Are you succeeding in finishing your tasks every day or are you always “chasing your tail”?
One of the most challenging aspects of working in a busy agency is managing your time effectively. Quite often you are trained to expect the unexpected and to drop everything when necessary. This can happen when a hot applicant walks into the office and they want to view straight away, or when a property management issue needs urgent attention, or perhaps a call out has to be suspended due to an urgent request for a market appraisal.
Some agencies have very rigid timetables in place in order that all bases are covered and this can mean call out times or viewing feedback sessions when no other appointments are permitted. Others leave it to the individual’s discretion but insist on a morning meeting to discuss and agree on priorities for the day.
Whatever the methodology, much depends on a person’s experience and capabilities but if you are looking to improve your time management skills here are some ideas you may wish to consider:
1. Make a list! – a good old-fashioned remedy for an organised day, tick off your tasks as they are completed.
2. Block out time in your diary – for priority tasks be strict with yourself and complete them during the period you have allocated - and make sure your colleagues are aware you will be busy during that time!
3. Stick to a timetable – if it helps you to take more control over your time, stick to a daily timetable of when to tackle your various tasks.
4. Plan ahead – a little preparation goes a long way. If you have an important meeting to attend start preparing as soon as you are able - last-minute rushes are a recipe for disaster!
5. Get an early start - if you know you have a challenging day ahead, why not arrive in the office an hour early? Sometimes known as the “golden hour” before the phone starts ringing and emails start filling your inbox, during this quiet time you can really focus and do
some detailed work.
6. Use your “waiting time” wisely –what useful tasks could you be carrying out whilst waiting for applicants to arrive at a property or when you arrive a little too early for an MA? Think about making more of this waiting time by perhaps sending some emails from your phone, doing some online market research or making some calls.
Written by Caroline Kenny AssocRICS DipRLM FARLA(retd)
A freelance residential lettings consultant as well as a Business Development Consultant to the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA).