What would happen if I asked you: “How are you doing today?”
I could guarantee that nine times out of 10, somewhere in the response will be the word “busy”. Closely followed by words, or accompanied with feelings such as stressed, drained, frazzled, overwhelmed and possibly, snowed under.
When we drill down into the reasons behind this, we find several common causes of stress in property management. I will take a look at some of them here and offer some possible solutions to help alleviate that stress.
The one key thing that I have discovered with most of my clients is that stress is the perception that everything has to happen right now. When we feel like everything needs doing immediately, that creates the stress which can actually have physical effects on our bodies, health and well-being.
To avoid stress we need to effectively manage our tasks, requirements and expectations to ensure we remain in control of our time and feelings. This gets trickier and trickier in the modern day as the expectations of our clients (both tenants and landlords) are higher than ever before.
In the other areas of their worlds, they have access to more live information than ever before and they expect instant responses and live information from us as well. However, our current systems and the way we do things do not provide them with this, hence an enhanced feeling of stress on our part as we are not being able to deliver on their heightened expectations. They might seem basic, but these simple tweaks can assist with overcoming this issue and possibly help alleviate some of our stress.
Emails and notifications
Do not let your day be ruled by your inbox. Every time a new icon or notification pops up, your mind is instantly thinking of all of the things that are stacking up waiting to be dealt with, while you are trying to focus on the main task at hand. Turn off your email notifications both within your outlook and also on your phone, so that you are in control of when you chose to look at what has come in, and deal with it then. This allows you to focus on one task at a time, making you more productive and less stressed.
Overflowing to-do list
As items mount on our to-do list so does our perception of stress. Create a process where you are periodically reviewing your to-do list and prioritising and reallocating. Taking five minutes out to review and plan a few times throughout the day (even if you feel too busy to do so) will have an enormously positive effect on your stress levels and productivity. We recommend morning, lunch and mid-afternoon at a minimum. By prioritising you can assess what is really urgent, who you may need to let know if something will not be actioned that day, and where you may be able to allocate a task to another day or person.
Clients chasing you and complaints
The feeling when a client is chasing you for an update or status on a situation can create stress too. Most of us are naturally made to be people pleasers, so when we feel like we haven’t lived up to someone’s expectations this creates stress. No-news updates are really important for many clients, just to confirm that you’re still onto it, you haven’t forgotten them, and the next time you will contact them with a further update. If you say you’ll contact someone within 24 hours to update them, diarise to do so. Use your Outlook to set up a pop-up reminder to call that person back, or add it to your to-do list for tomorrow.
Stay tuned for more stress busters in coming weeks.