Property Management: Multitasking versus Delegation

multiple CRT screensPsychologists have had some time to study the attributes of multitasking only to determine that, in many instances, the potential gains are overshadowed by a lack of actual productivity.  I submit that multitasking has limited value in our business as compared to the delegation.  In too many instances, these two management tools are confused with multitasking gaining credit when delegation is the real productivity engine.

A professional football team has twenty-two coaches to address 53 players.  That’s right- twenty-two.  It may seem unfair that only the head coach gets TV time, but that’s the way it is.  He has at his disposal an offensive and defensive coordinator, strength coaches, line coaches, a quarterback coach, wide receivers coach, a coach for linebackers, one for safety’s and defensive backs. There is a doctor, trainer, and equipment manager.  This excludes the specialist that comes in such as technique specialist and psychologist.

In property management, we, too, have ample people at our disposal, from leasing staff to maintenance positions.  We have our specialists, such as HVAC and plumbing.  Are we using our people to their fullest potential?  As a property manager will do, you keep things on your desk that should be in the hands of one of your team members?  Are you multitasking at the expense of delegation?

Multitasking has it’s place.  We all do it as we navigate professional careers, family, personal and professional commitments.  Consider the advantages of extending your productivity by utilization of the team around you.  The advantages of appropriate delegation slam dunk multitasking. It’s in the category of a 10X engine to free up your time and focus on management versus routine- routine in a way that the task at hand has a place and is important- you just have to decide who should have it.

Suppose your position is to address property-wide, portfolio-wide, or company-wide strategy, then that is your priority.  Place the right tools and training in the hands of your team and focus on these higher-level objectives.   Delegate where appropriate and direct your working hours on those tasks that have the highest return for your company.

John Wilhoit is the author of the best selling book on rent roll analysis: How to Read and Rent Roll. See also the companion guide to measuring the quality of rental income: Rent Roll Triangle.  Find JW’s Podcast here.

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