If it seems like there is always too much to do, that's because there is - welcome to the world of residential property management.
This has nothing to do with being smart enough, having enough experience or your ability to multitask, it has everything to do with having the systems and resources in place to excel.
The truth is, there are just too many demands placed upon landlords for one person to handle. If you happen to be a certified electrician, a licensed plumber, and an insured home builder, you might be able to manage your property repairs, maintenance, and upkeep. Of course, even that it is dependent on the number of properties you manage.
If you are someone who possesses such skills, that puts you in a rare class of landlord. Although that's great, it doesn't even begin to cover the duties and situations landlords routinely face.
How are your marketing skills? How knowledgeable are you in areas like resident screening, property evaluation, and showings? This list could go on forever, and we still haven't mentioned the legal and financial considerations.
A Day in the Life of a Landlord
Imagine our aforementioned highly skilled landlord, elbow deep in a repair job. As Murphy's law would have it, a call beeps in alerting them of a message. A few minutes later when our hurried landlord can check their phone, they get the voicemail left by a worried resident.
This is where the"rubber meets the road" as the saying goes. At this point, if this issue demands immediate attention, there is only one viable course of action. Seek assistance.
As you could easily imagine there are infinite scenarios where a landlord would need to be two places at once. Be it the law of physics or just the fact that we can't be expected to have the skills and knowledge to fix everything; being a landlord requires outside resources, utilizing contractors, and seeking professional help or direction from time to time.
Almost by definition, being a landlord means collaborating, or bringing in professional property management. We know (especially with your first few properties), these are like your children, but you have to learn to let go.
The simple point is this, the more accepting you are of hiring employees, contracting work and seeking professional, experienced help the easier your job will be as a landlord.
Now Time is Money
Once you become comfortable with letting go and working with a professional property management company, you will discover something - time. How you use that free that time is up to you.
When your time is no longer being spent maintaining properties, it can be redirected towards improving, growing, and building your business. You can take your extra time to add additional properties to your portfolio or enjoying a hobby.
If you're not quite ready to hire professional help, how can you make being a landlord a little more manageable?
Time Management Tips
Use a schedule.
Make a weekly schedule and stick to it. If you have never worked according to a schedule, it can be a learning curve. It can also simplify everything.
Scheduling all your activities as a landlord will help eliminate missed payments, stay on top of collections, and even allow you to better manage the unexpected.
Do you have a potential resident coming into town next week? A schedule will enable you to see what needs adjusted or moved in order to cement that meeting.
Sometimes, however, circumstances don't adhere to schedules. That leads us to our next time management tip.
Yes, you are hearing that correctly. Live by the schedule and be flexible. While this might sound like a contradiction in terms, there are ways to make a schedule flexible. Using time blocks is an effective method to accomplish this goal.
There are a number of routine tasks that can be managed using this time management practice. It is also a great way to group similar activities.
At the onset of this discussion, the concerns of multitasking were mentioned. The time block method can improve our efficiency by keeping us focused on similar tasks.
Take a three-hour block of time and commit it to showings. Now your mindset, focus, and attention can be directed towards that polished, professional public image.
Set aside a two-hour block for paperwork-related tasks. Not only will this aid you in being more proficient it also makes your schedule easier to manage. In other words, more flexible.
When you're ready to bring in professional help, contact us. We can take the stress out of owning investment properties.
Download our free Guide to Finding the Best San Antonio and Surrounding Area Property Manager for help choosing the right partner in property management for you.