10 Jul

A Healthy Property Management Style

If you like to read great business books and gobble up terms that help managers get the job done, there is one I want you to never forget, MBWA! Not only is it effective and powerful, but it is also good for your health! Here are variations on its commonly known names:

The Acronym: MBWA
Management bWalking Around
Management bWanderingAround
Management bWalking About
Manage bWalking Around

My own version and personal favorite is – PropertyManagement bWalking Around (PMBWA). It is not easy because you have to push yourself away from the desk. Get out and just start walking around. Do nothing but walk. That is all you have to do. Start at the top, the bottom, the outside, the inside, or any part you would like. If you push yourself away from the office you will be out there in the thick of things. Walk around the parking lots, mechanical rooms, corridors, vacant spaces, other departments of the company, but just walk. Or as a former, very successful boss of mine said, “Get out there in look ‘em in the eye!”

While you are walking ask questions, talk to people, make inquiries, and introduce yourself to strangers. Ask technicians what they are working on and ask contractors what project or task they are performing for the property? Do not have a plan or carry anything with you but your smartphone. If you must take a note, just use the camera feature, call yourself and leave a voicemail, or a record a message. Do not carry notepads or anything else at all, because the notepad might make you think you need to find things to write down. It can also be a intimidating if you’re taking notes during a conversation with a colleague that is supposed to be casual. Let your mind be free and just walk. Wherever you go, information will be gleaned. There is insight to be had from the properties you manage, as well as your own property. It is talking to you, you just have to listen.

It is not easy, but consider doing PMBWA regularly. Nobody expects a property manager to just walk around with no plan, direction, or destination! It will puzzle your staff, intrigue your customers, and create interest from your contractors. Remember, this is NOT a building inspection. You are managing your property just by walking around. It sounds unbelievable, but I bet you that you will learn so much and find out so many things that it will spark enthusiasm, excitement, or bring resolution to a matter you have contemplated or been challenged by.

Try it and let us know how it worked for you!

“More content available at All Things Property Management by Buildium, industry leaders in Online Property Management Software.”

09 Sep

10 Property/Facility Management Basics

1. Do what you say you will do and exceed customer (tenant and building owner) expectations. Procrastination and letting people down, causes more work in the long run.

2. If you are out of the office, say so on your voicemail or instruct those that answer your calls to let callers know when you will return. Create a list of key VIP building owners, tenants and leasing brokers so those calls and messages are directed to you as soon as possible.

3. Give an alternate human to contact if you are busy or away. People want the answer now! Do not make anyone wait. Use an online VoIP forwarding system to have the “follow me” service to your other offices, cell and mobile lines. Many voice mail systems have great features such as voice mail notification. Each time a voice mail is received, the system calls you on your cell phone.

4. Create an online permanent and on-going, F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) so the simple and most common questions can be answered immediately, with or without you! (Touch It Once)

5. Stay in front of your tenants. Host mini events as often as possible. For instance invite other businesses, community groups/organizations in your area or service vendors, to your location to educate and inform you, your tenants and your staff. This will keep you in the know and addresses a multitude of outreach goals you must keep up with.

6. Do a one page newsletter or blog on a regular schedule that keeps all clients, customers, staff and key vendors up to date on projects at your properties. Include a copy of this page in your monthly owner report so your Asset Manager or Building Owner see the day to day happenings as well.

7. Proofread. Double check. Do the math twice. Check your work, inspect the final product. It saves tons of time by eliminating the time it takes to unravel silly or careless mistakes.

8. Allow enough time to do projects well and defend your deadline or due date. Do not allow people to push you into accepting a deadline you cannot meet. Explain why you need more time upfront rather than agreeing to a date you cannot achieve. Quality is more important than bad quantity.

9. Think about the next guy to follow you. Document, document, document. Leave an excellent audit trail for the “next guy” to follow. Post-it notes work just fine as the most basic bread crumbs. Just leave something to point the way. We are an industry of change, and we need to embrace that eventual sale or transition.

10. Use your website to set up as many online intake forms and documents as possible. In other words, if you wish tenants to keep you informed when key contact information changes, set up an online form or a downloadable form so those important, but easy to execute tasks can be done with a free and simple form.

This list of basics came to mind because there is so much focus on doing things faster and more efficiently and with less people; but you cannot lose sight of the basics. No matter what the economy or the trends, the above 10 basics can make a difference in your time (property) management efforts. Best of all these 10 basics are FREE or very low cost solutions!