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The hidden gems on your property manager’s desk

30 March 2015 | 3 minute read
deborah Mitchell2

A property manager’s desk reveals unseen tasks lying in wait, neatly stored in an in-tray. Out of sight, out of mind!

I had a tenant seeking clarification of his obligations in regards to his notice to leave. I find awareness of property movement within the office is essential, however, I did not know of this particular notice to leave.

So I set about finding the information, only to discover several items positioned within an in-tray. This left only the property manager aware of this notice. After supplying the tenant with the required information, he was grateful and left feeling as though he had his questions answered.

Returning to the in-tray, I discovered three notices to leave sent, no reminders set up for follow-up activity, six unactioned lease renewals and an array of unpaid invoices, among other unfinished items. No wonder the staff member was perplexed. Luckily, none was overdue.

However, this did start me wondering how many unsuspecting principals don’t see the hidden time bombs lurking on property managers' desks – then only find out when managements are being lost to other agents, or owners complain about the service being offered by his or her agency?

This time things were quickly rectified by showing the property manager how to handle her tasks efficiently and within designated time frames, which had a flow-on effect and increased productivity. Crisis averted, but it could just as easily have had a different ending.

As in most cases, I see principals offering the aggrieved landlord free management or some other inducement. Over time this accumulates, leaving the principal out of pocket and not receiving return on his or her investment. Are we protecting ourselves from within? Or are we just ignoring what we know is happening right under our noses because we don’t want to rock the boat? Principals are often worried that if something is said, his or her staff will resign.

A friend has always said: “What cannot be measured cannot be managed; what cannot be managed cannot be measured.”

What a wonderful management tool. The solution can be simple: getting all of your property managers to use the same processes can have a significant impact on productivity and overall efficiency levels within your office.


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