A good property manager must have numerous skills to keep their residences functional and their residents happy. One of the most important skills for a property manager to have is great time management. Unfortunately, time management is a broad term that can mean everything from generic scheduling to meditating.

So what can a property manager do specifically to manage their time — and their staff’s — to the best of their ability? Here are four time management tips for property managers.

1. Write (or type) it down

At the beginning of each day, or at the end of the day before, make sure you have a designated place for all the tasks that need to be done. While you may have a great memory, we are all victims to saying we’ll remember something and then forgetting about it five minutes later. If a resident comes in with an emergency phone call and you don’t have their request written somewhere, the chances of it being solved are already way lower.

Also, make sure that this list of tasks is one strictly for tasks. You may write down things you need to do, but if they’re sporadically floating on random papers, Post-its, and napkins, you’ll never get them all done. In fact, you might even spend more time looking for them than actually doing them!

Writing things down, or typing them out in a list, is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to stay organized and focused throughout the day. Plus, is there anything more satisfying than checking something off the list?

2. Stick to the list

It’s even more important that you stick to your list once you make a list of the most important things that need to be done. Being a property manager means that there will probably be many things calling your attention at any given time. However, you need to be careful that you aren’t leaving in the middle of every single task to work on a different one.

You should have enough discipline to yourself to dedicate the time needed to finish each task before being distracted by another one, except for emergencies. Focusing on one task allows you to work harder and more efficiently than you would if you were bouncing around to different things every five minutes.

Don’t forget to add necessary things to your list too like eating lunch and taking breaks. These things deserve just as much attention so you aren’t getting completely burned out throughout the day.

3. Divide up the big tasks

Though this may seem contrary to the previous paragraph, breaking up large tasks is also important for staying focused during the day. When you’re looking at your list of things that need to get done, you may avoid the very large tasks that you know will take hours to complete. Of course, procrastinating on these things is not what you want to do. You want to get everything done in a timely, organized manner.

You can do this by skillfully dividing up large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Say, you’re going through rent checks for the month, you could schedule residents with last names A-M in one block and residents N-Z in another. Doing this with your larger projects will help them seem less daunting.

4. Connect with workers

Though you may have made an orderly, prioritized list every morning, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your employees have. As a property manager, you’re looking after many types of people and making the most of everyone’s time can be difficult.

One way to try and maximize time and efficiency is to brief everyone about the most pressing tasks at the beginning of the day. Let them know what you expect them to work on first and what other work can come after. Like you do to your own list, try and break up tasks so they don’t feel overwhelmed at first. You could also schedule a midday briefing to go over tasks for the rest of the day if you don’t want to do it all at once. All in all, communicating with your employees about this will help reduce unnecessary confusion throughout the work day.

Being conscious of your time and working diligently is the best way to start managing your time. As a property manager, just try not to be overwhelmed by what may appear to be a long and grueling list of tasks. Just remember to take things one small step at a time and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a day.

Also, remember that surprises and unexpected events are bound to happen as a property manager and not to let them stress you out completely. Don’t be afraid to laugh things off and remember to keep your head up. You always have the tools and people necessary to solve any problem that comes your way.

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