Setting yourself up for your best year ever. Tips for 2021 from pmXcite

2020 had it’s challenges, but it also came with a lot of lessons! Have you set yourself up to move forward into 2021 for your best year ever? This month we had a chat to our friends at pmXcite  about how they think Property Managers can set themselves up for their best year ever!


Terri Handy & Shonleigh Draper – Co-Founders of pmXcite

The reality is that 2021 is more than likely going to face similar challenges to 2020… let’s just put that out there!

Even though we would love to just draw a line in the sand and start afresh, it is already apparent that just like last year, we are all going to continue to have situations arise that are out of our control and there will be plenty of hurdles to overcome.

The good news is, our “change muscle” has been developing and growing stronger over the past 12 months and as Property Managers, now more than ever, we are able to adapt, pivot, adjust and grapple with the best of them.

So whilst we can’t predict what the future holds (always a little scary), it’s important to acknowledge that we are so much better prepared for whatever is going to be thrown at us than we were this time last year.

But … knowing we can do hard things isn’t going to be enough to ensure 2021 is your best year yet so today, we are going to share our biggest tip to help you set yourself up for success – “future-proofing”.

At pmXcite, we are all about “future-proofing” and you will often hear us talk about having our future self thank us.  What we mean by this is that by doing something today that might not seem like a big deal, but when something unexpected happens down the track, we are sooo pleased we have already done that task. So much so, we say “thank you to our past self” (generally not out loud though).

As the mother of an energetic 2-year-old boy and owner of two businesses, Shonleigh’s life is pretty hectic at the best of times but with her husband working interstate at the moment, her level of crazy-busy has gone to a new level.  As an ultra organised person who manages to achieve more in a workday than many of us do in a week, we thought you might like to hear her tips on how she makes life easier for  “Future Shonleigh”.

Doing things for future ‘you’  

I like to practise planning out my day the day BEFORE, so that mornings are a well-oiled machine. Let’s face it, you could spill your coffee all down your shirt before you leave the house, you could be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to work or you could have a toddler who just doesn’t want to play by the rules that morning which can totally derail your day but these things won’t feel so big and disastrous IF you’ve already planned ahead for them.

For me, it is all about ensuring my morning involves taking the ‘path of least resistance’. And what I mean by this is, my mornings have to be routined, streamlined and easy. Very little decision-making needs to happen in the morning because the rest of the day is sure to be full of decisions to make.

Here are some things I do the night before to set myself up for a successful day ahead…

1. Pack my bag, fill up my water bottle and leave it in the fridge and choose my outfit and leave it out, then all I need to do is slip into it – one less decision to make!

2. Place my coffee cup next to the machine all ready to go and prepare Alfie’s breakfast the night before so I don’t have to fuss around in the morning if it’s a particularly crazy morning with him – overnight oats are a good one for this!

3. Get ready for daycare drop-off – I pack his non-perishable/dry foods in his lunchbox, make his sandwich and pop it in the fridge and as mentioned I have his breakfast all ready to go the night before – this, in particular, makes me feel really in control of my mornings

4. I also prepare my lunch the night before – leftovers or a big salad in the fridge. I find that by doing this, I am eating more nutritiously and thereby have more energy (and I save money).

5. I leave for work EARLY, there is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic or having to turn around and come home because you spilt coffee on your shirt.. give yourself plenty of time to get into the office so that you can arrive feeling prepared, ready and in control.

Thanks Shon!  I guess the question now is how can we take these tips and apply them to property management?

We’ve definitely gotta start helping our future selves here too!  If we look at how Shonleigh sets her morning up, the night before, what she is doing is controlling the controllable (does that make sense?).  We know that in property management, there are plenty of things we have no control over – it’s the nature of the beast – but, when we dig a little, you will find there are actually loads of things we can control.

Here are a couple of simple suggestions which if you put into place, we promise will create some ease in your life and come December 2021, your future self will definitely be thanking you.

1. Get your templates humming – there are probably more you can standardise than you realise.  This will save you so much time, not to mention brain strain.  BTW, we have over 90 templates ready and waiting if you need some help.

2. Review your checklists and processes – adding simple steps like a checkbox for booking into your calendar the final inspection at the time the tenant gives their notice to help you keep your calendar up to date.  Or, what about adding a step to create a task to remind you to call the vacating tenant the week before they return their keys to check they are on track.  This way you find out about any issues BEFORE they move out.

3. Create some rules for yourself eg if you find yourself writing an email response that is more than three lines, you must pick up the phone and call the person.  Then use an email template to confirm the conversation – a quick edit and vroom, off it goes.

4. Work to an ideal week (careful, we heard that moan!).  Not only does an ideal week force you to think about when you are going to do things ahead of schedule, it allows you to create some breathing space for the “unexpected” interruptions that we can’t predict but know will happen.  Take control of your time!

Do you feel like there is a bit of theme happening here? 

Yep, we reckon that by consciously practising proactive property management (try saying that three times quickly) ie “future-proofing”, you will find 2021 a breeze.

At pmXcite, we have loads of tools and resources that can help you be proactive and create space in your day AND your head.  Check us out at – your future self will thank you 😜

Terri & Shonleigh

Co-Founders of pmXcite

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