As a successful property manager, it is your job to juggle lots of hats and to ensure that everything runs smoothly in an organized, efficient manner. This entails presenting the required information to the property owner in a timely fashion and also meeting the needs of the residents so they are kept happy. Without organization, you might quickly find yourself overwhelmed and find it difficult to do your job effectively – whether it’s fielding phone calls, answering emails, meeting with clients, billing tasks or any number of the other responsibilities you are in charge of. Understandably, not everyone is naturally inclined to being organized. If you happen to be one of the many busy property managers struggling to stay on top of all your responsibilities, here are some key management tips that all property managers should be familiar with to help you get organized and on track for success.
1. Minimize paperwork and clutter.
This industry is abundant with paperwork – it is the nature of the beast. Many hard-copy reports and papers around can easily confuse the efficient functioning of any property management office. Not only can it affect your productivity, but it may result in frustrated and dissatisfied property owner and tenant clients. It also creates more work to keep things organized. Stay on top of paperwork as it comes in. If you are able, making designated time within your day devoted to filing and/or organization can go a long way. An even better solution, property management software can help reduce the need for extensive paperwork, and allow reports to be submitted electronically! This way you will always be able to find what you need, when you need it, and you’ll have a clean workspace to help you stay focused and look presentable for any outside clients.
2. Identify what can be delegated.
There are only so many hours in the day and as much as we all like to think we are superhuman, the more responsibility we take on, the more it becomes obvious that we can’t always do everything. Sometimes to make your work much more manageable and easy to organize, it’s necessary to delegate some of your workload to others, or even outsource it to someone offsite. Especially if you are delegating to someone who has specific skills to be better at efficiently completing the task. By doing so, you will free yourself up to be able to focus on your most important tasks at hand.
3. Establish a solid contingency plan.
Professional property management would be a piece of cake if everything always went exactly as planned. However, we all know, there will be situations of bumps in the road big and small, come up and you should be prepared to handle every situation as they arise. For example, what happens if a property floods? What about the recovery process following a fire? These are circumstances where you need to act quickly and without hesitation. Having a complete, detailed contingency plan in place that can be referred to immediately in the event of an accident or crisis can be the difference between a quick, timely resolution and a stressful, disorganized situation. To create your contingency plan, document in detail what steps are to be taken should a property experience a flood, fire and other potential situations. It will be best to distribute this document to all employees and filed where each of them can find it fast.
4. Develop a protocol for an unhappy tenant.
The key to being successful in this industry is communication. Prompt, professional, and efficient responses to all inquiries, especially complaints, are important in building trust with a client. If you are overwhelmed and unorganized, timely communication can become a challenge. So what do you do if a property owner or tenant is unhappy with an aspect of their home, maintenance request responses, or anything else regarding your facilities management, what do you do? You can reduce potential negative feedback by planning ahead for how you will handle unhappy clients so next time you are contacted regarding a situation that needs a property manager’s attention, you will be prepared to respond accordingly and rectify the situation in a timely manner.
5. Implement a communications protocol with the property owner.
Like we mentioned in #4 above, communication is king in the professional property management industry. One of the fastest ways to feel underwater is finding yourself playing phone tag or crawling out of what seems like endless threads of e-mails. So before you find yourself in this trap, save yourself time, any potential frustration and even a valuable client, with a communications protocol that is an agreed upon, mutually beneficial, method of communication that includes an acceptable turnaround time, that makes sense with both you and the property owner. Obviously, to function efficiently, you can’t always be available 24/7, to the owner, but keeping communications moving forward and smoothly will keep you as a trusted and organized property manager.
Getting Help from a Rental Property Maintenance Company
Whether you’re gearing up to buy a new investment property, you just did, or you have a list of buildings you want some assistance with, a Chicago rental property maintenance company can be a great help. Here at Blue Collar, we know that investment property maintenance is a full time job, but it doesn’t have to be YOUR full time job. If you’re tired of spending too much time dealing with maintenance requests, finding reliable vendors, and juggling the logistic of scheduling service calls, contact us today. We’re ready to help!
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