Check yourself before your wreck yourself

As the famous philosopher (also known as Ice Cube) says:

“you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself”

Now, he may have more knowledge of 90’s pop culture than of mental health, but this does in fact resinate with most of us.

Taking time out to ensure you recharge and refocus can be vital for your health, as well as giving you much needed time to rest, relax and enjoy what is most important in our lives.

Work can take up as much time in your head out of hours as it does when you’re at work. This can then lead to workplace fatigue and anxiety, not to mention a pretty boring companion at the dinner table at night!

In an age when we are always accessible, many clients feel they can contact us whenever it is convenient for them, which often sits outside their work hours – on weekends and at night or even early morning. So how do you set boundaries for yourself, ensuring you leave that phone at the door or, even better, off and take the time you deserve with your family and friends.

Here are some handy hints to help you check yourself:

  1. Realise, and truly understand, that some things can wait until the morning
  2. Before you leave work in the afternoon, write an exit check list – this is a list of tasks to tackle the next day when you are fresh and motivated, then set an out of office message for the night
  3. Create a ‘no work’ space at home where you can invest in your relaxation time, a comfy chair and a book, an exercise machine, or even a game console
  4. Talk to someone, take time out, put free time in the diary to spend with a good friend

So lets’ start with that checklist, move onto some music on the way home, have a chat with the kids over dinner and finish off with something that makes you happy at the end of the day.

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Plan for a productive day

We all get the same 24 hours in a day and to be productive you need to be aware of managing yourself, rather than your time. So, why do we so often get off track? It all comes down to productive vs busy.

Being productive is about planning and prioritising, being organised and knowing exactly what needs to be completed. 

So, here are some quick tips to improve your productivity today:

1. Prioritise

Create your to do list, think about the urgency and importance of each of your tasks, and prioritise them into what must be done now, what can wait and what perhaps could even be delegated.

2. Remove distractions

Whether it’s the constant beep or your team around you, it’s important to minimise the distractions so you can remain focused.

3. Focus on one task at once

Many people think that being able to multi-task is a good thing.  But in the end, it can mean that you’re not focusing on any one thing and you may not be getting anything done well. It’s important to focus on one task at once. 

4. Stick to your deadlines

With a deadline in place, you can’t keep putting things off. Think about what you need to get done today, and set yourself specific timelines to complete these tasks. Set yourself a timer if needed, to help keep you on track.

5. Take a break to re-focus 

Keeping your mind refreshed throughout the day will ultimately help your productivity. 5-10 minute breaks between tasks will help you re-focus on what you need to be working on and help keep your energy levels high. And at least once throughout the day, get outside!

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Make a Meaningful Connection

There’s no denying that the Property Management landscape is changing at a frenetic pace. Some teams are concerned about what the future holds and how their roles might change.

The Property Manager of the future needs to be confident in their ability to communicate. They also need the capability to make meaningful connections with those whom they regularly interact. This allows them to make a difference to the customer experience, thus remaining relevant.

Now more than ever, it is imperative for Property Management professionals to remember that we are dealing with one of the four core elements of survival – shelter. From a psychological perspective, dealing with this core element can mean that when a human’s sense of the element is threatened, volatility in emotional response can replace reason.

Expertise in negotiation, managing conflict and, above all, emotional intelligence and awareness around communication are vital skills needed to make meaningful connections and gain the best possible outcomes.

This industry has always been about more than property.

Consider your current approach to the humans that you interact with daily.  Are they connections to build relationships?

If not, what are the next steps to gain those skills that will take you into the future? If you aren’t sure, give the Real+ team a call and connect about how we can help.

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What’s in it for me: Is your dialogue benefit-focused?

It is no longer just about what you say & how you say it, the Property Management Client of 2019 also needs to see the clear benefit of each of the outcomes we offer.

Whether you are negotiating a bond release between tenant and owner, closing the deal to sign a new management or negotiating a price adjustment to avoid further vacancy, the key to achieving an outcome of  value to the client (investor), the customer (tenant), the business and you as the industry professional, is all about your use of “benefit” focused dialogue.

Let’s discuss the price adjustment scenario.

Outcome Sought: Reduction in Price

Effective language: Adjustment in Pricing Strategy (Avoid word such as reduce, drop etc)

Benefit Based Dialogue : “Based on the current level of market competition, the feedback of the X number of inspections undertaken so far and the available date of the property, should we not have a suitable application by close of business today, I will be adjusting the price to $xxx per week – in order to ensure minimal vacancy and to allow us to attract a higher volume of quality tenants. Am I safe to assume you too would like to achieve minimal vacancy and a quality tenant?”

Note: The reason for the adjustment is market based – it is a result of volume, and tenant feedback – not your individual opinion. The aim is always to focus on facts and feedback, not personal opinion. Additionally, the final closing question as been used in such a way, that the only logical answer is yes.

At this point, it is time to close the conversation, and confirm firm agreement to your request – “Great, I will make the necessary changes, and be in touch Thursday with feedback from our next Open home!”

If you would like to take your own dialogue to the next level, why not join our Virtual Class.

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Fraud, are you Immune?

In the busy world of Real Estate, it can be easy to overlook certain things when you get busy. Couldn’t balance your trust account one day? Out by $50 here, $20 there. Or what if it isn’t that obvious – the accounts balance, but do they?

Having a two person check on your reconciliation, including your bond reconciliations, can often be the difference between right and wrong. Don’t just sign off, really look at the numbers! Even if it’s not malicious, sometimes mistakes happen that can cost you thousands, not to mention the compliance issues that accompany it.

Ask your team for an explanation when you see an ‘unknown’ deposit and ensure that the following day this item has been rectified. Check on all adjustments to uncover what they are and what actions are being taken to rectify them, and check again until they are cleared! All too often these items get put in the ‘too hard’ basket until the trust accounts could potentially be tens of thousands in the red! 

Another issue we see in this industry is identity fraud. Is this person really the owner of the property? Ensuring you identify the owner of a property correctly is essential for compliance when selling or leasing a property. Ask for a copy of the persons driver’s licence and a recent outgoings invoice, which will ensure the correct details are being recorded. When accounting to these clients, ensure that the bank account name matches the property owners name and verify the written instructions with either the acting parties solicitors or with the acting party themselves.

If you suspect fraud, stop any account actions on the property or account. Then contact the State or local Police and Fair Trading and seek instructions on how to manage the dealings going forward before alerting the offending party to your suspicions.

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