4 Property Management Maintenance Tips for the New Year

As we ring in the new year, the time to start planning for your property management company’s success is now. Preparing your service teams early in the year when your property is less hectic will pay off for the rest of the year and beyond. If implemented today and continued throughout the rest of the year, these four initiatives will ensure a successful season for your business.

1. Organization

Organization is key to helping your service teams be as efficient as possible. Shops and storages should be neatly arranged so that parts, tools, and appliances are readily recognizable and accessible. By having your service team work on this goal, it will serve several purposes.   

First, because everyone will have a hand in cleaning and organizing, they will take ownership in keeping the shop and storages clean and in shape.  

Second, if everyone works on reorganization, then everyone will know exactly where to find parts and tools. If you go as far as color-coding and labeling all your shelves and bins, you’ll save time for each service team member every time that they need to find something in the shop. Not to mention your maintenance supervisor will be able to order and control inventory in this new system much faster.

Finally, it’s also a great team building exercise. Throw in a couple of pizzas and soft drinks and it’s more like a shop cleaning party.

2. Scheduling

Now that your new budget is set, you should know:

  • What capital projects you will be doing this year
  • What month they will happen
  • How much they should cost

You’ll also know when other projects are scheduled to take place such as pool and spa openings, fire extinguisher inspections, fire protection system inspections, elevator inspections, preventative maintenance, etc.  

Some or all these projects may require a vendor to complete. If you need to get bids, the earlier the better. If you already know which vendor you will be using, get on their schedule in advance. This ensures that you get your projects done when you need them done.  

By taking the time to put together a master schedule and making those vendor arrangements, your maintenance supervisor will be able to focus on what really needs attention during the busier time of the year. It will also cut down on your maintenance staff forgetting when certain projects are due. 

3. Training

Another thing that should be on your radar early in the year is training for your service teams. Providing training gives your service staff new and improved skills that will increase their productivity and their level of customer service.  

However, not every team member will need the same kind of training. Look for training options that come with some sort of accreditation or certification. They are more desirable among service staff.  

Some of the most popular classes include; EPA 608 certification, Certified Pool and Spa Operator (CPO) by The National Swimming Pool Foundation, and the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technician (CAMT) through the National Apartment Association Education Institute. You can access these classes through your local apartment association, your vendors and suppliers, or private industry educators.  

Cross-training is also a very valuable exercise not just for a service team on one property, but for your service teams across all your properties. Having different on-site staffers get to know each other will pay off when one property may need extra help due to vacation, loss of manpower, or the occasional deluge of work. It’s also a new way to build comradery across your apartment communities.

4. Mentoring

Some people believe training and mentoring are the same. They are very different. Mentoring is done on a one-on-one basis and the skills and knowledge obtained are usually more specialized and in-depth. 

I have seen several maintenance technicians get promoted to maintenance supervisor roles and fail. That’s because they didn’t have the administrative skills necessary to be great maintenance supervisors. Now is the time to start grooming your service technicians for leadership by pairing them with excellent maintenance supervisors. Remember, not everyone is cut out to be a mentor. Ask around your staff to see who would be interested. It will be very beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee. 

By starting with just one of these suggestions, you will set your service teams and your property management company up for more success in the new year. Each one of these initiatives will improve your service team’s productivity and empower them to handle more of your community’s day-to-day operations.    

By Chad Moulin: 

Chad Moulin has been in the field of property management for more than 25 years.  Chad has earned his CAMT designation through NAA as well as been recognized many times over as a leader in property management maintenance. 

Starting out as a groundskeeper and working his way up through the ranks of property management, Chad has worked on almost every type of property and dealt with every type of resident imaginable.  

In 2012, Chad created Prop Ops: Property Operations Training and Consulting.  His goal is to bring a higher standard and more in-depth type of training to the world of property management through a maintenance perspective. Chad’s seminars are designed around a real-world approach to achieving property management excellence. Visit his website here.

Your property management platform should be helping your maintenance team. See how ResMan can help increase your property’s value by streamlining the maintenance process.

26 Tips for Winterizing Your Apartment Community

While winterizing your rental property is a year-round process, mid to late November marks the true countdown to the winter solstice. In case you’re just getting started, ResMan partnered with Property Operations and Consultant Chad Moulin to bring you a comprehensive guide to prepping your property. Get ready for snowflakes and ice storms with these 26 tips for winterizing your apartment community. 

Tips for winterizing your property:

Tip #1: Safety first. Repair stairs and walkways to reduce falling and tripping hazards. 

