Anyone who has worked in the property management industry knows how chaotic a typical business day can be. Late hours, unpredictable problems, and a seemingly endless stream of demands can wreak havoc on a property manager's personal life. Sometimes, it feels like there are just not enough hours in the day to respond to tenant needs, take care of your family, and still carve out enough time to eat and sleep. Below is a look at some of the key factors plaguing property managers and the measures you can take to achieve work-life balance.
What factors can decrease a property manager's quality of life?
"A poor mixture of lack of training and mentoring, systems, procedures, portfolio size, company environment and salary mean the average property manager will be in the industry for around nine months."
- Clare Verrall, Real Estate Recruitment Consultant at Melbourne-based Design & Build
The number of property managers who suffer from job-related stress has risen so much that there are now professionals who have built successful careers by helping property managers deal with the stressors they face. Business psychologist Dr. Jonathan Kramer attributes the high number of stressed-out property managers to the ongoing "tug-of-war between residents, personnel, boards, and contractors." In addition to managing these conflicting demands, property managers must also contend with the following:
1) An overbooked schedule
Property managers regularly face workdays that are filled with too many requests to handle. Tenant frustration can escalate if property managers are unable to fill service requests quickly once they finally communicate with clients.
2) Insufficient training and mentoring
Training and continuing education often top the list of things that are neglected when property managers are overburdened. Consequently, they are not able to stay abreast of the latest revisions to local codes and standards, putting the property management company and tenants in a vulnerable situation.
3) A constant influx of tenant complaints
Many property managers cannot imagine arriving at work without facing a major backlog of angry tenants whose phone calls have gone unanswered overnight. Phone calls and complaints often continue all day long, creating feelings of frustration and helplessness among property managers who are already working overtime to respond to tenants.
4) Staffing challenges
A growing number of job applicants are seeking positions with flexible hours that allow them to achieve the work-life balance that they would like to have. The long hours and constant demands of the property management industry can make it a challenge to attract and retain dependable, talented managers.
5) Reputation management
Today's tenants have more living options than ever from which to choose. Properly managing your reputation as a property manager is essential to attracting responsible tenants. Property managers often have difficulty finding the time to develop strategies to channel the best potential renters or update their social media pages to reflect positive feedback from tenants.
How will an answering service improve a property manager's quality of life?
Property managers are not powerless in their quest to overcome work-related challenges. Reducing overtime work, limiting after-hours phone calls, and hiring part-time help are examples of strategies that can help alleviate some of the stressors outlined above. However, the most effective step property managers can take to improve their quality of life is to reach out to an accomplished after-hours answering service. A trusted answering service will help you address the challenges outlined above by providing the following:
1) A healthier work-life balance
"Property managers don't sell widgets...Most of your job is keeping people happy, fixing problems, trouble-shooting. A manager's time is their inventory. They have to be frugal about where and how they spend their time. People constantly ask for it, and a smart manager has to push the pause button and assess whether or not it's a good use of the time and energy they've got to give."
- Mimi Donaldson, Consultant and Author of "Bless Your Stress"
Time management is often a challenge for overworked property managers, especially those who must balance their job responsibilities with familial responsibilities. A 24/7 answering service enables property managers to end their workday at a reasonable hour and devote time to their families or enjoyable activities. They no longer have to worry that important phone calls will go unattended if they are not available.
2) More time for training and educational activities
With the help of a 24/7 answering service, it is much easier to find the time to enroll in training courses that can help you stay abreast of changes to local codes and become a more efficient property manager. You will also have time to participate in personal development seminars that can help you achieve your long-term career goals.
3) A higher rate of tenant satisfaction
"There is a direct correlation between overall tenant satisfaction and satisfaction with property management teams. Keeping the tenant satisfied is as good as keeping the building occupied for business revenue."
- Seetharaman, Saravanan, Patwa, and Bey
The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business
Researchers across the globe have examined the relationship between tenant satisfaction and delivery of property management services. Findings show that tenants who are pleased with property management services are more likely to exhibit higher overall levels of tenant satisfaction, reducing the number of tenant complaints. This reduction in complaints helps to create a more pleasant work environment for the property manager.
Selecting the best answering service for your property management firm
Clearly, there are many benefits incorporating an answering service into your property management platform. However, not all answering service providers are created equal. You need to evaluate options with care and select the firm that has the resources and expertise that will deliver the highest quality of service.
The specialists with Westpark Communications are ready to help you enjoy a higher quality of life in the property management industry. For 50 years, Westpark has provided live answering services to property management companies. The Westpark team offers 24/7 communication solutions that will eliminate the anger and frustration that tenants feel when no one responds to their calls for help.
We invite you to contact us to learn more about the many communication solutions Westpark offers property managers. From detailed notification procedures to working with dispatchers, Westpark's team of US-based answering service professionals have the skills and experience to answer all of your after-hours calls. Discover how enjoyable life as a property manager can be by reaching out to us today. We look forward to working with you!