Pools have different classifications, and property management should make sure that the pools on their properties are not only well maintained but they also comply with local and state health codes. The well-being of tenant swimmers should be high priority, and hence rigorous operational and safety standards should be implemented. This would include maintaining the equipment and chemistry of the pool.
The first step in maintaining the pool would be to have it inspected by a professional. An annual inspection will not only help in ensuring the pool is well taken care of, but also ensure the compliance with the health codes are intact. For instance, an inspection could reveal the chemistry of the pool is not in accordance with the health code which this pool expert can fix. This can help by preventing structural damage to the equipment and to the pool, and ensure the health of pool users are not compromised.
The inspection should be conducted by certified spa or pool operator recognized by the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Such certification and credentials are accepted by the state and local authorities.
Pool inspectors will check for certain aspects of the pool(s) to verify whether the spa or the pool is up to par.
This is the most important aspect checked by the pool inspector. Various tests will be conducted to determine the clarity of the water, and any visible signs of algae. Tests are also conducted to check the level of phosphorus, calcium, PH, alkalinity, and chlorine in the water.
Pools need to have equipment that are needed specifically for their operations. Such equipment must have certain safety features that include returns that function properly, working drains, and the required number of handrails. Covers of pool drains should be placed in their respective positions, without being broken or having missing screws. Some type of call device should be installed near the pool that people can use in case of emergencies.
The inspector will also check equipment that are meant for ensuring safety around the pool. Such features include depth markings, reaching poles, and ring buoys. The condition of the plaster and deck area is minutely evaluated by the inspector. Lastly, the inspector will also check whether the pool area is properly fenced with fencing at the right height, and the gates are properly latched, to prevent accidental entry by children.
The Condition of Pool Equipment
The system that is installed for operating the pool should be in top working condition to ensure the proper suction and flow of the water. The inspector will mainly check whether the valves, flow meters, pressure gauges, vacuum, and filter are in working condition.
A pool should have proper signage that informs swimmers about vital aspects. Such signs can include information about nearest location of a phone, whether diving is allowed, shutoff locations, bather capacities, and the rules swimmers have to follow. Required signage should be posted predominantly and should be clearly visible to all.
The property manager should have the pool(s) inspected before the onset of summer, when the pool is mainly used. Not maintaining the pool properly could attract fines and even more severe penalties if tenants fall sick because of the condition of the pool. You will also see some tenants leave to other apartment complexes and less people who want to live on your property.
Maintenance is one of the major issues that are the most challenging for property management. It is not only important to make sure the job is done within the shortest amount of time, but also it should be done properly and at the least cost. The people who do the actual work are your main assets for any maintenance job, whether these people are vendors or they form a part of your staff. A team of reliable vendors is as prudent as having some maintenance help who permanently remain on site and who work directly for you.
Compiling a Vendor Database
However, it is important to make sure you have a built a chain of vendors you can depend on, any time during the year. This calls for implementing a highly effective vendor management system. Your vendor database should include list of primary and secondary levels of vendors who are highly qualified for every maintenance category including flooring, plumbing, appliances, air conditioning, and heating.
It is smart to include in the compilation small and large vendors, who are specialists in their fields, and who are bonded and insured. It is important to check whether these vendors can be relied upon and are not some business that could disappear at any time.
Compiling a vendor database takes time, and should be done patiently. Firstly, shortlist reliable vendors and interview all of them, even the large ones. After the interview process, have the best ones fill out the required application and sign agreements. However, make sure that they submit all the copies of documents that prove they have insurance and are bonded or licensed.
Implementing an Effective Vendor Management System
After compiling the main list, it is also sensible to have a list of backup vendors. This will certainly reduce the chances of maintenance work being delayed. Even the most reliable vendors will not be able to fit your property into their schedule all the time, and therefore it is always best to have a concrete and dependable backup.
