We all want more happiness and less stress. But property management is one of the most time intensive and difficult jobs, as you are dealing with the balance between a tenant’s home and a real estate business.
How did you end up in this situation?
There is most likely a specific incident that triggered your anxiety. The root cause typically comes from two major sources.
First, the manager is always blamed when something goes wrong and it’s assumed that everything must go right. Tenants expect maintenance to be done as quickly as possible. Things that are working well are taken for granted. Management is often a thankless job.
Second, you must be the jack-of-all trades. You must be good at the following:
Marketing - Advertising the rental property
Sales - Getting qualified tenants to select your rental over others
Legal - Handling the leases and other notices
Finance - Collecting rent and managing other accounting processes
Maintenance - Coordinating repairs and upkeep for rentals
Most people are only good at one or two of these five things. You may consider a property manager who can handle it, but then you are subject to the cost and less transparency.
Why you should care about your happiness
Harvard Professor Clay Christensen wrote on the most important determinant of happiness, claiming that it comes from the level and depth of one’s connection to others. The rich, famous, poor and unknown have all reported that ... when it was all said and done, all that really matters is the amount of love you shared with those closest to you.
Another Harvard study followed the happiness and health of 536 individuals from varying economic backgrounds, some for over 80 years. The study concluded that deep relationships is the key source of happiness.
The number 1 thing that matters to people at the end of their lives is the amount of love they shared with those closest to them.
In a perfect world, all time and energy should be spent in such relationships, without distractions. Yet, property management is taking a disproportionate amount of time and energy away from your true source of happiness. Here are 3 simple ways to make management less stressful and reinvest time and energy into what really matters.
3 simple ways to make management less stressful
1 - Remember that tenants are your customer
You may have a smooth relationship with your tenants now, but you should always set expectations, boundaries, and rules to maintain a healthy relationship. The situation is like a customer in a store. Imagine if you didn’t clearly provide them with the price and return policy upon purchase. Or, you were hazy about other aspects of the transaction.
This lack of up front communication sets the stage for future conflicts between you and your tenant. If you are very clear on the expectations in your lease contracts, such as for maintenance and rental payments, then referring back to the lease helps prevent relational chaos. Simultaneously, surprise and delight them with great service from your end, you will see two things: higher retention of quality tenants and fewer problems.
2 - Over communication is good
You don’t want surprises or fire drills. In property management, you are working with tenants, services professionals, and agents. In order to make sure there are no misunderstandings, you should set up a process where everyone is in the loop when they need to be. For example, tenants need to know the status of their maintenance request and you need to know why your rental is still vacant.
The best way to do this is to control your property management, but build the best team of agents and service professionals to perform the tasks that they can do better than you. Here is a quick and affordable way to build your team and have direct lines of communication at all times.
3 - Technology
The only way for landlords to get the extra time with family and friends is to use something that makes you more efficient, notifies you when you need to be notified, and handles non-essential tasks. The solution is a property management software that puts you on auto-pilot with your day-to-day management.
Neglecting to use modern technology in the field of property management is a great waste of potential. This inefficiency directly inhibits time spend doing what matters most. Most property managers and owners regard themselves as shrewd businesspersons. But how shrewd are they if they use outdated technology, neglecting their most important investments - health, family, and friends?
Keep these 3 practices in mind and experience reduced stress in your rental property management. Reinvest this time and energy in what really matters - one’s relationships with family and friends.