5 time-organizing tips for property managers

Geoff Roberts
Geoff Roberts | 4 min. read
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Published on April 5, 2010

One of the biggest challenges for property managers is staying on top of all the tasks they have to do in a given day. What with unit inspections, apartment showings, incoming and outgoing payments, resolving maintenance requests, signing leases, and responding to various queries, it’s all too easy to look at the clock at the end of the day and wonder where all the time went. Following are a few tips to help you make the most of each and every day.

1. Stay Organized
Sometimes it can feel like there’s no time to actually get organized. But the truth of the matter is, no matter how time-pressed you are, investing in organizational time is almost always worth it in the long run. Time saved trying to locate paperwork, contact information, financial records on your computer, or any other number of other items adds up quickly. Creating a system of organization (the more automated the better) will allow you to perform all your duties in a more streamlined fashion … which ultimately results in a whole lot of time saved.

2. Prioritize
Some days you may have to choose between getting one or two time-consuming tasks done versus completing a number of smaller tasks. Whatever the case, it’s most important that you use your time wisely. Take stock of your task list and check items off not according to the amount of time they’ll take, but by which issues must be resolved most immediately.

3. Stay on Task
There’s no doubt about it—we live in a world of multi-tasking. And while it’s true that modern technology allows us to do this (and there is a lot to be said for returning calls while on the road or responding to emails while waiting in line), it’s also much easier to be distracted than it once was. These days it’s hard to get anything done without being interrupted by a ringing cell phone, an incoming email, or the distraction of a web link. Don’t let technology get the best of you. A simple 10-minute task can be dragged out to an hour or more if you keep stopping in the middle to take care of those little distractions. Make the most of your time by staying on the task at hand. Flip your cell phone on silent, shut your email down for the time it takes to complete your task, and shut down your web browser. You’ll be shocked at how much more quickly you can get things accomplished.

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4. Resolve Problems as They Occur
The most successful property managers have built a reputation on accountability—both to their property owners and their tenants. And accountability means being efficient. Don’t allow problems that can be resolved quickly to linger on your to-do list. The task will become more daunting, the issue at hand may expand, and your customer service will diminish. Make a point of taking care of those maintenance requests, queries, and miscellaneous requests within a 24-hour period. Your to-do list will remain more manageable and, best of all, you’ll keep your clients happy.

5. Check in with Yourself
Always know where you stand. It only takes five minutes at the end of each day to review your day’s progress and get a handle on what needs to be taken care of tomorrow. Having a clear idea of what’s done and what needs to be handled allows you to manage your time accordingly. And if you find there’s too much for one person to take care of, it also allows you the opportunity to delegate tasks to other staff or vendors to ensure that even if you’re simply out of time, nothing falls through the cracks.

In the world of property management, chances are there will often be more work to do than can be accomplished in one day. And that’s okay. But these tips will help you make the most of the time you do have and guarantee that those must-do items are always taken care of efficiently.

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Geoff Roberts

Geoff is a marketer, surfer, musician, and writer. He lives in San Diego, CA.

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