Tame the Communication Deluge
Setting the Stage
One of the problems I have as a property manager is the excess of emails, telephone calls, and text messages I receive from each board. A lot of times, we’ll have an insane amount of information, and you have to bounce between devices. A lot of the things that you want to speak about, the important topics, could get lost in the shuffle, because you’re everywhere but you’re nowhere at the same time.
Following the Action
That brings us to Slack. It’s a free app available from slack.com or various mobile app stores, that you can use on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Basically, you set up a “team” and you add all of the property managers/board members on different channels in the application. You can also set up a channel for heating, or for proposals, for board agendas, or for board meetings. From my perspective, it’s one place where we can talk about all the important things in the different or closed channels. The closed channels are actually password-protected and only invited guests can use them (that could be an executive committee). It’s also a tool for direct messaging. You can have one board member talking to another in a private conversation – or you can loop in others into a group setting.
As a manager, I can have channels dedicated to specific buildings. I could be talking to one property for 10 minutes but could also be bouncing between four different buildings in four different channels. It’s a great way to keep track of the different projects and buildings that we’re working on.
Doing It Right
You can do everything with Slack. You can upload and download documents. You can share calendar invites. You can even initiate a telephone call through the app, and it will message you real-time by audio. There are a lot of different uses, and hopefully, it will cut down on the deluge of emails, phone calls, and texts.