The state of business today, particularly within the multifamily industry, is evolving immensely. You may find yourself struggling to manage everyday duties that used to come easily before all the change, so this is an ideal time to examine some tips and practices to help streamline our productivity. Here, we’ll discuss 10 secrets of today’s most productive multifamily executives that you can apply in your own career to help you regain control.
1. You Gotta Manage the Time – You need to identify the windows of time in your day with the fewest distractions and interruptions and use those to your advantage. Even if the period of time seems small (20 or 30 minutes), you will be amazed the amount you can accomplish if you can harness the self-discipline to focus intently during that window.
2. Know What Needs to be Done – You probably have a long list of responsibilities to address each workday so achieving great productivity can seem overwhelming. The trick is determining which of those responsibilities are the “must” priorities for the day. Once you’ve done that, you can decide how and when to fit the rest of the jobs in around those priorities.
3. We Fight a Lot – Sometimes you may struggle to make a decision about how to prioritize or what ideas to pursue. Find a person in your circle you trust, whose opinion you value and who wants the same thing you do and use that person as a sounding board. Even though you may not always like the answer they give, don’t be discouraged to ask for their honest feedback.
4. In the Last Few Hours, I Did 300 or 400 Emails – Learn to evaluate your tasks based on impact rather than the basic transaction. If something you do each day feels mundane, but makes a strong positive impact, it’s worth your time. And if it doesn’t? Maybe it’s time to think about whether or not that is a task that deserves the time and attention.
5. Carve Out Time for Yourself – Believe it or not, self-care is a crucial component of great productivity. You cannot be your most productive if you are personally depleted. You must choose some time for yourself to recharge, and that time needs to be non-negotiable.
6. The Walk I Take in the Evenings is Like Prayer – To build on the notion of self-care, do not allow yourself to become lost in the pursuit of success. Work to re-center and remember who you are as an individual and why you were drawn to the multifamily industry in the beginning. Don’t allow your ambition to extinguish the joy and passion you came into your career with.
7. If It’s Not on the Agenda, We Don’t Talk About It – Make an effort to offer a detailed meeting agenda with the topics to be discussed and then stick to it! Nothing is more frustrating in a meeting than going off topic and not even discussing the items on the agenda. Set a precedent that if a topic needs to be discussed, it needs to be approved and added to the agenda ahead of time so this doesn’t detract from the productivity of the meeting.
8. Get Rid of the Unimportant – A successful multifamily executive or leader maintains focus on what is being done right and what can be done better. The area between these is what is important, and everything else is extraneous and can be edited out. Trim your focus to only the points that matter and stop wasting time on the distractions.
9. I Do My Zumba Exercises During Work Gaps – You can sometimes use unexpected challenges to your advantage. Go with the flow and look for opportunities to fit your needs into the overall narrative of your productivity, even if it means minor adjustments to the way you meet your needs.
10. I Make Lists – A list can help you determine if you’ve taken on more than is reasonable for your day and will give you a visual for where you can make the necessary edits to get rid of the unimportant. However, be sure to decide what makes you feel accomplished and be wary of allowing your list (or marking things off your list) to be your source of that feeling of accomplishment.
In addition to these 10 secrets of today’s most productive multifamily executives, here are some tips to make a few of your daily work responsibilities better, faster, and more fun:
Better: Remove chairs or meet in a hall to make attendees more engaged and creative and less territorial about ideas. You can also consider creating a shared drive to solicit ideas BEFORE the meeting.
Faster: Ask attendees before the meeting what they need to be fully engaged (information? approval? need to leave early?) and schedule meetings for 45 minutes instead of an hour.
More Fun: Make meetings voluntary! If you’re doing it right, eventually they will want to come and the people who will contribute will attend.
Better: Don’t open email until you are ready to deal with it right away! When you do open your email, respond, archive, delete, or turn them into tasks and then walk away.
Faster: Draft prefab replies to common emails you receive and save them as signatures in your email client.
More Fun: Create a filter to identity “fun” emails you’ve subscribed to so they will be contained in a folder for you to look at when you have time.
Better: Use to-do lists as an intake document, not a working tool. Make a list of what needs to be done and then program it into your calendar to manage your daily productivity.
Faster: Use a to-do app to record errands and shopping and then get a reminder when you are near that location, so you don’t pass the opportunity by.
More Fun: Manage your list around your energy level; when you’re tired, pick tasks that require less effort. This way you will save the more difficult tasks for when you have the energy to engage!
Susan Weston, CAM, CAPS, Texas Broker
The Susan Weston Company
Since 1984, Ellis Partners in Management Solutions has specialized exclusively in helping our multifamily clients measure and improve the customer experience by teaming with customers to develop professional skills and behaviors in each team member. We evaluate customer service and performance of onsite leasing professionals through comprehensive mystery shopping reports, our multiple touchpoint resident survey program, and training. Our turn-key integrated customer experience program, backed by outstanding customer service, sophisticated technology, and ethical business practices, has made Ellis one of the multifamily industry’s most respected and sought-after providers of training and consulting services.