‘Property manager’ may as well be defined as ‘problem solver’!
Here are some key points to help you tie up any tricky situation with a positive resolution.
Just about everything that occurs in property management is a problem or puzzle that needs to be solved and in a lot of cases, these problems or puzzles are new, different, and have never been experienced before!
Sometimes circumstances happen that really push our buttons the wrong way! They are complex, difficult, and draining mentally and emotionally and can make us feel like we have just been hit head-on by a truck.
It is in these situations that you must have in-depth problem-solving skills to deal with what might land in your lap at any given moment.
In difficult and trying situations, here are ten things that you must do to successfully bring difficult situations to a complete resolution:
1. Know your priorities
You need to know if this situation must be dealt with immediately and drop everything else, or if it can wait. Being able to place things in their right order of priority with your task flow is essential!
2. Communicate with all parties involved
Who are the parties involved? Is it the landlord, the tenant, and/or the tradesperson? Do you need to keep your manager or principal and an insurance company up to date with everything that is happening? You must determine who all of the affected parties are and ensure that they are all kept thoroughly up to date.
3. Do you need outside assistance?
What makes something difficult is when we are not sure what to do. No problem, do you need to get this information from your manager or principal, another property manager in another office, or do you need to call your tenancies advice line? In any case, determine what knowledge you are lacking and find the person or source that can help you with this.
4. Break the problem down
Sometimes the problem is too great to handle as a whole. Break the problem down into its various components and write them down. It is much easier handling one slice at a time rather than the whole block in one hit!
5. Evaluate its components in order
Once you have broken the problem down into components, place them into an order of priority. You must ensure that the problem is completely written or recorded (preferably on paper) so that you can refer to it regularly to determine that you are on track with your plan of action.
6. Take responsibility
If you are to successfully solve the issue, you must take personal accountability to ‘own’ the problem until it is fully resolved, ensuring that you are not tempted to palm it off to someone else. If the issue is formally assigned to someone else by management then no problem, but issues can become deeper and more complicated if you don’t take responsibility right from the start!
7. Take control
It is a sad fact that most people do not have the ability to make something happen, resorting to mediocrity and half-heartedness. If a problem is complex, your resolve must always be greater than its depth. Focus 100% on the core issues; keep going with motivation and determination until the problem is 100% resolved to a satisfactory, successful solution and conclusion.
8. Go to ground
This means that you must control all other distractions that may impede your ability to focus and deal with the situation. Make yourself unavailable, switch off your mobile phone, place a ‘do not disturb’ on your office phone, move to another part of the office, leave the office altogether to the sanctity of another environment where you can really focus without distraction.
9. Watch for errors
Ensure that everything you do is error-free! Problems compound with errors and stuff-ups and can take 2-3x more time to fix than if you just got it done right in the first place!
10. Be the expert
Make yourself the expert in dealing with whatever the problem is so that you learn and earn the right to defeat the problem or issue.
Do you need to learn about some type of repair?
Understand your state Residential Tenancies Act to the section relevant to the problem?
Or do you need to deepen your knowledge of local council bi-laws?
What is the special knowledge that you need to learn?
Apply yourself to your research.
Speak to the right people and become the expert at that moment.