Managing a Manager’s Workload
Time Management Tips for Condominium Property Managers
As a general rule – daily, weekly, monthly and annual tasks required of a Condominium Property Manager can and should be scheduled. It’s easy to use calendars and checklists to plan out your regular activities. Good Managers have already developed these tools for use on their properties.
But in the fast-paced world of condominium property management – emergencies arise, special projects need to be planned, or complicated matters come up. If your days are already filled with scheduled tasks, how can you fit these into your busy schedule?
Take Care of Simple Quick Tasks First
When you look at your inbox, does your heart start to flutter? Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of items that need your attention? Take a deep breath! At least half of these items can be taken care of in less than 5 minutes each. Schedule an hour to get away from distractions and set your mind to resolving as many simple matters as possible. Also use this time to quickly respond to any items that will take more time to fully resolve with a quick message acknowledging receipt. Just make sure to note any follow-ups required so you can come back to them when time allows.
Once your mountain of work becomes a small hill, it is easier to focus your mind on the matters that need your attention.
Where do your time and energy really matter? It’s ok to take a moment to review all your tasks and determine priorities. While Mrs. Jones and her leaky window is important, the 20 units affected by a major kitchen sink back-up must take priority. Once you’ve figured out your priorities, you can plan your time accordingly.
Communicate Realistic Timelines
So you’ve taken the time to resolve the simple issues, and you know where your attention needs to be focused. Do you know how long it will really take you to accomplish what is being asked of you? Do the people asking for your attention understand how and when you will help them?
Now it’s time to take a minute to communicate the realistic timelines you’ve set for yourself. If you can’t see Mrs. Jones’ window until tomorrow, tell her when you will give her your attention and why you are delayed. Most people are reasonable and will be happy that their request has been acknowledged and that they know when you will help them.
Whatever you do, do not make promises that you can’t keep. If you consistently promise that it will only take you a week to finish a month-long project, you will develop a reputation of making commitments that you can’t honour. The result is wasted time when people need to follow-up with you constantly about meeting your deadlines. It is also important that once you realize you can’t meet a commitment, to let people know you have fallen behind. This message is better received early on, than once the deadline has already passed. Proactive communication is key.
Bring in Support
What resources are available to you? Do you have a team at your workplace that can be of assistance to you? A supervisor or administrative support? What about the contractors working with you on a special project?
The condominium property management business is all about collaboration. Very rarely is a property manager solely responsible for the full scope of a project. This ties us back to communication. Make sure everyone responsible for a project understands their role and the expected timing for delivery.
Show your Commitment
Do you appear as committed to your work as you feel you are? How are you showing your commitment to your work? There’s one very important lesson I’ve learned in my 15-year career in condominium property management. If you show your commitment through effective regular communication, following through on your tasks, and do it all with general enthusiasm, your clients will be more forgiving when you don’t hit your targets every once in a while.