To describe the life of a property manager as 'busy' is an understatement. From visiting client communities to answering endless board member and resident queries, to fielding bids from contractors—the property manager's work is never completely done. That's why time management is so important to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. By following some tried-and-true methods supplemented with the latest technological tools, managers can save time and increase productivity to benefit both themselves and the residents they serve. The Cooperator recently spoke with several property managers to talk about how they handle their workload efficiently.
Planning Is Everything
A common refrain among property managers is the importance of planning ahead and prioritizing tasks. While different pros have their own particular way of achieving that, the end result is generally the same. “Time management is critical,” says Mary Faith Nugiel, President of RCP Management in Cranbury, New Jersey. “Everybody has their own way of managing their workload, but you have to have a way of managing it. An example would be after a board meeting with a client, get all the easy stuff out of the way [the next day]. If you need to go out to bid, get it done right then. You want to make sure to not let things sit.”
For Michael Crespo, president of the New York City-based Citadel Property Management, a little bit of multitasking is involved when he plans his day. “For me personally, I hit the gym first thing in the morning,” he says. “While I'm on a bike for an hour, I'm going through my emails, seeing what appointments I have, nailing down appointments, responding to inquiries and requests. There's a lot of different things you do to try to fit a lot of things at once.”
“You have to be organized,” says Steve Weil, President of Royale Management Services in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “That means a lot of things, and there's always going to be emergencies. And it's understanding the difference between that and the non-emergency stuff. You can't let the landscaper dictate when he's going to meet you out at the property. If I'm at the property on Thursday, then the landscaper has gotta meet me there on Thursday.”
When it comes to planning, Tony Nardone, CEO of the Springfield, New Jersey firm Corner Property Management, suggests creating a to-do list the night before in preparation for the next day. “When I get up, I look at my list and I prioritize what needs to get done for the client and I attack the list accordingly.”