Tip #2: Clear your gutters. Check for debris that has found its way into drains. You want to avoid leaks or dangerous accumulation of snow and ice. 

Tip #3: Seize the day. Stock up on ice melt and snow clearing equipment. If temperatures are warm during the day and you expect precipitation or snow overnight, pre-salt your walkways. It will make clearing the snow in the morning that much easier. 

Tip #4: Check your heating. Make sure your furnaces and boilers are in good condition. This includes your systems in storages and riser rooms. Clean units and replace parts and filters as needed because emergency repair services are more costly than preventive measures. 

Tip #5: Let there be light. Ensure walkways are well-lit for those long, dark wintery nights. The last thing anyone wants is to trip and fall. 

Tip #6: Know your property. Do you have a floor plan that has a layout that is more prone to pipe freezes? Having this knowledge of your property’s cold weather history helps your residents prepare for severe weather and gives you the opportunity, for example, to install a vent to allow the cold air to escape the wall cavity. 

Tip #7: Caulk and seal. Check for gaps or cracks around your doors, windows, and exterior walls of your property. For one, heat loss can occur. Two, unwanted pests can enter your structure. 

Tip #8:  Stay on the safe side. You can’t predict what happens during severe winter weather. Don’t let your residents go uninsured. With ResMan Extend, you have access to multiple insurance agencies looking to put you and your residents first. 

Tip #9: Winterize your chimneys. Check for cracks and clean any buildup of ash or creosote. If a resident does not use their chimney, the flue should remain closed to prevent drafts. 

Tip #10: Inspect your roof. Fall is the best time for maintenance staff to inspect flashing and seals around vents, pipes, and chimneys on building roofs. Look for holes or missing shingles to prevent leaks and water damage during storms. 

Tip #11: Protect your pools. In-ground pools will need to be covered. Clean and drain all pumps, filters, heaters, and pipes. Duct tape should be used to wrap exposed pipes to prevent freezing.  

For above-ground pools, filters and tanks should be washed, drained, and blown out. Pipes and skimmers should be plugged, and pumps and filters should be disconnected. 

Always disconnect and store pool accessories and add winterizing chemicals to the water. 

Tip #12: Trim your trees. Be sure to cut weak branches and damaged trees. Fallen or blown tree limbs could damage your property or cause injury. 

Tip #13:  Insulate. All outdoor pipes or pipes in unheated indoor areas should be insulated against icy weather. 

Tip #14: Be proactive. Regularly inspect shutoff valves and levers. During inclement weather, you want to be able to shut off the water. 

Tip #15: The National Fire Protection Association has free research and information on fire, electrical, and related hazards for property managers to better understand their systems and maintain proper prevention protocols. 

Tip #16: In the event of severe wintry weather, you want to make sure that you have maintained solid records and that you have access to them. ResMan comes with inventory management tools that help you avoid spending on items already warrantable. Snap a picture, upload it to a work order, and attach to a resident’s file for seamless documentation. Your important data will also be backed up in the cloud. 

Tip# 17: Test detectors. If maintenance of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in the property is your responsibility as per the lease agreement, remember to test the devices and replace the batteries. 

Tip #18: Let faucets drip. Encourage residents to leave faucets slightly dripping at a lukewarm temperature to prevent their pipes from freezing. Leaving cabinet doors below sinks open can also do the trick.  

Tip #19: Cover your floors. Laying down mud carpets to protect communal floors and carpets will help extend their lifespan. 

Tip #20: Keep it warm. Set the thermostat in vacant units at a minimum of 60 degrees. Even better, invest in programmable thermostats to save you time and money. Zego, one of ResMan’s partners, is the hub for smarter apartment living. 

Tip #21: Empower your residents to do their parts in keeping units in working order over the winter months by sending email and text reminders. With ResMan Essentials, you can send and receive any messages in bulk. Since email templates can be used for printed communication, provide your residents with a checklist that highlights all the necessary steps to ensure no damage is done to their apartment during the winter. 

Tip #22: Practice safety. Whether onsite staff or resident, turn off portable heaters when leaving a room or going to bed. 

Tip #23: Been to the Department of Housing and Urban Development website lately? They have great resources for property operators needing emergency preparedness guidance.  

Tip #24: Switch the direction of your fans. In communal areas, change the rotation of your ceiling fans to push warm air down. Residents can do the same 

Tip #25: Have a plan in place. Weather catastrophes can come without warning. Property management teams need to have a responsive plan in place for handling resident calls about broken pipes, property conditions, and more. Keeping your office open and having experienced staff members ready on standby 24/7 during major weather events ensures issues are dealt with immediately. 

