The end of the year is a potent time for both reflection and projection – not just personally but professionally. It’s important to think not just about resolutions, but also the solutions – the actions that make resolutions happen! The difference makes…. well, all the difference. Property management, whether you do it part or full time, for one or a few properties, a building with multiple units, or several complexes, juggles many moving parts. To do it well, let alone to grow, you have to be organized.
DEVISE YOUR SHORT LIST OF GOALS
I’m going to walk you through a quick review – as there is a big benefit from responding without thinking too much in the first part. It gets to the truth more easily that way. Because much as you may feel the contrary, we each know about 90% of what we need to do to take us to that next level.
Take out a piece of paper – yes paper. In this area especially it shifts something in an important way to actually take a pen and write things down. Just trust me on that!
Right now, without pausing to ruminate, write down the 2-4 top things you know you need to work on or begin, to improve your work life. They can be big or small. Go!
Then, take a look at that short list. It is probably made up of bigger, overreaching goals, smaller things that can be accomplished in a short time, or a combination. Over a 12 month period, your short list is very do-able! I’m going to EMPOWER you to do this coming year differently, by giving you a template in which to plan.
PLAN THE NEW YEAR IN QUARTERS
Now open up your 2016 calendar. We’re going to take a cue from Mother Nature and divide the year into quarters – Jan-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. Schedule in a non-negotiable, 90-minute meeting with yourself (at a time you know you feel most clear and productive) in the first week of each quarter. The purpose is to review the previous quarter and plan out the next in more detail than we will do now.
MAKE A REAL COMMITMENT
If these appointments were an island vacation, or a major sports event or concert with prime seats, everything in your schedule would work around it. There would be no forgetting or rescheduling 10 times. If you cannot make time for four 90-minute meetings over the year to invest in bettering your work life — which only betters every other aspect of your life — something is very wrong! So put all four in your calendar with any alerts or red ink NOW, and view it as both a professional tool and a gift to yourself.
USE YOUR QUARTERLY REVIEW
On a new sheet of paper, let’s sketch our how you will approach each of those 2-4 goals spread across 2016. You might be able to loosely determine that one can be advanced by worked on it in each successive quarter, like starting a newsletter, or blogging once a month. Then there may be what can only be done or begun in certain quarters, like Fall-specific clean up/winterizing in September, for example. You may devote February to a computer system update, or set a quota per month if new client acquisition is a goal. You get the picture.
WORKSHEET FOR JANUARY
The appointment in the first week of January is key! You will set yourself firmly on a course for the year, fleshing out the first quarter in detail, and filling in broad strokes for the other three. As you get to the next quarter’s appointment in the first week of April, you will fill out that quarter in detail, and so on for each.
TIP: Choose a time when your head is clearest and your energy is fresh. And it may be even better to go out of your work and home environment. Set up at a quiet coffee shop, or a library, or the company conference room as long as you will not be disturbed. Turn off the phone, tell people you’re in a meeting – and you ARE!
Now look at each item on your list more closely. Ask yourself: Why is each there? It might just be that the time is right, which is great. For the rest:
- Is it a matter of creating the time?
- Need expertise?
- Is a change of habit necessary?
- Would setting up a system (or improving the one you have) help it happen?
- Have to find better resources to support you?
Puzzling this out will help you accomplish it. Remember: The aim is solution not just resolution! Once you understand what some of the hiccups might be, what you can do to move each forward? This is where you can take a little time to think things through. For example:
- Technical – Do you need to invest in an updated phone, or tablet, upgrade operating systems, use better software or find a computer guru to affordably help you get what you have up to speed?
- Financial – Do you need to hire accounting, investing, or Small Business Bureau help, get set up with better systems – spread sheets or apps.
- Educational – Instructional YouTubes, articles and forums, Lynda.com one on one tutors, local adult ed classes from anything from Photoshop, to booking Apps, to spreadsheets to payroll.
- Marketing – Should you begin to send out a newsletter? Blog more frequently, step up social media, join the chamber of commerce or other networking groups?
- Personal – What habits need to change or be developed? Time management? Presenting yourself more professionally, from your look to your website? Developing to healthier habits so you can be more clear, alert and energetic?
The answers to the above will guide you to fill in the details of what should be done in your first quarter. Expect it to spin off subsequent meetings with staff or employers through the quarter, to delegate, to find people, apps or programs to help, to do some research, etc. Break the quarter into months, the months into weeks or days -whatever works.
You will repeat this each appointment for the quarter, starting with a review of how the last quarter went, incorporating what you learned, or what you didn’t expect. The quarterly sketches set in January allow you flexibility while you to commit to a few important things. You’ll be amazed at year’s end to see that you essentially accomplished what you set out to do. By planning a big picture, writing things down, and checking in regularly to fill in the details in a reasonable time chunk like quarters, you will stay on track and far more easily.
Once you have a quarterly plan, don’t file them in a word doc or buried under papers somewhere. Put the details in your calendar. Stick the main goals each period in a prized place that’s very visible to you – like the wall! Seeing them makes all the difference.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Yes, there are a gillion things you can aim for and as many to use in making it happen. Planing only 2-4 things keeps your main priorities clear and achievable. You’ll find many little things will be tweaked and streamlined along the way by default. But keep from getting sidetracked or too diffused in your efforts by just looking at the few items on your list, and continually making those your focus, for just this week or month, and it will see you through.
One key aspect of staying focused on your goals is to ensure that you are making the most of the tools you already have. AHRN.com helps to streamline your marketing by offering multiple methods to reach your ideal client – home seller, buyer, tenant or property owner – through one convenient portal. In additional to your property listings, make it easy for the military community to find you when researching an upcoming move with a Business Directory listing. You also have the opportunity to add an AHRN.com banner ad to your marketing plan with the Diamond Package – offered to a limited number of real estate professionals at each installation.
Look for ways to stay inspired and excited as an important part of your quarterly plans. Attend inspirational lunches, listen to Ted Talks and other podcasts, talk to people who have what you want too.
Lastly, schedule in a year-end review, right at this same time in 2016. If you keep and use this quarterly plan for one year, you will find that you have actually accomplished most of what you set out to do, and will feel more satisfied and successful! And I have a hunch you will use this framework for many years to come!
Meet Your Contributor:
Rochelle Joseph is a Writer and Image and Marketing Consultant who has had experience marketing, renting and buying/selling her properties for over 20 years. She leads workshops on Image and Marketing, and has written and edited for several publications, including the Boston Book Review, The Emerson Review, ZooBorns.com, WildLife Magazine, the Houston Zoo, The Wildlife Center of Texas, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary as well as AHRN.com. She currently writes at her great gifts blog athttps://lookyhereu.blogspot.com and her animal blog at https://naturegirrrl.blogspot.com