Let me paint you a picture.
You enrol in a rent roll growth training program…
Or sign up for a webinar on how to get more landlord leads…
Or maybe you go away for a 2 day conference all about Property Management and Rent Roll Growth.
And you’re excited…
Ready for action…
You get me right?
Then you come back to your desk, feeling ready to take on the world.
And you open your emails.
Within 2 seconds, you’ve gone from excited, inspired and ready for action, and you’re slapped back into reality.
And it feels like you’re never going to have time to implement the growth strategies you learned.
Truth is, it can feel pretty disappointing, and a bit of a waste of money, when you’ve spent all that time and all that money learning new ways to grow your rent roll, but never actually having time to implement what you learnt.
So, today I want to share 3 very effective steps to get (at least) 3 hours back each week.
Maybe that doesn’t seem like much, but 3 hours a week is enough time for you to get back to implementing those growth strategies you’re excited about.
Step 1 – Plan your week on Fridays or Sundays
One of the challenges I had when I was running my rent roll was on Monday morning. I’d step into my home office, open my PM software and my emails and start figuring out what I had to do first.
When I started planning out my week before Monday morning, I knew exactly what I had to do the moment I walked into my office. For me, this saved me about 45 minutes to an hour at the start of my day.
I also used an Ideal Week as part of this plan, but I still took a couple of minutes at the end of the week to prioritise the things that were important for the upcoming week.
What I found was, on a Friday afternoon, I was actually more proactive and effective at planning the next week, than I was on a Monday morning. I felt very reactive, rather than proactive, on a Monday morning.
Step 2 – Use the Pomodoro Timer Technique
According to Digital Information World, the human attention span has reduced from 12 seconds in 2000 down to 8 seconds in 2018. So you can imagine how difficult it must be to stay focused for longer periods of time to get your work done.
Especially in Property Management!
The Pomodoro Technique is a way of blocking your work time into 25 minute sessions of pure focus. During these 25 minutes you focus on one single task (like processing your repairs and maintenance, maybe?) without interruption.
But here’s the challenge of Property Management.
You’re likely to get interrupted.
You’re likely to receive texts, phone calls, messenger notifications and emails during these 25 minutes. So how do you cope with this during a 25 minute focused work session?
You create rules.
Here are some of my rules. Feel free to use them yourself if they appeal to you.
- I turn off my emails during the 25 minutes. This means, either closing the email tab on my computer, or using Inbox Pause for Gmail to stop new emails coming in. If I’m feeling really anxious about my emails, I’ll set an auto-responder on my emails for this time explaining what to do in the event of an emergency.
- My phone goes on silent. In the beginning of starting my rent roll, I was the only person who answered the phone. So, I’d glance at the phone if it started to ring, just so I could monitor emergencies. Eventually, I outsourced my phone answering, and my virtual receptionist knew to text me in the event of an emergency. If you have a bigger team, you could definitely turn your phone off during this time.
- I closed all other tabs on my computer. If you have terrible self-control, try using a piece of software like Freedom for blocking certain websites during certain times.
When I worked the Pomodoro Technique, I actually found that tasks took less than 25 minutes to complete. On average, if I worked 5 “pomodoros”(that’s just over 2 hours) I’d get about 3 hours (regular) work done. That’s an extra hour right there!
Step 3 – Conduct a Time and Task Audit
Ever since I first read The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss back in 2013, I’ve been doing regular time and task audits every 6 months or so. In fact, each time I noticed that I’m getting overwhelmed with my workload, I know it’s time for an audit. Here’s how I do it.
I use time tracking software, like Time Doctor, Rescue Time or (my most recent favourite) Toggl and track every working minute (including driving to and from appointments) for at least an entire work week.
Then, I follow the formula laid out in The 4 Hour Work Week to D.E.A.L with everything. Here’s how that acronym breaks down:
D is for Definition. Definition of your goals and where you want to be in the next few years. Having this definition helps with the other 3 letters in the acronym.
E is for Elimination. Is there anything in your week that you tracked, that you could eliminate? Are you doing anything that’s unnecessary that you could just ditch altogether? This one’s hard for me, to be honest, but it’s worth looking at. You might be surprised that there are tasks that you can drop altogether.
A is for Automation. I love this one and with the technology we have available to us in Property Management, there’s always opportunity for more automation in your business. So check your task audit list and automate some of those tasks! For me, although I really do love automation, sometimes I also add Outsourcing into this part of the process, if I need a real person to take care of some of those tasks.
L is for Liberation. This is about liberating yourself from your business, and (for the author of the 4 Hour Work Week) it’s about travel. But that’s not for me, to be honest. I don’t like travelling. But I do like getting more time to work on my business and grow my business. I also love getting to spend more time with my friends and family, so that’s the approach I take here. But you do you here. Decide what else you’d like to be spending time on.
Doing this time and task audit always gives me back a good couple of hours each week, freeing me up to work on those growth strategies.
So, they’re the 3 steps to get (at least) 3 hours back each week.
And once you’ve got those hours back again, you can get back to implementing all those exciting rent roll growth strategies you’ve learned!
Tell me in a comment below, which step are you most excited about trying?
And here’s another quick tip for you…
Once you’ve got yourself those 3 hours back, register for my Masterclass: 5 Ways to Grow Your Rent Roll and get to work!
If you haven’t read my last blog What’s the Best Marketing for Rent Roll Growth? be sure to check that out next