Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012 - (Page 35)
Five tips to finding time for office work, property checks and face time.
At BMH, we know that managing property in Hawaii isn’t easy. For that reason, we’ve donated this page to you! We invite you, and your peers, to use this page as a forum to address common problems and share insights—helping you do your job even better. In this issue, we call on the expertise of Bobbie Lau, the general manager of Ward Centers.
Bobbie Lau is the general manager of Ward Centers. With an MBA in finance from Hawaii Pacific University, she is a licensed real estate broker and a Certified Property Manager (CPM).
As property managers, some of us prefer working in our office and some of us prefer to be out on our properties. The key to being a successful real estate manager is finding the right balance to do both. Many of us have chosen property management as our career because we enjoy the diversity of tasks and the responsibilities. We would all agree that no day is the same in property management. No matter how organized we are, a detailed to-do list has a way of morphing into something totally different as a result of a phone call or an unexpected event at our property, not to mention that special request from an owner, an employee, or a potential client. Many of our tasks and responsibilities require us to work from our computers and phones in our offices. We are tasked with checking and responding to emails and phone calls in a timely fashion, preparing reports within specified deadlines, preparing correspondence, reviewing proposals, providing analyses, preparing budgets, spreadsheets, forecasts and many other computerrelated tasks. Just as important, we need to be on our properties regularly, inspecting all areas of our sites, building relationships with tenants, and meeting with service providers and contractors. Organizing ourselves to have time to work both in our offices and on property is a must. There are only so many hours in the day, and deadlines have their way of creeping up on us.
Here are five tips for finding the right balance: Set appointments with yourself. Block out time and dedicate it to specific tasks or projects that you have to do. This includes time in the office and on-site. Be sure to allow for travel time for any meetings you have on property, and adequate time to thoroughly walk specific areas. For those with large properties, break up the property into sections to make the walkthrough task reasonable. Consider visiting your properties on different days of the week and at different times so you can personally see various things (lighting, traffic, parking, customer flow, etc.) Budget adequate time in your schedule. Whether in the office or on-site, make sure you have enough time to complete the task. Make a list of what you need to accomplish, schedule on-site meetings in advance of any visit with tenants and/or service providers, and make note of specific physical areas that you need to see. There is nothing wrong with letting your emails accumulate or sending calls to voice mail for a short period of time so that you can complete a specific task. Few things feel better than crossing tasks off your to-do list and being free to move on to the next item.
Discipline yourself to follow through on your schedule. When the time pops up in your schedule to work on specific project or to visit your site, dedicate yourself to the specific task you had planned on completing. Manage expectations. Everything on your to-do list cannot be accomplished in one day. If you know you cannot get to something, set a reasonable deadline for yourself and communicate that timeline with those involved. Let technology be a tool. Smartphones and tablets can help us be more efficient. Use these tools to help you stay on top of things and respond to small items quickly. Be respectful of others while using these tools and stay engaged in face-to-face meetings. Finding the right balance at work is extremely important. Let us not forget, however, the importance of having balance in your life as well. Remember to take time for yourself and family. You will find yourself to be a more productive worker when you balance both work and personal life.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012
New Digs in Kalihi
The Making of an RM
Just Plug In
Air It Out
Short On Cash?
Movers & Shakers
On Site: Finding Balance
Building Management Hawaii - October/November 2012