Is it true that to be a good property manager you have to be a little like passion fruit; hard on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside? Property management (PM) is hard work. And while “Five Hour Energy” drinks are all well and good, who wants to drink two a day every day?
Are we all gerbils on that never-ending wheel? Granted, there are property’s with full time staff devoted to sweeping common areas every day. Reality is many PM’s are picking up in the parking lot from the time they get out of their car until reaching the office door. So how do we keep the passion and not burn out? Here are a few ideas.
Prioritizing work. Everything cannot be a priority. Honest. I’ve tried it. It’s like dropping jello from a tall building and expecting it to land in a square pattern- to my understanding this has yet to occur. Prioritizing means you have to choose / select / decide.
Create and/or implement Responsibility Centers. Guess what? If you are a full blown professional property manager and you die tomorrow there will be someone there the next day to take your place. Sorry for being so blunt but it’s true. The frame here isn’t to say “so why kill yourself at work”, the frame is to be productive and utilize the tools / people / resources at your disposal.
The only thing worse than having under-utilized responsibility centers is having them and not using them. They are there for a reason, hopefully manned. Have you ever flown a kite on a ten foot string? Ineffective, right? In fact, the more space between you and the kite, to a point, allows for better control of flight. PM is very similar in that you have to trust your people to do their jobs. Micro- managing has no place in running stabilized assets. Let the string out…
Rest/Recharge. Disconnect. Yes, we are oh so important. I recently watched a real estate related show in CNN where the broker claimed to have nine blackberry’s. Nine? So while you are important to and within your business there becomes a point of diminishing returns if, say, every day after 2:00 is nap time to accommodate burn out. Another sign that rest is in order is when every sentence starts with “um”.
I will admit this is a somewhat selfish post as I too struggle in each of the aforementioned categories. Perfect time to state the obvious; do what I say and not what I do… I am reminding myself, and our readers, that balancing work and non-work is absolutely necessary to give your best in both venues. There is always room for improvement. The key is to avoid “constant crazy” in the race that will in fact continue past the span of our careers. How? Prioritize, implement responsibility centers, rest/recharge. .
When you love what you do it’s easy to be passionate about it. Maintaining our passion requires working smart. Maintaining our passion requires trusting our people, getting rest and working on the right priorities. Sounds like a plan to me. Where’s that kite string?
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Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. http://www.MultifamilyInsight.com