If you are not in control of your agenda – you are out of control! That causes stress and burnout. Every effective property manager must be skilled at controlling appointments.
Start adopting some of these extremely helpful tips and let us know which ones you found the most effective for your situation.
#1- Establish an appointment culture.
The tenant that comes in to see you without an appointment is the same person that will make an appointment to see their doctor. The difference is that two very different sets of expectations have been established. Induct your owners and tenants on your availability, accessibility and how to make an appointment with you.
#2 – You set the day and time- not them.
When making an appointment, don’t ask people what day and time will suit them. Instead, let them know your availability. ‘I will be in your area tomorrow at 4.30 pm. Will you be available at that time?’ 95% of the time the answer will be yes and now you can plan it properly in line with your agenda.
#3 – Always give a day and a date.
When setting an appointment or even discussing a date, always quote a day and date. For example, instead of the 1st of August, quote ‘Monday the 1st of August’. If you don’t do it this way, you can be assured that someone will get it wrong, disrupting your agenda.
#4 – Back to back appointments.
Just because you don’t have booked appointments that doesn’t mean that you’ve got an empty agenda! You’ve got set tasks and a workload to get through. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I’ve got back-to-back appointments at that time, however, I’m free tomorrow at 4.30pm. Will you be available then?” if you get an appointment request. 95% of the time you will get a ‘yes’.
#5 – Set the time ahead of the appointment.
When you don’t set a time agenda you lose control. Whether it’s a ‘blow-in’ appointment or meeting an owner at a routine inspection, let them know exactly how much time you have. (For example) “Hi Mr. Smith, nice to see you, I’ve got 5 minutes before I need to take an urgent call” or “Hi Mr. Smith, I’ve got 35 minutes before I must get going to my next appointment, let’s take a look!”. Suddenly, the appointment is finishing within the time frame that you allocated.
#6 – “I’m racing the clock”.
Ever get caught ‘chit-chatting’ to someone and feel caught up when you really need to keep moving? This worked well for me. When you get the opportunity just say “I need to keep moving, I’m racing the clock at the moment”. Give it a try. It works a treat.
#7 – Always confirm the appointment in writing.
Whenever you make an appointment with someone confirm the day and the date by email, SMS or even better – if it’s official enough, send a calendar appointment.
#8 – Confirm the appointment – again.
Always email or text ahead of the appointment to confirm that it’s still on. It is a big frustration and a time waster if they can’t make it and forgot to tell you.
#9 – Include their contact details.
Include the person’s best direct contact number in the calendar appointment itself. That way you have quick access – especially if you get caught running late.
#10 – Don’t play phone tag – make a phone appointment.
Phone tag has to be the biggest time waster of all! If you need to speak to someone, email or text ahead and ask for the best time to call. 95% of the time when you call at the agreed time, you’ll speak to them straight away.