Eleven Tips for Being Efficient Out of the Office and On the Road

Eleven Tips for Being Efficient Out of the Office and On the Road

As property managers, we can spend a good portion of our week in and out of the car at appointments and on the road. We must become as efficient as we can in order to spend the maximum time possible in the office attending to our main work tasks.

We would love to hear which of these tips you have tried and which ones you have adopted as your general practice.

#1 - Get it done in the car!

After inspections or appointments, ensure that your paperwork is sorted and correct before you turn the ignition and move on. Get it done now so that you don’t need to deal with it when you get back to the office.

There is enough work waiting for you there already.

#2 - Carry a Car Kit.

Have cleaning gear with you to get small jobs done. If it’s too big to ignore and too small to call in a cleaner, the tenant or owner, then just do it yourself! At the end of the day it is more efficient than creating a bigger job for yourself through conflict or paperwork. For more information, see PMDirectory.com.au for ‘70 plus things to carry in your PM car kit.’

#3 - Have all your forms with you.

Need more application forms? What about spare routine inspection checklists or a spare repair request form? Whatever form you might need, make sure you keep a stock in your car. Again, the fewer things you need to do when you get back to the office the better.

#4 - Little rocks around big rocks.

Big rocks are actual appointments. When you need to get that key cut, drop off that note and take that extra photo, these are the little rocks to plan ahead and make a list of, number them in priority around your appointments for that time slot and do them geographically. The little things are just as important as the big things.

#5 - Don’t overload your routine inspection agenda.

Your inspections should be steady with the ability to deal with any concerns, before moving onto the next. Rushing will ensure you will miss something that will come back to bite you!

#6 - If it’s complicated, take a video.

Some things are difficult to explain by phone, email or even photos might not be sufficient. Take a brief video with your phone showing the issue with you explaining it in the background, load it to YouTube as an ‘unlisted’ video, send the owner the link and call them to discuss it. They will be able to see and understand the details of the issue before the call, saving a lot of time trying to explain it first.

#7 - Get the final inspection done before a tenant or owner arrives.

Some states require the tenant to be given the opportunity to be at the final inspection. If so, it can take two to three times longer to do the inspection because of the ‘conversation’ factor. Instead, arrive before hand and do your own inspection and then when the owner or tenant arrives, you only need to discuss the issues you’ve identified.

#8 - Write it down quickly.

When you’re doing an inspection or taking a call there’s always something that needs to be remembered.

Write it down in your notebook or app. Choose to memorise nothing. Write it down in a place where it’s easily retrieved for later.

#9 - Resist taking that call.

Resist taking that call unless you absolutely need to. Let it go to message bank and deal with it when you’re finished with the task at hand. Phone interruptions can cause details to be missed and tasks left unfinished or overlooked.

#10 - Don’t leave the office for small stuff.

If your entire rent roll was a 45 minute drive away from the office, would you just jump into the car to drop off a key? No you wouldn’t. Plan all of your road tasks and appointments as if they were a long way away. Do the little things around the big things, but never make special trips for small stuff.

#11 - Time block your calendar.

Could you allocate whole afternoons or mornings just for out of office work? The key to property management is maximum time in office, and minimal time out of office (unless you’re a property inspector, letting officer or BDM). Only do on-the-road things in those specific, set time slots (unless the property has blown up, burnt down or something tragic like that!).

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