Productivity can often feel like an elusive or mythical creature … as if it’s something only certain people with very specific traits and skill sets can capture. Nothing could be further from the truth, though.
Anyone can be productive — and that includes yourself — if you set your mind to it and devise a smart game plan. If you study the most successful landlords in your area, you’ll likely come to the conclusion that they’re also the most productive.
Both in the big picture and the small details, successful owners and property managers maximize efficiency and get things done when others twiddle their thumbs and complain about factors they cannot control. If you want to be more successful, you’d do well to adopt some of their habits.
Eight Ways Successful Landlords Maximize Productivity
Everybody gets only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 365 days in a year. When you take into account the fact that you sleep roughly one-third of those hours, this leaves you with even less time.
Sprinkle in weekends, vacations, and downtime, and you’re left with an even smaller window of time to get things done. If your desire is to experience greater returns and profitability, you have to take productivity seriously.
Here are some specific ways to do that.
- Get Up Earlier
Check the routines of some of the most successful people in history and you’ll notice that many of them were and are early risers. This isn’t to say you can’t be successful if you prefer to sleep in, but there are good reasons highly productive people get up when the rest of the world is sleeping.
If you rise an hour or two earlier, you now have a brief period of undistracted time you can use to get things done. No emails, phone calls, stock market fluctuations, crying children, or noisy neighbors … only solitude and serenity.
So instead of fighting distractions, you have the chance to dig in and make stuff happen. Later, once everyone else has risen, you’re in position to slow down a bit and take the day as it comes, if you like.
- Keep a Running To-Do List
It doesn’t matter how well your brain works or how strong your memory is, you can’t possibly keep everything in your head and still remain efficient and productive. This is why you should always have a notebook and pen with you to keep a running to-do list.
As you accomplish tasks, cross them off. Whenever new challenges and tasks arise, write them down. The physical process of adding and crossing off tasks alone will help you feel more productive and efficient.
- Keep Strict Office Hours
When you’re a landlord, your job is never finished. Whether it’s 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., there will always be tasks that need doing. The best thing you can do for your sanity and productivity is to maintain strict office hours with your tenants.
Give them your phone number, but let them know you’re available only during particular hours. Emergencies happen and tenants should feel they may call when something major occurs, but warn them in advance that you are generally not available for certain periods of time.
- Maintain a Clean Desk
Another simple and practical tip is always to maintain a clean desk in your office. (If your car tends to serve as your office, that means keeping your vehicle nice and tidy.)
Psychologically, a clean desk helps you stay focused. In practical terms, a clean desk empowers you to find what you’re looking for and avoid losing critical documents.
Admittedly, you won’t always be able to keep your desk perfectly clean, especially in the middle of the workday, but try to make sure you allot five minutes to tidy up at the end of the day. This will give you an added boost when you return in the morning.
- Take a Mid-Day Break
No doubt about it, a 10- or 12-hour workday is exhausting. No matter how ambitious you are, it’s impossible to stay completely focused for such a long period of time.
In order to maximize productivity, take a mid-day break. Ideally, you should use the time off to get in a quick workout or stimulate your brain in a way that is different from the way you employ it the rest of the day.
- Stop Working Overtime
At some point, every landlord reaches his or her maximum capacity. Trying to work beyond that boundary doesn’t do your business any favors.
In fact, you’ll eventually experience diminishing returns on your time and energy. It might seem counterintuitive at first, but capping the hours you work in a day will ultimately produce better results.
- Follow the 80/20 Rule
You’ve likely heard of the 80/20 rule, which says 20 percent of the tasks you perform typically produce 80 percent of the results. Take the time to figure out what your 20 percent is.
Then, using this knowledge, try your best to delegate the other 80 percent to other people. This may not seem cost effective in the short term, but over the long haul it most certainly will be.
- Hire a Property Manager
If you honestly take the trouble to calculate your 80/20 ratio, you’re likely to be shocked by how much time you waste on menial tasks and mundane responsibilities. Since you can’t just ignore these demands, you should find someone else to handle them for you.
Successful landlords like to use professional property management services because they’re reliable and cost-effective. You might consider doing the same.
Partner With Green Residential
When you’ve admired a successful real estate investor or landlord, have you ever thought to yourself: “How can he possibly get so much done on a daily basis?” Chances are pretty high that the individual you admire has a “secret weapon” in the form of a professional property manager.
At Green Residential, we provide Houston landlords like yourself with cost-effective and reliable property management services that allow you to maximize productivity and profitability and experience less stress and fewer headaches.
For more information on how we can help you, please give us a call! We’ll be happy to provide you with a free analysis and advice on how to proceed.