As a landlord, do you feel like you scramble as quickly as you can every day but you’re still running after the ball, perpetually behind? If you do, you're not alone. Many property managers find themselves swamped by groundskeeping, advertising, screening, and beyond. Tasks can start to fall through the cracks, impacting the wellness of your business. The good news is, there are things you can do to make the most of your days and keep your business strong.
We’ve taken time this month to focus on how to become more efficient in your job. We’ve talked about how to manage your time and prioritize tasks in our previous blogs. In today’s blog, we want to go over three excellent hacks that are essential to making your landlord business the best it can be.
Essential Landlord Hacks
Getting better at managing your daily tasks is a constant process. There are little things you can do every week to make your processes more efficient. Read more for some great hacks you can use today!
1. Use the To-Do Matrix
If you simply try to accomplish everything as it comes your way, you’ll end up with a bunch of half-finished work and a lot more tasks needing attention. You have to be deliberate about the way you handle your days as a landlord, or you’ll be lost in an endless, stressful game of Whack-a-Mole. Instead of living reactively, use the To-Do Matrix to triage your tasks before starting any work.
The To-Do Matrix is basically a mental box divided into quarters. The box’s top half is “Important,” the bottom half is “Unimportant,” the box’s left side is “Urgent,” and the right is “Non-Urgent.” Combine these terms in the quarters, and you’ll get four responses to tasks:
Important/Urgent: These tasks are what others would call “High Priority.” They need to be done as quickly as your schedule allows.
Important/Not Urgent: These are long-term projects that shouldn’t be neglected. Set aside time to work on them to ensure they don’t fall through the cracks.
Unimportant/Urgent: You can reject these tasks. However, make sure you explain why the tasks aren’t important and direct people to someone who can accomplish what they need.
Unimportant/Not Urgent: Avoid these activities; they are distractions and comfort tasks. It can be tempting to spend time on them, but try not to.
Every time you’re confronted with a new request or task, take a moment to figure out where it lands on the To-Do Matrix. That way, you’ll know what the most effective response will be.
2. Dedicate Specific Times to Specific TasksBecause pretty much everything you’ll deal with affects someone’s quality of life, it can seem like everything is an emergency and needs immediate attention. Unfortunately, if you put everything on your emergency list, you’ll never succeed. Instead of treating everything as a top priority, consider the following strategies for dedicating attention to each need:
- Establish times to go through communications in the beginning and latter parts of each day. Phone calls, texts, and emails can completely derail you if you deal with them as they come. Instead, contain communications within two distinct times of your day. Keep a one-way device or pager so your employees and officers can contact you if there is a real emergency.
- Block off times for yourself to be “in the zone.” In order to get anything done, you need to be able to focus on single tasks long enough to reach a place where you’re giving them 100 percent. Otherwise, you’re not using your time effectively.
- Between your communication and “in the zone” times, you can do whatever suits you best. You will find, however, that dedicating time to communication and focus will dramatically improve your schedule.
3. Delegate CorrectlyLandlords generally have significant numbers of people working for them, even if they’re just contractors. Wise landlords don’t try to handle everything themselves. Instead, they delegate anything they can. The thing is, flinging tasks at people isn’t optimal. Instead, use the acronym “SMARTER” to ensure that your delegating is going to be effective.
- Specific: Tasks should have endpoints and precise details that empower whoever is completing them to do so with excellence.
- Measurable: The specifications for the task should allow you to evaluate performance.
- Actionable: When you delegate, don’t do so with goals; instead, assign tasks that can be completed.
- Realistic: If the person can’t accomplish the task, it’s a setback for both of you.
- Timely: When a task needs to be done soon, it encourages diligence and prevents boredom.
- Ethical: Make sure that the task is something the average person would have a positive experience completing.
- Recorded: The task request and proof of completion should be saved, along with its purpose and schedule. This may seem like a lot of work, but when you get enough people doing enough things, records are your best friends.