As a landlord, time is your most precious asset. You get the same 24 hours in a day that everyone else gets. And assuming you get a healthy seven or eight hours of sleep each night, that means you’re left with just 16 or 17 waking hours in a day. Squandering even a couple of these hours could leave you at a competitive disadvantage.
If you feel like you never have enough time to accomplish all of the duties and responsibilities that come with being a landlord, it’s time to reevaluate how you’re spending your day. It’s entirely possible that you’re falling victim to dangerous and costly habits.
Snuff Out These Time-Wasting Habits
Productivity and efficiency aren’t maximized without a concerted effort to push through distractions and make things happen. If you’re like most landlords, you fall victim to some of the following time-wasting habits. Let’s take a look at some practical ways they can be counteracted and overcome.
No Morning Routine
If you aren’t a self-proclaimed morning person, then the idea of establishing a morning routine may sound unrealistic, but the truth is that people – including yourself – thrive on predictable routines. And they’re especially important in terms of getting your day off to a good start.
“Creating a morning routine is not focused on who can accomplish the most or check off more boxes than everyone else, it is about allowing yourself to begin your day with confidence, peace, and a positive attitude,” counselor Jodi Clarke writes. “Starting the day this way can allow us to effectively complete tasks and to handle things that come our way without constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed.”
Your morning routine may be as simple as a 20-minute progression of drinking coffee, making toast, and hopping in a shower. Or it could be as complex as a two-hour ritual where you meditate, go for a run, and journal. The details are up to you – just make sure you’re doing something.
Email is extremely useful, but it’s also alarmingly detrimental to your overall productivity and output. Most people have their email accounts fully integrated with their smartphones, which means they receive push notifications every single time an email comes in. This means the average landlord is receiving a notification every six minutes!
To keep email from perpetually interrupting your day, you should disable push notifications. You may even choose to log out of your email account altogether. Then you can set up specific times during the day when you check, send, and reply to emails.
Social media is another huge distraction. All it takes is one touch of the Facebook icon on your smartphone and you can easily waste 30 minutes without even realizing you’ve disconnected from the world around you.
The best piece of advice is to delete your social media accounts. Since you’re probably unlikely to do this, the next best thing is to remove the apps from your phone so that you can only check your accounts on your computer. (The goal here – as with other digital distractions – is to create enough friction to where you won’t use them out of habit.)
How often do you find yourself multitasking? And when are you most likely to multitask? If you do an honest assessment, you’ll be forced to admit that you spend most of your day multitasking and that you do it when you feel like you’re behind on your work. But ironically enough, multitasking actually leads you to be less productive than you were before.
“When we’re truly engaged, we don’t multitask — we’re too busy with the task at hand,” productivity expert Darius Foroux writes. “And that’s one of the core problems with multitasking. We just do a bunch of stupid things at the same time.”
As hard as it is to focus on one task at a time, it’s important that you wean yourself off of multitasking. By staying 100 percent concentrated on the task at hand, you’ll finish sooner and improve your performance/accuracy.
Chasing Down Rent
There’s nothing more frustrating or time-consuming than chasing down rent. Late rent payments are a hassle and they can eat up hours of your schedule. Not only do you have to expend physical energy tracking down rent, but there’s also the emotional stress that comes with worrying about getting paid.
There are plenty of ways to reduce your risk of late rent payments. You can improve your tenant screening, streamline rent payments through an automated platform, or hire a property management firm to handle it for you. The important thing is that you don’t let bad tenants continue to suck up your time. Over time, you’ll learn how to spot good tenants and implement foolproof strategies for collecting rent on time, every time.
Always Saying Yes
If you’re an outgoing person or people-pleaser, you’re probably really good at saying yes to things. Or maybe you’ve heard keynote speeches from entrepreneurs and successful people who say you should say yes to everything so that you never miss an opportunity. Unfortunately, this is bad advice.
When you say yes to everything, you fill up your schedule with tasks that aren’t always super beneficial or productive. As a result, you don’t have time to knock out the key tasks that are central to being a successful landlord. As hard as it may be, you must learn how to say no.
Partner With Green Residential
At Green Residential, it’s our aim to partner with ambitious Houston-area landlords who want to maximize their resources, bolster profitability, and eliminate busy work so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labor and spend more time with friends and family. When you retain our comprehensive property management services, you no longer have to worry about time-consuming tasks like screening tenants, scheduling repairs, and collecting rent – we handle it all for you!
Please contact us today to learn more about our services. We’d be happy to provide you with a free Houston property management analysis!