5 Organization and Planning Tips for Property Managers

As a successful property manager, it is your job to wear multiple hats while juggling tasks to ensure that your tenants are paying rent, the properties are maintained and leasing runs smoothly, all 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 building’s 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 your other responsibilities, to find success as a property manager you must stay organized. 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.

#5. Hand It Off

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 handle everything. Sometimes, to make your work much more manageable and easy to organize, it can be helpful to delegate some of your workload to others—in some cases, even outsource it offsite. Outsourcing a task can be especially beneficial 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.

#4. Keep Them Smiling

Another key to being successful in this and any service-based industry is communication. Prompt, professional, and efficient responses to all inquiries, especially complaints, are important to 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 in regards to your management services? You can reduce potential negative feedback by planning ahead—determine how you will handle unhappy clients so next time you are contacted regarding a challenging situation that needs a property manager’s attention, you will be prepared to respond accordingly and rectify the situation in a timely manner. Failure to remedy client complaints in a satisfactory manner can result in damaging online reviews and negative brand recognition.

#3. Think Fast

Professional property management would be a piece of cake if everything always went exactly as planned. However, we all know there will be challenging situations—bumps in the road both big and small—that will come up. Education is the key to being prepared to handle these situations 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.

If you are really serious about being organized, you may choose to create a detailed set of instructions for specific contingent events. Having a complete, detailed 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 plans, document in detail the steps 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 archived online where anyone can find it fast.

#2. Clear The Clutter

This industry is abundant with paperwork—it’s just the nature of the beast. Abundance of  hard-copy reports and unfiled stacks of papers around the office can easily confuse the otherwise efficient functioning of any property management company. Not only can clutter affect productivity, but it may lead to mistakes that result in frustrated, dissatisfied property owners and tenants.

It simply takes a little more work to keep things organized. Stay on top of paperwork as it comes in. Making designated time within your day devoted to filing and organization can go a long way. Property management software may be another solution, and can help reduce the need for extensive paperwork as it allows for documents 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. This can go a long way if clients come to visit and especially if you plan to grow your business!

#1. Feedback Loop

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.

Real property management can be chaotic if the proper steps are not taken. As a property manager, a goal should be to minimize and manage any complications and chaos associated with running one or more residential properties. The most effective way to be successful at doing so, is by planning ahead and developing strong organizational skills. The tips provided above can help you become better organized and remain focused whatever the situation you may encounter, so you can be the best property manager in the most efficient and productive way possible.

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