Setting goals is important for any business and the beginning of the year is the perfect time to do that. Symbolically, January 1st marks a time for a fresh start or renewal, which is a great mindset to have when tackling challenges or tasks. Now is a good time to identify some of the preventive maintenance on your commercial real estate properties that maybe you’ve been putting off or just weren’t ready to do.
As a property manager, your role as a middleman between the tenant and the owner is to help ensure that expectations of both parties for safety, environment, liability and costs are met as well as possible. Tenants want to live or work in a safe, clean, well-maintained building and owners want to protect their investment. Take the time now to create a preventive maintenance program. Draw upon your knowledge of the property and focus on what its needs are for upkeep, what the staffing requirements are to accommodate those needs, and what the cost is to meet those needs. The reason for focus here is that while we’re often filled with aspiration this time of year, competing priorities and over-zealousness often bring failure to stated plans. In fact, according to Forbes, just 8% of New Year’s resolutions are ever fully realized. Don’t worry though, the experts agree that things you commit to are more likely to be achieved if they are tangible. So, here’s some suggestions to think about and to keep you focused in preparing your preventive maintenance task list:
- Investigate and resolve any tenant facility-related complaints
- Inspect vacant units and complete needed restores or cleaning
- contract with specific maintenance services such as carpentry, plumbing, electricity, landscaping and snow removal services
- Deep clean common areas and steam clean upholstery
- Attend to any landscape maintenance like broken tree limbs, leaf piles or damaged sprinklers
- Have routine service done on heating and air conditioning systems
- Inspect plumbing and electrical systems
- Check fascia, siding and windows for damage or wear and have repaired
- Revisit emergency response policies and procedures as well as have safety equipment checked
Don’t think of preventive maintenance as just another chore. Think of it as an investment in the future success of the property. Efforts now will keep you from scrambling to remediate problems down the road and it’s always cheaper to maintain than have to buy new prematurely. A little attention to the potential trouble areas mentioned above can prolong the useful life of mechanical equipment and systems, and create a more enjoyable, comfortable tenant experience and help to ensure safety. If you’re still not motivated to make some New Year’s resolutions about caring for your commercial real estate property, you might recall the words of Benjamin Franklin and know that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.