Did you hear? Last week on that most important of national holidays, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow–and that means an early spring for all of us across the nation (impending East Coast blizzard notwithstanding). Hurrah for springtime!
In reality, while Punxsutawney Phil is actually wrong more often than he is right, winter is waning, and the flowers will be blooming before you know it–bringing along with them all of those wonderful tasks landlords and property managers have to prepare for. So today on Five Ways, we’ve got tips on how to prepare for the spring season even before it arrives–putting you and your staff ahead of the curve.
1. Make appointments–with gutter maintenance companies and the other businesses you’ll work with this spring–sooner rather than later.
As soon as warmer weather hits, the companies and contractors you work with during warmer months will get booked–and fast. Stay ahead of the competition by booking appointments for gutter cleaning, pipe inspections, HVAC maintenance and other spring requirements before March and April are actually upon us–then sit back and relax knowing you’ll have it all taken care of in the months ahead.
2. Inspect your pipes–every single one of them.
The colder the winter, the harder it can be on a building’s plumbing. When the autumn hit, you took the time to protect pipes and plumbing from freezing temperatures and snow; now that the worst is over, it’s time to see how you did. While tenants would clearly point out some of the more obvious problems that have occurred over the winter, others won’t make themselves known quite so easily–so be sure to conduct a thorough inspection of all the plumbing in your buildings during the spring months. You’d hate to be paying for extra water or energy because of a problem that occurred during the winter!
3. Create a spring maintenance schedule for yourself and your staff.
Warmer weather and brighter, longer days mark the start of apartment-hunting season in Seattle and other nearby regions; and even though vacancies continue to be low, buildings need to look their best and brightest as summer approaches. That means landscaping that is restored after the winter and well-kept throughout the warmer months. When the rains start to let up and the sun is out more often, some of the focus for you and your staff will change to maintaining attractive landscaping on your properties. Take the time now to schedule tasks and create a rotation; that way, the spring routine can ease seamlessly in to your routine.
4. Spring cleaning applies to landlords and tenants–we’re all in this together. Community events, such as whole-building yard sales, can strengthen the landlord-tenant bond.
While we realize that community yard sales are not going to be appropriate for every building, events that tackle (or acknowledge) spring cleaning tasks while emphasizing community can be great for a building’s sense of belonging. Building-wide yard sales are fairly easy to organize and can facilitate the removal of plenty of junk that would otherwise end up in the dumpster; if a yard sale isn’t your style, consider a used-goods donation drive to benefit a charitable cause.
5. Plan the fun stuff too–now’s the perfect time to start planning those community events that showcase your building while making tenants feel more at home than ever.
Does your apartment community host a spring potluck or a summer picnic? Is there a Labor Day barbecue or a special week of outreach events over the summer? Whatever your plans to make your building stand out to people who don’t live here yet, while also making tenants feel good about where they do live, now is the perfect time to plan it. Spring and summer are fun-filled times in the Pacific Northwest–while the good weather’s here, there are a lot of events vying for people’s attention. That’s why it’s important to plan events ahead of time, getting them onto community calendars and making sure tenants know they’re coming up–plenty of lead time will allow for events that are both well-attended and well-planned. And hey, enjoy it! Spring is just around the corner.