These ten powerful tips will reduce the chance of burnout and bring back a sense of purpose to all property managers struggling under stressful workloads.
Property management burnout cannot be ignored. The turnover of property managers across the country is a testament to the difficulties in the role.
However, there are ways to overcome burnout in the PM industry:
1- Never underestimate organisation
Ensure that you have written down everything that needs to be completed in a notebook, diary or word document. Remember nothing! If you have lost track of all that needs to be done, print off a complete landlord/property/tenant list and go through them all, allowing your memory to be jogged with every issue that needs to be addressed and every task that needs to be completed.
2- Plan ahead every day
Before the start of the day, or before going home in the evening, plan ahead for the next day. List your most crucial and important tasks first, followed by every other task that must happen on that day. Don’t place anything on your list that can wait until another day- this stays in your notebook for now.
Make sure you do the most important, most urgent tasks first. Procrastination leads to burnout, so make your day easier by getting out of the way first the most difficult of issues. Just do it!
4- Get systemised
Mistakes and problems take much more time to fix than the time it takes to get it right in the first place! Create checklists and procedures for every major process so that you follow a checklist every time. Let’s admit it- too much happens in property management at any given time, so don’t even think that you can remember every step properly every time.
5- Review ‘low-end properties’
Together with your principal, identify and review a business that is considered ‘low end’. These are low fee-earning properties that tend to give you more work as the tenants can tend to be more ‘high maintenance’- usually associated with lower socio areas.
6- Review ‘C-class landlords’
C-class landlords can be the most difficult factor in any department and must be reviewed and if needed, removed from the business. These are defined as 1- Unreasonable/over-demanding, 2- Take up lots of your time, 3- Want discounted fees/complain about fees, 4- Want unreasonable rents, 5- spend little or nothing on maintenance, 6- usually have a poor quality property that attracts a poor quality tenant.
7- Practice zero tolerance rent control
Rent arrears can contribute directly and indirectly to 70% of your department’s problems. Professional strictness will not only reduce your arrears but also bring a sense of control.
8- Take regular breaks
When everything becomes too much, step out of your work environment. Go for a walk, get a coffee at the local cafe, read a book, go for a massage- whatever it takes to get you out of the stress zone for a period and allows you to recharge your batteries.
9- Enforced timeout
On a daily basis, make sure you have time blocked off in your diary that allows you to do a solid chunk of work (from your daily task list) without interruption. Switch off your phone, close your outlook/email and let everyone around you know you are in ‘time out’ to get solid work done.
10- Get a life!
Make sure you have other meaningful activities outside of your career that will bring you fulfilment and satisfaction. Happiness comes with life balance and too much of one thing creates burnout! It could be regular family outings, going out with friends, regular exercise at the gym, or maybe getting involved with a community group. Make sure you stop to smell the flowers and enjoy life outside of business!