Running a successful property management business involves projects, and lots of them. Without the proper structure and planning in place, however, these projects can easily end up negatively impacting your budget and your company as a whole. Good business practice requires that any and all projects be set up, monitored and managed properly so they don’t end up going off the rails. Here are four project management tips to help keep you on the right track from start to successful finish.
Identify, define and plan projects in advance.
A successful project is one that is mapped out well in advance, not something that’s thrown together at the last minute. During your next planning meeting, work with your management team to determine what needs to be done in order for you to reach your business goals. This discussion should help you identify and define specific projects that can be linked to each goal. From there, assign the scope, pinpoint the success criteria and determine the budgetary needs.
Set a project budget.
Once you’ve identified your projects, the next important step is to create an individual budget for each of them. Your budgets should take into account the various resources needed to complete the project, both internal as well as external, and both hard and soft costs. Each budget should be as precise as possible and set up in a way that makes it easy for you and your management team to track. It’s also important that they fit in with the overall budget of your property management company.
Assign project managers.
With a scope and budget in hand, the next step is to assign someone to oversee each project. Keep in mind that for larger, more complex projects, you may need to either assign or hire a dedicated project manager who is experienced and adept at making sure all of the moving parts remain in scope, within budget and on time. Concerned about the added expense of a project manager? A recent report indicated that companies that invest in good project management practice waste 28 times LESS money because more of their strategic initiatives are completed successfully.
Hold regular meetings to discuss progress.
Meeting on a regular basis to obtain project updates and discuss next steps is an important component of good project management. Doing so can also help you identify challenges early on in the process, before they have a chance to develop into more serious and costly problems. How frequently you meet may vary, depending on the size and scope of the project. Some teams may meet daily, others every few weeks, and still others monthly or even quarterly.
A run-away project can wreak havoc on your property management business, possibly even shifting you from profitable to in-the-red. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be that way. With a little bit of structure and a good amount of oversight, you can ensure that your projects achieve exactly what they’re designed to, each and every time.