Whether your goal is to make more money or have more free time, increasing your productivity is essential as a landlord. You must make every move count; every hour you work more efficient. Here are a few strategies you can implement in your rental business to ensure you're working as productively as possible.
1. Utilize Technology
Advancements in technology in the last few years have made it possible to work from anywhere. However, some people fail to take advantage of these capabilities, while others use some technology, but ignore areas where it would most enhance productivity.
For instance, property management software could streamline your processes whether you’re a hands-on landlord or using a property manager. Many products available today allow you to monitor activity even when you’re not directly involved. You can watch accounts, set up alerts and create meetings regardless of where you are.
Don't forget your phone is a productivity tool. Take advantage of apps that help streamline your business, even if you're on the golf course.
2. Set Communications Policies and Rules for Tenants and Yourself
Avoid dealing with issues that aren’t time-sensitive over the phone by implementing a policy for notifications from tenants. You could set up an email account just for routine issues or have messages automatically forwarded to voicemail. A separate phone number could be reserved for true emergencies.
Let your tenants know the office hours to contact you, even if you aren’t in an office. Make sure they're aware that other times are reserved for true emergencies. Set up your own office hours no matter where you work, and allocate that time for dealing with tenant issues and handling paperwork. This helps your productivity level because sometimes too much flexibility with your schedule means you actually accomplish less.
3. Create Deadlines
Even if you don’t have official deadlines, you’re more likely to get work done if you set your own limits and due dates. Plan your tasks ahead of time and organize them by priority. Estimate how long each one will take so you allow enough time to accomplish everything.
If you went from working for an employer to being your own boss, you may have difficulty organizing your time. When you start with a deadline, it becomes much easier to stay on task.
4. Hire a Property Manager
As your business expands, you may have to hire other help to allow you to focus on what’s most important. For instance, you may need to spend time visiting properties, negotiating financing, or getting new properties ready for tenants if you’re expanding your business. Let someone else manage the day-to-day tasks of dealing with tenants, accepting payment, and leasing vacant units.
One way to know it’s time to hire someone is if you can no longer find the time to work on your core business tasks. It’s far too easy to become overwhelmed dealing with a leaky faucet or sending out notices of late payments and forget about your ultimate goals as a rental property owner. Hire a property manager to help you — it's the next best thing to cloning yourself.
5. Delegate Tasks
Even if you don’t feel like you have enough units for a manager, you can still delegate some tasks to other people. Hire a receptionist to take phone calls or use a call center to manage calls while you work on other tasks. By delegating entry-level work or monotonous tasks, you give yourself more free time to be productive on the jobs that only you can do.
As your business grows, you need to know how to make changes in your company, and in the way you work, to stay productive. By following these tips early in your career as a landlord or property owner, you’ll set yourself up for success.
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