News & Information: Patty the Property Manager

Dear Patty - Time Management

Friday, December 7, 2012  
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Dear Patty,

I feel like I spend so much time responding to inquiries that I have very little time to actually show my properties. How do I balance office time and showing times?

--Off Balanced

Dear Off Balanced,

Do you have a organization system? Every property manager has to develop his or her own system of organization. Whether you are using a day planner or a smartphone or a computer you need to keep trying until you find something that works for you. Take the time to read up on new technologies and virtual offices, or ask other property managers what they use to use to stay organized. Once you find your system stick with it!

Be consistent in your formatting of information for easier access to the files. For example, all of my files begin with the property street name followed by the street number. This document naming convention makes it easier to search all through of my files, including e-mail attachments.

An efficient way to spend more time in the field is to have access to your office information at all times. There are various ways to link your office computer with your phone or tablet and be able to remotely log into to your office computer or access all of your information from a cloud. Your broker should be able to let you know what choices are compatible with the office set up. I personally have a smartphone that links with my e-mail and calendar functions so I can answer e-mails and book other appointments while I am waiting for a showing appointment.

Another time-saving technique I use is to have prewritten responses for rental inquiries. Instead of typing up a response for each and every inquiry I receive, I cut and paste from a prewritten response that is kept in a task panel on my computer and includes answers to the most common questions a potential applicant asks. The prewritten response, created in advance for each property, includes the property address, specifics of the property such as the number of beds and baths, the square footage, and the year built. I also include a description of the most desirable features.

To help reduce unnecessary follow-up to inquiries, I also provide give the potential applicant a link to the property’s page on our website, a link to our application, and a link to our selection criteria.

I hope my tips will help you out and wish you luck in finding your own organizational style!


"Patty the Property Manager” appears courtesy of the ORRA Property Management Subcommittee. Readers are invited to submit property management related questions to Patty by sending an e-mail to

The ORRA Property Management Subcommittee provides this property-management advice column as a service to ORRA members. The column is intended to provide a general understanding, not as a substitute for individual legal consultation. The column should not be relied upon in specific situations without consulting a real estate attorney.


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