A common problem that I see in the property management industry is a company that wants to grow but is completely overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations of the company. They are overwhelmed because there is a bottleneck somewhere in the company. Our solution is checklists. Let us show you how powerful they can be.
Property managers are determined and driven and we are very detail oriented. That means company owners/brokers want things done THEIR WAY. This isn’t a flaw. This actually is a valuable trait of a property manager. Property management requires an enormous amount of attention to detail.
Where is the bottleneck in your company? I hate to say it, but 9 times out of 10 the broker/owner is the bottleneck. Does everyone come to you to find the answers to questions? Is this frustrating for you? I can tell you it is definitely frustrating for your employees.
There is one easy solution to this problem - create checklists and forms that have your policies and procedures baked right into them.
Here are the 5 steps we’ve used to create our checklists.
Choose ONE Activity: A checklist should document only one activity, for example Move In, Move Out. Lease Renewal, etc. Resist the temptation to put more than one activity on a checklist. For example, don’t include Tenant Screening tasks on a Move In checklist.
Systematize Policies & Procedures: Use checklists to define what should and what should not be done during each activity. This will lower risk and provide superior customer service.
Interview Your Staff: Observe. Ask questions. Take notes. Who initiates an activity? What are the tasks that need to be done? Is more than one person involved? Who does which tasks? What is the most efficient order of tasks and people for this activity?
Keep It Simple: Keep wording simple, for example “UPLOAD lease to software” or “SEND lease to owner” or “PREPARE tenant folder."
Put Your Checklists Online: Use a simple and free project tracking tool like Asana.
I was the bottleneck in my business. I was the one person who knew every policy and procedure in our company - because I wrote them. My staff was constantly bombarding me with questions like “What do I tell the tenant about adding a pet?” “How does the tenant add a roommate?” “This owner is having trouble logging on to their account.” I had not time to do anything except answer questions.
You can have a great training program for your employees. But we all get busy and forget something we learned months - or years ago - or it’s too much trouble to look it up in a manual.
A checklist is a quick and easy tool that assures everything gets done the WAY YOU WANT IT DONE. And no one has to wait for you to answer their questions. When you create checklists you can completely eliminate the bottleneck of information. This frees up your time to concentrate on bigger and more profitable projects.
If you are just starting out to create your property management business then checklists are an essential tool for you to outline your policies and procedures.
If you have been doing this for years then a review of your checklists may be in order. Policies change and so should your checklists.
No matter where you are in your business, creating powerful and effective checklists will lead to growth.
Where is the bottleneck in your company? Post in the comments below.