role.
There are a lot of benefits to being a property manager, but given the fast pace of our industry, it’s a job that can quickly wear people down. If you’re struggling to keep up with your day to day duties, try applying the above tips. Once you’ve got those organization skills down, the rest should fall into place.
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.