The Cost of Inefficiency in Property Management

Bob Walters cropped

An article by Bob Walters.

Time is your most valuable asset, and how well you use it has a key bearing on how you perform. By analysing how you spend your time, you can begin to make changes that will ensure you get the most from your working day.

You might think that most of your time is spent doing useful things, but if you were to keep a detailed time-log, you would probably be surprised at the number of superfluous activities.

It is easy to spend too much time on routine matters, such as reading (and forwarding) joke emails, at the expense of high priority, productive tasks. Look at how you divide your day at the moment; do you prioritise your work so that you tackle important, urgent activities first...or do you complete enjoyable, easy tasks first. Do you waste a lot of time???

The majority of your tasks can be divided into three groups:

1. One-off tasks, such as correspondence 2. Planning and development, such as prospecting 3. Routine tasks, such as rental arrears, repairs, tenancy inspections

To be most effective in your job, you should be spending about 60 percent of your time on important routine tasks, 25 percent on planning and development and 15 percent on one-off tasks. If like most property managers, you allocate your time almost the opposite...and often avoid planning and development all together.

It is amazing how many businesses I see when I am consulting where the property manager has not been chasing the arrears, the tenancy inspections are not up to date AND the repairs are out of control...and the property manager is stressed out!

So tell me, where does the time go???

Write down what you are doing every 15 minutes, next to it indicate:

· Was it work related?

· Was it important/priority?

· Was it dollar productive?

· Is there a more efficient way?

Reorganise your working day so that you are able to work more consistently, efficiently and achieve more. You might find that there are some activities that are taking up a lot of your time that you could be charging clients for.

Recently I met with an experienced property manager; she managed 70 properties and was stressed out, but why I asked. We went over the systems and procedures in the office – she knew what to do.

The time log, told a more in depth story; this property manager had decided to "upgrade" the properties she was managing. While doing her tenancy inspections, she was recommending to owners to maintain, upgrade and improve their properties, new paint, carpet, kitchens, bathrooms etc

Fantastic! Higher rents, better quality properties and tenants; She was arranging quotes, meeting the tradespeople at the properties, selecting samples, liaising with the tenants and owners – backwards and forwards...renovations are very time consuming, no wonder she was falling behind in her other work...but there was a bigger problem, they were not charging for the time spent doing all this work..

This time log allowed us to see very clearly why this property manager was stressed out; she was spending too much time of something that was not dollar productive.

There were two ways to tackle this; slow down on the renovations, allowing the property manager to keep up with her other work OR start charging clients to renovate their properties.

This business opted to charge clients to renovate their properties, charging a percentage of the total cost of the renovation; (anything over $1,000) giving the business more revenue to cover the cost of more support to keep up with the services promised to clients.

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