Taking Apartment Operations to New Heights

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Taking Apartment Operations to New Heights

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Originally published in Units magazine, click here to access digital version.

Taking Apartment Operations to New Heights

In the world of real estate, apartment buildings are properties that require most thoughts from building owners and operators. The reason is apartments are residents’ homes. Buildings like offices or retail spaces, tenants leave at the end of the day and go home. In rental housing, these residents are home. And home should always be the relaxing space that recharges its people.

For this reason, making maintenance (both general and preventative) a priority helps to keep the building and resident experience running smoothly. And they can be achieved by the following best practices:

Separate General and Preventive Maintenance

The first step toward achieving efficient maintenance is owners have to recognize both general and preventive maintenance are equally essential to the longevity and profitability of a building.

General maintenance is more than just keeping things clean; it is to keeping the pride of residents because the space they are living in reflects their personnel. Living in a well-taken care environment makes residents feel good and reduce stress. Therefore, failure of general maintenance can lead to the residents lose pride in their building and may begin to look elsewhere. Some tasks for general maintenance includes:

• Checking and changing hallway and lobby lighting fixtures

• Cleaning common areas to make them inviting and aesthetically pleasing

• Keeping alleyways clean and clear to allow for easy move-in and move-out access

Of equal importance, preventive maintenance includes regularly checking and cleaning larger equipment to make sure everything is running properly and safely. And it is the very essence of a good asset preservation strategy. Training staff on the ins and outs of preventive maintenance is a critical investment that should be made by building owners to increase the lifespan of equipment.

Utilize Operating Standards

Benefits of standardized maintenance practices:

• The key to increasing the ROI of a building

• Ensure uniformity for each task across all shifts and all buildings

• Streamline training and eliminate any discrepancies surrounding the onboarding of new employees by documentation

• Reduce maintenance errors, and ensure maintenance is accomplished with high quality

• Span all sectors of operations, from cleaning staff to concierges, which is crucially important for rental housing owners as a means to alleviate any concerns on operations running differently under independent management and staff.

Leverage Maintenance Logs

As is the case with any organization comprised of several moving parts, communication among staff is critical to successful building operations. Without effective communication, there is a risk of tasks with unsatisfactory results, which can be detrimental to equipment and overall building safety.

Therefore, communication solutions such as leverage maintenance logs and checklists are essential to keep operations running smoothly. They bring benefits by:

• Ensure all repairs follow protocol and both preventive and general jobs are done regularly

• Assure all maintenance is consistently done every time—no matter who takes the lead

• Holds maintenance staff accountable by making the staff check-in/out after each shift

Implement Sustainability Initiatives

Every building owner should identify and implement sustainability initiatives that can help increase the effects of maintenance on every scale.

Owners of newly constructed buildings have the initial upper-hand because designers have already included sustainable features within the blueprints of the building, such as water and heat fixtures that reduce energy use. These fixtures not only help reduce CO2 emissions but also save money on energy and maintenance costs.

Owners of older buildings can replace equipment to upgrade the quality of operations and also enhance environmental stewardship, such as implementing LED lights in all common areas and apartments. LED lights use less energy and, as a result, need to be changed less often, saving building owners money on restocks and on the time it takes staff to change the bulbs.

Building maintenance may seem like—and rightfully so—a never-ending requirement for apartment community owners. Fortunately, by executing general and preventative maintenance best practices, building owners are able to ease their daily burden and simplify the maintenance process.

Beyond making upkeep easier on staff, these practices also help increase owners’ ROI and keep residents happier—which is a win-win-win for everyone.

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