While developing a vendor management system, it is fundamental to categorize and classify the main and backup vendors. This will significantly help property management select the right vendor for the job quickly. For instance, when you need to redo flooring, you might want to check out vendors who specialize in certain flooring types or might want to compare vendors by their pricing.
It is critical, or something to consider, to have at least three vendors in a particular category to make sure you have a range of choices. But you should have a go to vendor already picked out and they should know they are your top choice as well when something goes wrong or when you need some help. Secondly, when you have multiple properties to manage across the city, you would want to pick vendors operating in the same area for that of the particular property.
Vendor Training and Reporting
To obtain the best from your vendor management system, you might have to hold a vendor training session, to ensure vendors work in accordance to your requirements and expectations. Additionally, property management can also have a report card system that enables vendors know how they have performed.
Outdoor space is often not given the importance it deserves in property management. Simply having a decent landscape or inviting lawn is not going to cut it, especially when there are new properties coming up in the neighborhood. Indoor amenities and fantastic ambience are no doubt important to renters, but most prospects, especially the millennial crowd also check out outdoor spaces before making a decision.
What do Renters Look for in Outdoor Spaces?
The landscaping should obviously be appealing and should blend aesthetically with the environment. Apart from this main requirement, most renters look for recreational space and facilities. Millennials are particularly looking for playgrounds for kids, game courts, a jogging track, and a pool. These facilities not only provide the ideal environment for exercising but it also promotes social interaction, which is now quite important to modern renters.
On the same lines, a barbeque facility is another major attraction for most tenants, since it provides space to entertain and hold parties. Finally, renters look for adequate lighting in outdoor spaces. Bright lights not only enhance the beauty of the outdoors, but also play a strategic role in keeping the area safe and secure.
How can Property Management Improve the Outdoors?
Building a pool or installing a game court would definitely spruce up the outdoors and increase the value of the property, but these projects involve hefty investments. On the other hand, there are certain projects that do not cost much, and help in improving the outdoors considerably. Here are some ideas, property management can consider for enhancing outdoor space on a budget and curtailing maintenance costs.
Switch to LED lighting. Since this lighting consumes less electricity, property management can install brighter lights and yet keep utility costs to the minimum. LED bulbs are costlier to purchase, but they will work out cheaper in the end. The transition to LED lighting can be done in a phased manner in order to avoid a huge one-time investment.
Laying jogging or walking tracks on the periphery of the lawn or around the boundary of the property can certainly improve the value of the property. This might involve a major investment depending on the size of the property, but it should help in reducing vacancies and property management can even consider raising the rent for providing this visible convenience.
A simple landscape that is well maintained attracts more people, than a fancy garden that is poorly maintained. Simple things like removing weeds and mowing grass regularly, do not cost much, and yet can greatly boost the ambience of the property.
Be on Top of Your Game
If you have provided barbeque facilities then make sure the grills are kept clean and the area is kept tidy. A poorly maintained and dirty barbeque area will be a turn-off, and renters will not even register the fact that you have provided this amenity. In fact, any outdoor area that is kept cluttered or dirty will spoil the ambience of the whole property, and even if you provide salient indoor amenities you will find less takers since one is canceling out the other.
Carpets are major components in a unit, and it is possible for property management to overlook them. If the carpet in a unit is stained, has matted fibers, or if the pile is crushed, then it is time to replace it. Renters will consider the state of carpets and if they are in bad shape, property management could lose terrific and normally loyal tenants. Cost, durability, stain resistance, and material are the important aspects to consider while selecting carpets.
It would be best to consider a tenant profile before selecting a carpet. Typically, kids and pets will wear out carpets at a much faster rate, and therefore property management should consider cheaper options that can be replaced more often. However, you also need to weigh in durability and consider the cost benefit ratio of a carpet.
