As October 1st marks the three-month countdown until 2024, you are looking to kick your property management business into high gear in the new year, now’s the time to start a strategic 90-day sprint. Stemming from Agile project management "sprints" can really move you forward and get some momentum going.
Why a Sprint?
Because the property management landscape shifts quickly, annual planning is a thing of the past. Unpacking bigger yearly goals into more manageable quarterly tasks allows you to pivot and adjust with the up-to-date metrics to keep your organization moving forward.
A three-month (or 90-day) plan is the perfect amount of time for making projects and the subsequent tasks involved both manageable and focused, while also giving you enough time to really make an impact.
And, for this particular October to December sprint, it’s all about planning and setting up your property management business for success in 2024.
Get Clear on Your Goals
To position your organization to grow and thrive in 2024, this October it’s time to create a rough outline of what you want to achieve in the year ahead as a whole. Set a minimum of 2-3 main overarching goals. You need a “big picture” that should be used as a north star for setting specific goals for the year. From successful lease-ups to lowering operational costs by X% or improving tenant retention, the goals you set now will cascade into four strategic quarterly plans that will act as laser-like trajectory for achievable goals.
Pro Tip: Ensure that your goals are “SMART goals” – get tips and techniques for setting goals here.
Break It Down
Now that you have your big picture for 2024, in November, it’s time to break these goals down into key milestones throughout the year ahead. Sketch out each quarter of 2024 (Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept, Oct-Dec) connecting the dots between the simpler next steps and required tasks of the various quarters to each one of your overarching yearly goals. For each quarterly segment, really consider how it acts as a catalyst to the next quarter, progressively moving you towards your desired outcome.
Assemble Your Team
By mid-to-late November, it’s time to gather the team and review the strategic plan for 2024. This includes setting the vision for the team, and then showing how that vision breaks down into four 90-day sprints. Ensure that each person understands their role in the overall plan, and exactly what needs to be done in the Jan-March sprint, so that when the team returns after the December holidays there is no lost time. A town hall approach allows your team to ask questions and raise concerns. If you need to make some adjustments to your plan, now is the time. At the end, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page and have clarity on the big picture and understand how these goals cascade down to accountable deliverables for each team member.
Assess Your Technology
As a growth-oriented property management business with a plan in hand, do you have the tech-stack you need? If marketing your properties is a priority, do you have everything you need to monitor which marketing channels give you more bang for your buck and deliver quality tenants? If your goal is to lower maintenance or operational costs in general, do you have the insights of an integrated accounting solution to see which buildings are costing you the most amount of money and why? If you are looking to reduce tenant turnover, do you have the tools in place for surveys? Can you and your team effectively collaborate, with everyone having access to the information they need to do their jobs?
Pro Tip: If improving customer satisfaction is one of your goals, download our template for tenant satisfaction surveys here.
Know What Success Looks Like
So now you have four sprints outlined for 2024. How will you know you are on track and successful? Have a means of securing quantitative data for each sprint. Typically, these are measurable KPIs that provide insight into how well your plan is going. (See our guide to Top 10 KPIs for property management companies here.) With your team, establish the KPIs you want to target for January to March. Set check-in points (e.g. end of Month 1, midway, etc.) to review the KPIs, and see where you stand.
Prepare to be Agile
After you and your team have agreed upon your objectives and reviewed your technology needs, it’s time to think of your four upcoming 2024 sprints as living documents. Markets change, priorities shift. You need to be able to adjust as you go. If you do accomplish your Q1 objectives, go ahead and celebrate! Reward yourself and the rest of the team and then it’s time to review the next 90 days. Is the plan still relevant? If yes, proceed. If not, adjust accordingly. Did you fall short anywhere? If you did, figure out why. Were your goals too ambitious for a 90-day period? Do you have the resources (people, processes, technology, etc.) to realize your objective, or do you need to bring in a new hire, new property management software or something else?
Before you sign off for the December break, take a deep breath and know that your plan is not carved in stone. Nor is it meant to be. It’s a catalyst for a more agile, more successful property management team.
Can We Help You Achieve Your Goals?
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If you’re looking to fix your property management system, we can help. To learn more about what you can do to streamline processes and become more profitable through automation and other technology solutions, book a demo with us today!