Turn WhatsApp into your central communication station
When working on construction and renovation projects, communication between the different teams can be challenging, especially if they are working on multiple projects at the same time. A flood of text messages turns into a never-ending thread that is hard to search and keep track of. Simple misunderstandings can result in mistakes, unforeseen costs, delays, and frustration among team members.
Switching to the messaging app WhatsApp will be the best decision you make. Use the group chat function to create one chat room per project, using the property address as a group name. For example, if you’re working on “123 Main Street Unit 3,” use this as the group name and invite all contractors who are currently involved with the project. You can add and remove people on the go (your drywall contractor does not need to stay in the loop after his job is done), and you can share important information with just one message. The read receipt function also allows you to confirm everyone has received it.
Pro tip:When you conclude a project, take photos of the materials used in order to capture the important info (for examples, pictures of the paint buckets showing the paint name and product code) and add all these photos to the project chat. Should you have to return to this property for more work, you already know what you’ll need.
If you also own or manage rental properties, WhatsApp is a great way to establish chat rooms with your tenants. Simply give your group chat the address of the property and invite your tenants to join the group. They’ll be able to use the app to confirm rent payments and ask for assistance with maintenance issues.
Manage everyone’s tasks with Wunderlist
While Whatsapp chat rooms are a great way to centralise your operation, Wunderlist is a useful tool to help you supercharge your project management efforts. This “to-do list” app allows you to add and check off tasks as you complete them.
Convert this simple solution into something that works specifically for you, creating one to-do list for each project by—you guessed it—giving it the name of the address of the project. Simply add and remove tasks by typing them in the top bar or checking them off. Here too you can add your team members via email, and they will be sharing your to-do lists in real time.
Each task has a number of advanced features:
- Assign a task to a specific team member
- Give the task a due date (and set a reminder!)
- Add notes, images, or pictures to each task
- Add subtasks
- Add comments, creating a conversation thread within a single task
Once a task is complete, anyone can check it off, and a timestamp and username log is created to take note of who completed the task, and when.
Wunderlist helps to streamline task lists, and often you don’t even need to communicate via email or phone at all. Maybe have a separate rental maintenance list, which can be shared with your handyman. When a tenant needs help in their residence, simply add the task to the list, and the handyman will get a notification on his phone.
When managing projects that involve a number of people, having everyone on the same page is key. These two tools have helped us tremendously in simplifying and streamlining our many projects. You can use Whatsapp and Wunderlist, but there are many other great apps out there—you just have to tweak them a little to fit your needs.