Following are some focal points the community might not have considered for spring.
BY ERICA RASCON
This is not your grandfather’s spring cleaning list. Learn how to transform basic seasonal care into value-add improvements.
- If utilities are included in residents’ billing, early spring is the perfect time to assess fuel costs. Buildings often consume the most fuel during the first two quarters of the year. At this point, an estimate can be drawn indicating whether the community will operate in deficit or surplus for the rest of the year. Fewer surprise costs for renters can lead to greater resident satisfaction and retention.
- Consider installing smart home or connected home technology this spring. These devices can ultimately help to protect the property, improve effiCiency and maximize resident comfort.
- If using disposable filters, replace them at least every three months to ensure optimal efficiency and air quality for residents. If interested in reusable filters, they are now more affordable than ever. They require greater upfront investment but they can last for five years. Reusable filters are also better for the environment. The downside is that they must be cleaned and dried monthly or they will begin to decrease in efficiency.
- Request that residents test their air-conditioning systems at the end of winter. This way, there’s the opportunity to get a jump-start on any needed repairs before service partners are slammed with requests in the spring and summer.
- Early spring can be the perfect time to cut back unruly branches and shrubs, especially for fast-growing varieties like crepe myrtles and forsythia. Keep foliage at least five feet from the building, window screens and roof. Tidy landscaping can improve resident retention and minimize costly property damage.
- Stock up on supplies at spring cleaning sales. An ample supply of bulbs, machine batteries, water filters, air filters and the like will be discounted at bulk stores near you. Store a few items onsite when possible to minimize maintenance calls throughout the year.
- The fire alarms may have served residents well during the winter holidays, but there are more holidays and barbecues to come. Test fire, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at each property. Clean covers and replace batteries, as needed.
- Balance accounts during late winter, before the height of moving season in the spring. With financial matters settled, residents can move forward on a positive note, rather than at the tail end of a dispute.
- The weight of snow and ice may have caused new damages to the roof. Those issues will only worsen with spring’s showers. Inspect the roof for cracked or missing shingles, swelling and buckling.
- Clean and repair the gutters, especially if this maintenance was overlooked during the fall. Removing debris now will prevent blockages throughout the spring and beyond.
- Winter weather places a property under duress. Floors settle and sidewalks crack over time. Schedule accessibility compliance review now so that the community is in ideal shape for the new season for leases.
By finishing preventive maintenance in the early spring, the onsite team is able to focus on sales and customer service during the busiest season of the year.”
This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of Units Magazine. Additional information about this magazine can be found HERE.