This article was posted on Thursday, Oct 01, 2015

It’s no surprise that landlords and property managers have full schedules and endless things to do.  With lots of tasks to juggle and plenty of jobs every day and every week, it’s easy for landlords to get burned out from the business. 

Smart business owners and entrepreneurs know the value of working smarter, not harder.  Never taking time out to refresh yourself can also take its toll on your productivity.  The bad news is, the harder you work without seeing any real results, the more stressed you will feel.  Don’t wait until you are close to a breakdown to make some real changes in how you manage your landlord stress.

In the long run, you will accomplish more in an efficient way by using these five stress-busting tips.

1. Keep a Current To-Do List

There are so many details involved in managing properties that even the most experienced landlord is bound to forget something.  With a current to-do list, you can instantly prioritize what needs to be done and cross off tasks as you finish them.  With a current list of things to do, you’ll be more efficient and get rid of that frantic feeling of deciding what to do next and the worry that you’ve left something undone.  Whether you use an electronic list or a good, old-fashioned notepad or planner, that list will keep you on tract and under less stress. 

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2. Balance Tech Tools

For many small business owners, including landlords and property managers, technology makes all kinds of tasks much easier.  The bad news is, having that technology constantly at your fingertips can be counterproductive.  How?  When you check your mobile devices too often, like email or social media, it can cause you to lose your focus on the task you are currently working on. 

3, Stay Educated

Landlord stress can arise when you don’t know what to do in a particular situation or you haven’t learned how to deal with a problem before it happens.   While everyone must learn valuable things as they go along in a job or business, there are plenty of resources for landlords to educate themselves on saving time, money, energy and more.

When you are too busy, you tend to ignore your business education.  This mistake can make you even more busy, so always take some time each week to work smarter.  Start with Landlord University podcasts and look around online for valuable tips and tricks to make managing property as stress-free as possible.  [AOA has FREE educational landlord seminars throughout the year as well as at both Trade Shows.  Be sure to attend these to keep up to date on new laws, money-saving ideas and proper landlord procedures.]

 4. Outsource Jobs

Everyone has jobs and tasks that they simply hate doing or are not very good at.  If there is some aspect of being a landlord or a property manager that you simply cannot abide or is causing your stress levels to go through the roof, consider outsourcing it.  Of course, the big and important tasks of managing property should remain with you. but there are dozens of tasks, large and small, that you could delegate or outsource.

For example – if you manage a multi-unit property and the task you can’t stand is spring cleaning, check out lawn service rates, or make a deal with a reliable tenant on rent for services.  When you know that a distasteful or complex task is being properly taken care of by someone who is not you, you’ll be amazed at how your landlord stress melts away.

5. Specify the End of the Day/Week

Working for yourself is wonderful in that you can do it anytime of the day or week.  Working for yourself is also awful because you can do it anytime of the day or week.  In other words, put a limit on your work day and work week so you have a clear ending time to designate between being the landlord and being yourself.  Of course, there will always be those emergency issues, but setting a strict end time every day and end time at the end of each week will make sure your personal life and your property investment life don’t overlap too much. 

Keeping your stress levels manageable as a landlord or property manager is tricky, but with these five tips to minimizing the workload and being more efficient, you can come out on top every time.   Staying happy and healthy is the key to a successful business and a fulfilling life, so start taking control of your business today. 

Jennifer Maughan is the Content Director as well as a former property manager.  Reprinted with permission of the Wisconsin Apartment Association News.