Taking time off from a busy job like property management isn’t always easy. With long to-do lists, ingoing and outgoing inspections that seem to take longer and longer, compliance to stay on top of and unanticipated problems to solve, the lines between work and home can become a bit blurred. Having time off (real time off, where you can totally switch off from the demands of your job) is important for everyone. But when you work in an industry where problems can occur any time, 365 days of the year, how do you take the time off you deserve?
With Easter fast approaching, this article shares some tips on how to take a relaxing break without the stress and guilt.
Let everyone know the office will be unattended over Easter
Don’t just assume landlords, tenants and tradespeople know the office will be closed for the four days over the Easter holiday. Send out an email alert to your database, update your business hours on Google and post your office closure dates on your social media channels. Include a Happy Easter message from the team in your email and social media posts. Don’t forget to also set up an automatic reply to emails and phone calls that come in over the Easter holiday period.
For all communication methods, ensure you include information on where landlords and tenants should go for help in your absence. This could be the number for an on-call property manager or, if you work with Maintenance Manager at your office, let them know about the after hours emergency procedure, including how a tenant should use their app to lodge an urgent repair request. This will automatically be submitted to your chosen emergency tradespeople for attention. Naturally if there is immediate danger involved, such as a fire on the premises, the tenant should be advised to contact 000 or the SES if a tree or electrical wires have come down etc. Ensure you confirm which tradespeople will be available over Easter to help tenants with emergency repairs before you leave.
Maintenance Manager is also very useful when you go on leave at other times of the year. It allows you to allocate your portfolio to another property manager in your absence and the complete audit trail on all jobs makes it easy for everyone in the office to see the current status of all activities and maintenance requests at a glance.
What if tenants go away over Easter?
Easter is a popular time of year for many of us to pack up the car and head away for a few days. It’s commonly regarded as the last opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors before winter settles in. Your tenants are no exception.
What should you advise tenants to do while they are away and the property is unattended? The answer is exactly what you would do to protect your own home while you’re away. It is good practice to create a holiday checklist for tenants, which includes things like:
- Locking windows and doors.
- Setting timers on a few lights so they come on automatically when darkness falls.
- Switching off appliances at the wall to protect them against power surges in case a storm should hit.
- Turning off the water supply to prevent any leakage, which could lead to flooding.
- Having a neighbour or friend collect the mail (at other times of the year).
All it takes to enjoy a well-earned break in property management is some careful planning. The added bonus with your proactivity is that your landlords and tenants will see you as a property manager who is not only highly efficient, but also cares.
Enjoy the time off, you deserve it.