Tip #26: Take care of yourself. Make sure that all your cold weather gear – boots, gloves, hats, masks, coats, overalls, socks, etc. – is ready in case of an emergency. The proper gear can help make working in the elements much more comfortable. Keep in mind that synthetic fabrics and moisture wicking under layers help keep you warm and dry.  

Preparing your property for winter can be a bit tedious. There are many moving parts and factors to consider. Don’t be overwhelmed. ResMan’s Property Winterization checklist can help you figure out what you need to do and when.  

About Chad Moulin: 

Chad Moulin has been in the field of property management for more than 25 years.  Chad earned his CAMT designation through NAA as well as being recognized many times over as a leader in property management maintenance. 

Starting out as a groundskeeper and working his way up through the ranks of property management, Chad has worked on almost every type of property and dealt with every type of maintenance issue imaginable.  

In 2012, Chad created Prop Ops: Property Operations Training and Consulting.  His goal is to bring a higher standard and more in-depth type of training to the world of property management maintenance. Chad’s seminars are designed around a real-world approach to achieving property management excellence. Visit his website here. 

ResMan Ranked Among Top 25 Best Places to Work

The news is out. Out of thousands of companies in the multifamily industry, ResMan ranks No. 25 in the best places to work in multifamily!

How we ranked

To receive a nomination, companies are evaluated on their employee policies and procedures, as well as employee survey responses. The award recognizes those companies that have established and consistently fostered outstanding workplace environments.

“Next generation leaders want to know their company is making a positive impact in the world,” Patrick Antrim, CEO of Multifamily Leadership, said in a press release. “This is becoming increasingly more important as society is asking business to play a bigger role. The Best Places to Work Multifamily companies have stepped up to play that role and will have a much bigger voice in the future.”

ResMan is truly honored to receive this award from Multifamily Leadership, and we think it signifies something profound about our property management software company; integrity, excellence, and innovation permeates our culture.

“ResMan is on an extraordinary journey which would not be possible if not for the hard work and dedication of our employees,” ResMan President Elizabeth Francisco said. “We have made a deliberate attempt to focus on our culture and employee engagement. Being recognized in the top twenty-five means that we are on the right track.”

The industry

The multifamily industry contributes more than $3.5 billion to the economy every day and supports more than 12.3 million jobs nationwide. The magnitude in which this industry impacts American society motivates us to constantly and carefully consider the type of legacy we leave. We stand for more than making a profit. We stand for community.

“What we’re really providing is safety, comfort, livelihood, and independence,” Dennis Berhman, SVP of Marketing, said. “We stand together with all owners, investors, and operators who strive every day to deliver these most fundamental aspects of modern life.”

They say you are the company you keep. Same goes for business. Whether ResMan is serving customers, working with vendors, or interacting with our employees, we are committed to developing relationships with the movers and shakers of our industry.

We’ve gotten a great start too. PayLease, Coast Property Management, Centra Partners Management, Karya Property Management, S2 Capital LLC, Apartment Dynamics, and Q10 Property Advisors – all current partners and customers – have earned a spot in the Best Places to Work Multifamily list. And in some cases, multiple times over. We are more than proud to call them members of our ResMan family.

Why we do it

As we look forward to a new year, we also look forward to a renewed sense of our mission – to eliminate the challenges of property management and to power modern, connected communities. We believe that every property management company should love their property management software.

“We will continue to innovate and advocate for the industry with the promise of ever more simplicity, harmony, and opportunity,” Behrman said.

Search Open Positions

Acquisition to Add Rural Development Functionality Into ResMan Solutions Suite

ResMan Acquires Seattle-based High Tech Solutions

Great news for our clients with rural development assets: Specialized functionality is on tap for ResMan’s property management software, following the closing of a significant acquisition.

Today marked the closing of our acquisition of Seattle-based High Tech Solutions, an innovative provider of technology solutions for rural development properties. (Check out the full press release here!)

This acquisition will enhance our commitment to provide customers with solutions to manage their entire portfolio with one easy-to-use platform regardless of the asset type.

It’s no secret that managing rural development properties requires very particular reports, processes, and workflows. Soon, this functionality will be offered in our property management software.

For our clients with rural development assets or those who plan to add them into their portfolio, stay tuned for more information on this exciting new development!