It doesn’t matter what you do or who you are, time is money. We’re going to break down 10 property management tips and tricks to help you protect your time (and therefore money).
Implementing time-saving strategies into your business can allow you to scale into an efficient property management company.
Remember that you are the head of a team comprised usually of maintenance workers, outside contractors, in-house office staff and more.
It’s hard enough to manage your own time with no distractions, but as a property manager, another person’s crisis becomes yours.
In order to accomplish all your property management goals for the day, week and year, boost your property management skills by following these 10 time management tips for property managers:
1. Efficient property management must be documented
Property managers are always encouraged to document interactions with tenants so this should be second nature.
In order to make yourself more efficient you’ll need to first document exactly what you do.
Not general statements of what you do, but how much time you spend on each project.
How much time spent on setting up listings, answering calls, doing showings, communicating with contractors.
It may be a pain but try and track one full week of work to get a better idea of how your time is spent.
This can be made easier with our next tip.
2. Batch your work into time blocks
Gary Keller built Keller Williams into a powerhouse realty firm by learning the power of “The One Thing” His best selling book is a must-read for anyone in the real estate industry.
Basically, stop multi-tasking and start just focusing on one thing at a time.
This can be difficult when you’re a smaller company and you have to put out fires but it should be your goal to hire someone for those issues.
Start batching all of your rental listings into one block of time so you can get into a flow with your work. Scientific studies have proven that task switching (multitasking) is not efficient for property managers or anyone.
3. Schedule your time
If you don’t use some sort of scheduling system your “to dos” don’t exist anywhere except in your mind.
The more things you keep in your head (instead of in your calendar) the more likely you are to feel stress and overwhelm trying to remember everything you have to do.
When you put it on your calendar you can then think less about everything you have to do and pay attention to the one thing you need to do right now.
4. Create a system for jotting down notes
How many times does a thought pop in your head like “oh I need to do that!”
Next thing you know the phone rings and you’re off putting out some sort of fire and you forget that idea.
Then you’re racking your brain later trying to remember that one thing you forgot about.
At the end of the day before you punch out, check your notes and add them to your calendar.
This will help you to avoid dropping the ball while also providing peace of mind when you finish your day.
5. Create a pre-screening survey
Many property managers will say that the most time-consuming aspect of their job is screening tenants.
There’s a lot to do and one of the biggest time sucks comes from phone calls and emails from non-qualified tenants.
You listed your criteria in your rental listing but they didn’t read them. They don’t even meet your minimum salary requirements to be considered but they still reach out.
You can weed these tire kickers out by creating a Google Form survey that can be added to your rental listings and require people to take your survey to be considered.
This video will show you how to create one of these forms to add to your rental listings.
6. Share your rental criteria in a photo in your listings
Many renters will look at location, price, and photos and then reach out to you.
They don’t even read your listing to learn more about the rental.
This means they don’t read about your minimum criteria such as pet policy, income standards, and smoking policy.
One easy way to address this is to take a screenshot of your criteria and turn them into a photo.
Add that photo as the 2nd photo on your listing so if they thumb through they will be forced to see your criteria.
Here’s an example of that in action.
You can see the highlighted image shows a list of your screening criteria.
This will be the second image someone will swipe through and will place your minimum screening criteria front and center.
7. Connect with Staff
Whether it’s a 10-minute briefing or a more formal meeting, taking the time to make sure everyone on your team understands what’s happening for the day is a wonderful way to make sure tasks are assigned, help is available and each member is ready to go with no obstacles.
Allowing time for questions, concerns, and clarifications now will save everyone time and frustration down the road.
8. Outsource tedious and redundant tasks
If you see a Live Chat button on the screen and it’s normal business hours there is a good chance it’s being serviced by our team in the Philippines.
We handled all client support chats in our office but any potential sales related chats are handled by our VA (virtual assistant) team.
They do a tremendous job at a fraction of the cost for us to hire someone full time in our office for that position.
You can train a VA to post all of your listings, respond to rental requests and 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.
9. Attack Big Tasks Like Dave Ramsey
What you resist… persists!
We’re all guilty of putting off projects that are bigger or annoying.
Sometimes it’s hard to get started on these types of projects.
Dave Ramsey wrote The Total Money Makeover which helps people struggling with debt to take control of their life.
One of the controversial strategies he suggests is to not attack the debt with the largest APR charge on it but to attack the smallest financial debt first.
Basically, if you have an overdue cell phone bill of $200 at 5% interest and an overdue credit card bill of $500 at 20% interest he suggests to pay off the cell phone bill first.
Financially speaking, this might not make the most sense due to the higher fees on the credit card bill, but psychologically it creates a mini-win as you can pay the smaller cell phone bill off faster.
It’s important to see and experience the little wins early in the process.
The same is true when looking at a giant task and you’re not even sure where to get started.
Just start with the easiest piece of the project first. The little win from completing that project will create momentum into larger projects.
Your momentum and satisfaction are important motivators in addressing a large project.
Having trouble getting into the swing of your day? Start with a small project and work your way up to the larger tasks.
10. Screen Your Tenants Well
Nothing drains your time worse than a problematic tenant.
One bad tenant can throw a wrench in your operations for weeks or even months.
We have a tenant screening tutorial that walks you through the entire process.
We also provide the most comprehensive background reports available.
If you’re a property manager with at least 50 doors in your portfolio we can discuss volume pricing on your tenant background reports.
You can email our Business Development Manager at rich@rent-prep or give us a call at 1 (888) 877-8501 to discuss further.
You can also fill out a quote request on our property management tenant screening page.
Many of our clients come to us after getting fed up with the lack of customer service or accuracy of reports through their all-in-one property management platform.
Other clients want to outsource their income verification calls through our office.
Either way, we’d be happy to assist you.
Property Management Tips
If there was one tip more important than all the rest, it would be to take action.
It’s never going to be perfect but the more measurable action you take the more opportunity you have to improve.
All the demands on your time are just part of being a property manager, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
By implementing some time management tips and working more efficiently, your productivity will increase and your satisfaction will grow.
Your properties will be much more successful when you master your own day to day operations.
Do you have any successful time management tips that work for you?
We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below after you kindly share this article.