If you’re in property management, there’s a good chance you’ve struggled to find the perfect work/life balance at times.
And if you’ve been in property management in 2020, there’s a very good chance this has been the hardest year of your career.
Now, you might be feeling like you’re ready to bid farewell to 2020, put it behind you and dive headfirst into 2021. But before you do, take 10 minutes to perform a quick business and life audit, so you can step in 2021 and make it the best year of your life.
Here are three areas to audit before you jump into 2021.
2020 included weeks (or even months) of lockdowns, so you might have spent a lot of time on the phone and in emails with your landlords and tenants.
In fact, you might have spent more time communicating with your landlords and tenants this year than all the years before.
Truth is, as an amazing property manager or rent roll owner, of course you wanted to make yourself available to support your landlords and tenants at a times of stress.
But supporting landlords and tenants 24/7 comes with a cost. A cost to you, your mental well-being, your stress levels, and your ability to keep doing a great job in the future.
So, as you step into a new year, it’s time to look at your boundaries with your clients. Consider the hours you “officially” work versus the hours you’re in contact with your clients. What message are you sending your clients, if you’re communicating with them after hours?
Ask yourself a few questions.
How do your clients currently contact you?
You might notice that you’re getting emails, text messages, phone calls, Facebook messages, Instagram DMs as well as messages through your landlord/tenant portals too. List all the ways your clients currently contact you, so you have a starting point.
How do you want your clients to contact you?
It might be time to streamline the ways your clients can contact you. While it’s great to have many platforms for communication, you can teach your clients how to communicate with you.
For example, you could set up auto-responders in Facebook Business Manager so that any messages that come in after hours (on Facebook AND Instagram) direct your clients on how they can access after hours help. You can do the same thing for your emails too, so you don’t have to be checking your emails on your phone after hours.
How can you better serve your clients?
If you’re going to set boundaries here, you’re doing to need to set up systems that serve your clients well.
This might mean you need to set up a “Frequently Asked Questions” section of your website. It might mean you create a “Troubleshooting Guide” for your tenants.
It might mean you use Artificial Intelligence to respond to some of your emails. It might mean you need to build some chatbots for your Facebook Messenger so that it answers questions for people, even when you’re not there on Facebook.
Having boundaries will protect your mental health and allow you to deliver even better service to your clients as a result.
#2 Social Media
You probably know how valuable social media can be for growing your rent roll and your agency brand. So, it can be easy to spend hours and hours scrolling and clicking and watching and comparing on social media.
As you’re auditing your social media use from 2020 and creating a plan for your social media use in 2021, here are three tips you should consider:
- Plan your social media posting schedule at least a week in advance (a month in advance, if you can) and schedule it. This way, you’re organised with your social media. Plus you’ll know that your posts are appearing automatically without you having to think about it most of the week.
- Set one time per day to check your socials. Having this dedicated time each day will reduce your chances of ending up on social media mindlessly scrolling.
- Remove social media from your phone. If you’re hooked on social media after 2020, and you want to get social media back under control, delete the social media apps from your phone (at least until you break that habit).
If there’s one thing to remember with social media in 2021 it’s this: Use social media to grow your business, your brand and your rent roll. But don’t let social media use you.
It’s usually now that you’re thinking about your goals or New Year’s resolutions for 2021. But this time, you should think about your goals differently.
Of course, you want to be setting your growth goals for your rent roll, but consider your lifestyle and wellness goals in the context of your growth goals.
It’s common to set goals around growing your rent roll by a certain number of properties in the year, but this time you should ask yourself what it will take to hit that goal.
If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s the value of our health and our relationships with friends and family. So, take a moment to look at your growth goals for 2021 and decide if they support you to maintain good health and strong relationships with those you love.
Here’s where it gets challenging. If you look at your goals and realise that you’ll have to work 60 hour weeks, miss out on family time, eat takeaway for lunch most days, and never have time to exercise in order to achieve them, you need to re-think your growth goals.
Joyce Sunada said it best: “If you don’t make time for wellness you will be forced to make time for illness”.
Set your rent roll growth goals wisely, and include goals that support your wellness, health, relationships and lifestyle too.
Even though 2020 has been a difficult year for property management, take the lessons and learnings from 2020 and use them to create an inspiring and well-balanced 2021.