As property managers, we wear many hats. Inspector, debt collector, counsellor and salesperson are just a few. However, one of the essential skills we must acquire is problem-solving.
Problem-solving is the ability to untangle a difficult situation to a timely resolution. This, of course, requires experience, initiative and effort.
To assist you with being an effective problem solver, consider the following PROBLEM acrostic.
Write this down and put it up somewhere where you can see it several times a day. Looking at it frequently will allow you to memorise and implement its principles.
P Prioritise- What priority is it?
R Report to all relevant parties
O Outside Help- do you need it?
B Break the problem down
L Be Liable- Take responsibility!
E Evaluate how to solve
M Make it happen!
P- Prioritise so that you know what has to be dealt with now, and what can wait. Everything must be dealt with in order of importance and urgency. Anything else must wait!
R- Report to all people affected by the problem as soon as possible. It could be your landlord client, tenant, tradesperson and your department manager.
O- Outside help may be required for further knowledge to deal with the issue. Do you require advice from your department manager, consumer affairs advice section or even the company lawyer? Of course with anything legal- always hand to your department manager or principal immediately!
B- Break the Problem Down into all its components. The problem may have been caused by a number of different reasons. Once written down into its individual ingredients, eliminate them one by one by priority as you deal with each.
L- Liability means taking responsibility. This does not mean we confess to persons outside our company that we have done something negligently (this can only be discussed with your department manager/principal). Being liable means that you take full responsibility to see the problem to its finality- despite whether or not you were the cause of the problem. Don’t pass the buck to someone else to fix! You own it till it’s fixed!
E- Evaluate what has to be done to finally resolve the issue. Will it involve a payout? Does someone just need a talking to regarding the problem, or a letter sent? Work out this out with your department manager/principal if unsure.
M- Make it Happen! Don’t procrastinate as problems in a property manager’s inbox can grow quickly from little bugs that can grow and mutate into raging monsters that can pack a punch! Most problems are easily fixed if you get onto them early, don’t let them grow into something that gets out of control!
Problem-solving is an essential skill that any property manager must be really good to be effective in their roles.
Get this right, and you will feel a sense of control which brings confidence, job satisfaction and ultimately fulfilment with the career you have chosen. Problem-solving is a great life skill as well.
Make the most of the problems that you encounter every day- go for it!