While considering the durability of a carpet you will need to consider twist, density, and fiber. Nylon fiber is extremely durable carpet fiber and it is resistant to stains as well. Olefin or polypropylene is durable as well, but may not resist stains as much as nylon does. The twist of the carpet refers to number of twists in each tuft of the carpet. The more twists the better the durability.
For instance, carpets with seven twists per inch of tuft fiber will resist wear and retain the appearance much longer than carpets having four twists per inch. Finally, density refers to the number of tufts packed tightly per square inch. If tufts are packed less than 1/6th inch apart, then the density is reasonable and the carpet will retain its appearance for a longer period of time. If you want more durability, select carpets with higher density.
Resistance to Stains
Stain resistance capacity is a major consideration when it comes to installing carpets in rented units. Studies show that people are more careless with things when they do not own them, even if they have to pay a part of their deposit to replace stained carpets. Nylon and polyester fibers are resistant to stains; however, any fiber can be topically treated to improve its stain resistance capacity. However, topical treatment could wear off quickly compared to stain resistance of polyester fibers. Nevertheless, carpet fibers made from recycled plastic tend to matt easily and the pile will appear crushed.
It is important to have softer carpets in areas where tenants are likely to walk barefoot, such as the bedroom area. High-density carpets with many twists are durable but they will not provide the comfort and softness that is preferred in a bedroom. Hence, property management might have to choose different types of carpets for different rooms.
Choice of Padding
Padding is the carpet's foundation and it influences the comfort aspect of the carpet. Fiber padding is one of the best types, as it does not stretch under heavy traffic. Rubber is heavy-duty material, but it is more expensive. Rebond on the other hand is much more reasonably priced and is stronger than foam. Rebond padding does very well in high traffic areas and in houses with pets or furry critters that people enjoy having around them.
The millennial generation are people in the age group of 18 to 34 years and are a popular segment of society. They are known for being tech-savvy, their self-expression, and for their social and racial diversity. Another very interesting fact about them is that they are movers and most of them live in a different city from their hometown or college.
Since they move around, almost all of them prefer rentals to owning a home. It is important for property management to note this interesting fact, and know the reasons why the millennial generation moves around so much. Such information can be useful in marketing the property and for wooing this huge segment of renters.
Millennials Prefer Urban Areas
According to a recent survey, almost all respondents said that they preferred living in a city or in an area that is more urban than the place where they grew up. Almost 44% respondents said that they had moved away for their hometown or the place where they completed college because of their love to live in a city. Even though, 60% of these renters who were surveyed prioritized affordability, they were willing to upgrade their budget to live in an urban place with more population density, compared to where they were residing before.
So, why does the millennial generation prefer densely populated urban areas, or the reason behind their moving?
To Seek Better Job Opportunities
Whether it is a move to a city or simply moving to a new area, the main reason for the millennial generation to move is to find better job opportunities. The millennial crowd seems not to be willing to sacrifice better job or earning opportunities for the love of any particular place. Almost half of the surveyed respondents said that their transition was motivated by a job opportunity or a career move.
Therefore, if the property is near a commercial area or if new companies are opening up shop nearby, property management can use such information in their marketing strategy.
To be with a Special Person
Next to job opportunities, the other most popular reason for moving was love. About 21% respondents said that they had moved because they wanted to be closer to someone they loved. For property management this would mean single tenants, or couples who are planning to move in together. In such instances, marketing strategy would be to focus on amenities and conveniences the property has to offer, and how such amenities would be helpful if the couple were planning to start a family in the near future.
To be Near the Workplace
A large portion of the millennial crowd also moves within urban areas or within the same city to be nearer their workplace. Most millennials seem to prefer walking, cycling, or taking public transportation to reach their workplace, and do not prefer driving to work. This is one of the major reasons for movement within the same city, and preference for properties that are within walking distance from their workplace.
Not only this, millenials may not have the income to afford a decent car so living closer to their workplace is even more paramount. Property management that understands this will be able to design their marketing agenda accordingly and hire staff that realize this.