Tips and Tricks to Help Property Managers Save Time and Headaches
Good property managers such as Martin Feinberg understand that time is money. Protecting and using time wisely can be an easy way to protect a rental property owner’s investment as well as the property manager’s business. Here are ten property management tips and tricks to help managers save time.
- Document Everything
Not only do property managers need to document their interactions with tenants, but they should also document what they spend their time on each day. This includes documenting how much time is spent on different projects or jobs, such as setting up listings, answering calls, doing showings, and communicating with contractors.
It might seem inconvenient but tracking just one full week of work can help a property manager better understand where the majority of their time is spent and how efficient that is. This can help managers save time later.
- Batch your work into time blocks
Multitasking is not always a good thing. Gary Keller (who built Keller Williams) teaches that real success is more easily found when someone focuses on one thing at a time. Property managers can do this by batching all rental listing work into one block of time, for example, which allows a person to get into a good workflow.
- Schedule your time
Professional property managers should always use some sort of scheduling system so that “to dos” actually exist somewhere other than their minds. Calendaring meetings, jobs, and work can help to cut down on anxiety and stress and will also help ensure that nothing falls between the cracks or is forgotten.
- Create a system for jotting down notes
Property managers need to have some way to keep track of their notes. This can be done via Evernote, Google Keepor even the Notes app on your phone. It doesn’t really matter what a property manager uses as long as they use something.
At the end of the day property managers should check their notes and add relevant items to their calendar. This is a great way to use time wisely, stay on top of things, and lessen stress.
- Create a pre-screening survey
For many property managers, the most time-consuming aspect of their job is screening perspective tenants. Phone calls and emails from non-qualified tenants, who have failed to read the posted criteria, can use up a lot of time and energy. One way to handle that is to create a Google Form survey that can be added to a rental listing. Property managers can then require a potential tenant to complete the survey in order to be considered. This will save time for everyone involved.
- Share your rental criteria in a photo in your listings
Because so much time is lost dealing with perspective tenants that don’t meet the rental criteria, it is a good idea for property managers to take a screenshot of their criteria and use it as a photo in the listing. This way potential tenants are forced to see the rental criteria when looking at listing photos.
- Connect with Staff
A 10-minute briefing with staff each day can help make sure everyone on the property manager’s team understands what needs to happen that day as well as what tasks they are responsible for. Allowing time for questions, concerns, and clarifications now will save time and frustration down the road.
- Outsource tedious and redundant tasks
Virtual assistants can do a tremendous job at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone full time in the office. Property managers should look into training a virtual assistant to post all listings, respond to rental requests, and possibly even answer the phones.
Just be aware that in some states there are laws that mandate the property manager to perform certain actions that cannot be outsourced.
- Attack Big Tasks
It’s normal to want to put off projects that are big or annoying. When a property manager is looking at a giant task, the best practice is usually to begin with the easiest part of the project first. Completing that will create momentum and satisfaction that can be important motivators for everyone involved.
- Screen Your Tenants Well
Nothing drains a property manager’s time more than a problematic tenant. Property managers need to make sure that their screening process weeds out the tenants that are most likely to cause problems down the road.