“Overwhelmed is the new normal,” states Priscilla Claman in the Harvard Business Review.
She’s not wrong. Think about it. If we lived in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) work world before the pandemic, we’ve just been thrust into a whole new level of overwhelm. We’re working from home, figuring out how to interact with potential renters and tenants in a way that is safe and responsible, and still juggling our giant to-do lists and overbooked schedules. No wonder we feel overwhelmed.
If you and your property organization are looking to have more impact, and step away from the busywork to focus on what matters, here are some proven strategies.
Put Your People First
The shift to working from home can be a bit of a challenge, especially if there are small children under foot. Regardless, we need to rethink how to remain productive. That’s why it’s essential for property firms to expand digital capabilities that make daily tasks easier and faster. Small, easy changes can have a big impact. For example, by providing productivity and collaboration tools to help property professionals and leasing agents handle data, including centralized digital document storage and electronic-signature tools you can drive productivity across everyday interactions.
Build a Strong Virtual Workplace Foundation
Fundamentally, a virtual workplace shares much in common with a physical office environment: your people need places to collaborate, a way to share information and ideas and, at the end of the day, get work done. This means leveraging mobile, automation and cloud solutions that can be drawn on to better support remote workers. From internal as well as tenant communication portals to videoconferencing solutions for daily huddles or weekly meetings, equipping employees with tools to communicate and interact with one another helps remove silos and creates a connected property management business.
Practice Deep Focus
The property business is a customer service industry. As such, it can lead to fragmented focus. Even though it might feel productive to respond to emails the second they hit our inbox or check our phones every few minutes, it’s really just a distraction from getting more critical work done. And here’s the kicker: for every low-level interruption we engage in, research shows that although 82 percent of all interrupted work is resumed on the same day, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task. That’s a lot of time wasted. While prompt response (especially to incoming leads) is critical, most property professionals can set up automated replies to queries, letting the tenant know their email has been received and they will hear back shortly.
Single-tasking, also known as focusing on one task at a time, can make you up to 80% more productive than splitting your attention across multiple tasks. Property leaders can improve personal productivity by blocking off set times for specific task, responding to emails, etc.
Ditch the Low-Value Work
If your people are cutting and pasting information between systems, or manually entering in leasing details or updating vacancies on ILS services by hand, it’s low value work. Rethinking how you work and bringing in automation that bridges the gap between remote workers and disparate systems removes friction and makes for highly productive seamless work experiences.
When you automate low-value repetitive task, both you and your property teams are able to focus on more purposeful higher-value work that makes a difference to the company’s bottom line.
Keep Teams Engaged and Accountable
It’s vital to understand that your people will have challenges adjusting to this new work environment. Sometimes it may show up as feeling disconnected from the team, or not quite feeling as productive in a work-from-home environment. Zoom meetings with teams, including social virtual gatherings to encourage a connectedness, as well as being kind and compassionate are all critical in this unsettling time. Creating structure through established schedules, meeting times and progress tracking can help to create a sense of normalcy and keep employees accountable.
How Property Vista Helps
Web-based and simple to use, Property Vista’s robust suite of tools reduce vacancies, cut risk and increase cashflow and improve tenant relations, giving you the sturdy foundation you need to start building opportunities and growth. We offer a range of packages so that our software will scale up with you, making Property Vista an investment for both now and the future of your company. Smaller portfolios will run more efficiently, while larger holdings can capitalize on our full offering to centralize and automate their complex structure. See pricing and get a demo.