You’re a property management executive – it’s your job to create strategies for growth and flesh out game-changing ideas – but how difficult is it to accomplish those tasks when something like this happens?
You finally get some alone time to tackle some challenging work, when all of a sudden, your phone rings. It’s one of your property managers alerting you that a tenant has slipped in the lobby and hit their head. Now your brain is spinning and that work you planned on tackling gets pushed aside.
Unfortunately, this kind of emergency work is all too common in property management. I know – leaders like you tell me all the time.
How Do Distractions Hurt Your Business?
Distractions are a problem because they inhibit the thoughtful work that is integral to the success of your business. You and your team need time to come up with the great ideas that elevate your company above competitors.
Now, we know the nature of property management is busy. So, it’s almost impossible to erase all distractions from your day (unless you were to sequester yourself in a log cabin in the woods).
But here are 3 great ways in which you can eliminate some of the common distractions that keep you from focusing on impactful big-picture work:
Distraction 1: Emails
A lot of time can vanish from your day when you’re constantly replying to emails. According to a 2019 McKinsey analysis, the average professional spends 28% of their days reading and replying to emails.
It could be an email from your employee asking for clarification on their move-in inspection, or maybe a vendor proposal. Either way, if you’re in the middle of focused work, this email will throw you off course.
To make matters worse, after you’ve handled the email, your mind is going to spend the next 10-15 minutes suffering from what psychologists call Attention Residue, explained in a 2009 paper by business-school professor Sophie Leroy.
Basically, your mind won’t be able to immediately return focus back to your project because part of your attention is still stuck on that email.
Solution: Schedule Email Management Time
To avoid these distractions, many executives structure their day and create certain time periods to read their emails. Maybe you’ll spend time handling emails from 9-10 am and then 3-4 pm. Or, if you need to be more accessible, you can check them on top of every hour.
It doesn’t matter when you choose to deal with email. The main purpose of scheduling email time is so that you aren’t accessible through email while your mind is focused on a project that requires deep concentration and can help grow your business.
Distraction 2: Checking on Employees
Property management execs tell me that one of their biggest time consumers is checking in on employees. No exec wants to miss a government-mandated inspection that will cost them heavy fines. So, they often feel the need to call or email their employees to make sure the work is getting done right and on schedule.
This can drive you crazy, and it can be hard to focus on a difficult project at hand when in the back of your mind you’re worried about your employees.
Solution: Use a Centralized Solution to Track Progress
A growing number of property management execs use a central platform to check progress on every task/project in their portfolio.
For example, with our tool, InCheck, you can easily see everything your team is doing right from your desktop. You can see who’s handling the weekly grounds inspection for your portfolio, and how many buildings they have left. Better yet, you are certain that they are doing the inspections according to your standard operating procedures.
It’s like tracking your pizza delivery online, which I know I do quite compulsively. It’s effortless to see exactly where it is in the process.
Since you have a central location to check progress, tools like InCheck also make it a breeze to schedule certain times in the day (like with emails) to check in on employees and projects.
Distraction 3: Pop-up Emergencies
Sometimes a problem comes up and it’s your administrative responsibility to deploy the troops. Say there’s a snowstorm or hurricane on the way and you’re trying to get your properties prepared.
It can be a time strain to make sure everyone on your team knows what to do.
Solution: Use a Workflow Tool
That’s another reason why people are using centralized tools to assign and track work. Imagine if when a snowstorm is on the way, all you need do is click one button. Just like that, your entire staff knows exactly what needs to be done thanks to tasks sent to their mobile devices.
As I previously mentioned, with tools like InCheck, you’re also able to see the progress of the work being done. A centralized workflow tool is a great way to be proactive rather than reactive to limit distractions.
Have a Process Driven Foundation to Reduce Distractions
I can’t stress this enough. If you want less distractions in general, you need a process-driven foundation for your property operations.
If you can do this, you’ll see fewer emergency repairs, last-minute tenant turnovers, questions from employees, and letters from government agencies.
And using centralized tools to take your operating handbook digital can help your team respond better to the surprises and ensure that your team is doing the work correctly.
If you feel like any of these distractions take time away from your critical work, check out how InCheck’s workflow automation can help you remove them.