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  • Scott Isacksen

Control Time, Don't Manage It!

Updated: Jun 14, 2019



Have you heard the phrase "Control time, don't manage it?"


This is what you should be doing with your apartment building; it is considered a passive investment.  A clear plan can give your property manager direction needed to manage your apartment building the most efficiently.


This allows you to make a decision, set it, and have that decision continue to execute itself. You have consciously taken time to put into effect that decision that takes you towards your goal. That is the control you have.


Here is the difference between control and managing:


You have a bag of 20 pieces of candy and there are 6 people in the room.


You can control the candy when you hand it to an assistant or volunteer and ask them to give each person 2 pieces of candy.


You manage the candy if you are the assistant or volunteer that makes sure each person gets 2 pieces of candy.


A plan already in place means you don't need to specify what to do with the turnover after the tenant leaves. You don't have to answer the question "stainless steel or white?" before the next steps on your property is taken. These expectations are already in place and the people working as part of your management team can move forward and do their job.


Specify what you want for services, inspection, and even turnover details.  

This means you are less involved in day to day decisions that you probably have made in your overall plan for your building.


There are almost as many styles of investment decisions as their are investors.  You have a reason for each decision you make for your property. These reasons have to do with both your plan for your budget and investing dollars.


Current cash-flow more important than long term savings? 


Specific style of sink or light fixture you like? 


Specific vendor you prefer to work with?


Paint colors? Paint Sheen?


Why can't you just tell your property manager by email, "Just paint it like the last unit" or "keep a few extras supplies in the closet" and be done with it?


The biggest problem with this is that there are still steps and missing information from these requests. How many extras and of what? Do you want a special trip to stock a closet?

Which apartment was the last one and were the details clear on an invoice or previous email? The property manager probably has to go hunt that information down to try to take care of your building.


The other option is just leave the manager to manage as they do the rest of their portfolio. This strategy can work very well for owners that are comfortable with their property manager's style. This can be in line with their goals as well and by far the easiest option.


The reason to go beyond that route would be if you want to maximize what you get out of your investment. You have set a specific end goal for your investment and want to take it there.


This is best done in a clear document that can be attached to your property rather than a note in an email.


Property management can be chaotic, so the easier you make it to reference these things, the more likely your property manager can accommodate 


Tci Building Services does the work to put together a manager's packet for your building that has YOUR decisions built into it for easy reference.


This is included with the customized Apartment Owner's Manual we put together for your property!


Control time, don't manage it!

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