Property management may (okay let’s be honest, will) become overbearing some days. However, with proper plans and systems in place, you can keep not only your tenants at ease, but your entire team working together efficiently. These are just a few of the things that you can implement to achieve success in property management:
1. Create a Realistic Game Plan
Manage your time, don’t let your time manage you by creating and maintaining a realistic routine, and sticking to it! Create an outline of tasks that need to be completed that day and a game plan on how to perfect them. One tool you can use is what’s called “Time Blocking.” You can time block your day by dedicating a chunk of time to accomplishing a specific task, or group of them, and only those specific tasks. Before going home, review your to-do list and prepare the next day’s list. Property management encompasses a lot of different hats, so each day to the next will probably not look the same. Over time, you will learn how much you can sensibly accomplish in a day so you will not feel the need to live at the office 24/7.
2. It Takes A Village
All of the responsibilities that come with managing a commercial property are simply too much for one person to tackle alone, so don’t let yourself feel the burnout and be sure to delegate some of your tasks. In an ideal scenario, a property manager should handle the more pressing matters and owner related questions, while the assistant manager should be the main point of contact for tenants and keeping them happy while the leasing agent can work with potential clientele. It’s also okay to outsource roles like bookkeeping when you start drowning in paperwork. Although organizing financial records and property expenses such as maintenance, employee payroll and trash removal seems like mundane work, it is essential for your business to succeed. You have to know what money is coming in and what money is going out and not something you should overlook.
3. Invest in the Right Property Management Software
Thanks to ever-changing technology, there are more tools now than ever designed to make management more efficient. Finding a good software to help automate systems can be a huge benefit for your team’s productivity. An ideal management software will have features that help with marketing vacant properties, tenant vetting processes and accounting features as well. Some programs may offer a basic package with add on features at an additional fee. Be sure to shop around and get quotes from various software companies before committing to the first one you come across. Providing your staff with the tools they need to succeed will help keep your office running smoothly.
4. Be Proactive, NOT Reactive With Maintenance
Reduce the risk of potential problems by keeping up to date with routine inspections. Preemptively inspecting can not only be a benefit to management, but to tenants as well. Fixing a smaller issue, like a leak, is a lot more cost and time effective than waiting for the leak to create water damage. Lack of maintenance can also lead to health issues with your tenants, but by sticking to your routine inspections you will avoid more serious consequences to your and to your business. Common areas to routinely inspect may include: fire alarms, water lines, windows and HVAC systems.
5. Emphasize Engagement
Take advantage of tools that help you send rent and maintenance reminders as well as tenant surveys. Your level of customer engagement should reflect your company’s commitment to service! It’s just as important to understand why a tenant is leaving as it is to why they decided on the property in the first place. If the reason is something in your company's control, you may be able to change the tenant’s mind by making some simple changes. Otherwise, you may be able to make improvements for the next tenant so they are more likely to renew their lease. If a tenant is leaving, you can get ahead of marketing the space and gaining interest, it could take months to fill the space, so the earlier notice you have as management, the better. It is also imperative that your team respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Be dependable and available when a tenant needs you, show them you genuinely care about resolving their issue.
These five tips are designed to be helpful whether you manage residential properties or multifamily properties. By being proactive and prepared, you are much more likely to succeed in every aspect of property management.