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7 Super Reasons to Be On Top of Preventive Maintenance!

7 Super Reasons to Be On Top of Preventive Maintenance!

There are probably a million good reasons to stay on top of your property’s preventive maintenance program, but here are a quick few:

1.Reduces day to day maintenance calls AND after hours emergency maintenance calls!

2.Prevents safety concerns, like fires, by verifying equipment like smoke detectors are operational.

3.Let’s you be proactive and manage your time and do the work on your schedule rather than reactively have maintenance needs manage you.

4.Keeps the asset in more consistently good shape, keeping costs down and owners happier.

5.Allows you to anticipate problems or resident issues by getting the inside view on a regular basis.

6.Sometimes lets you catch extra occupants, even the furry ones!

7.A big bonus reason is that generally residents will stay longer if they are satisfied with the maintenance of their apartment homes! So fewer apartments to turn!

No matter how busy you get, you would be busier still if you fell behind on your preventive maintenance, so stay on top of it!

These are my Super 7! Now yours?

Mary Gwyn, CPM

Making the World a Better Place One Lease at a Time!

 

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4 Things you need to know about the New Federal Overtime Rules

4 Things you need to know about the New Federal Overtime Rules
Although I’ve been reading about this for over a year, I was still scratching my head about the #NewFederalOvertimeRules even a week or so ago!  Four important basics follow.   The first thing you need to know is it takes effect December 1, 2016.  The second thing you want to know is whether your salaried exempt employees are still exempt from overtime, or if they will now be eligible for overtime.  To be paid as salaried exempt (no overtime), they MUST meet ALL of these rules: •As of December 1, 2016 the employee must make $47,476 or more per year.  ANYONE making less than that is automatically non-exempt (not exempt from overtime, i.e., they are eligible for overtime).   Prior to that, the threshold was $23,660. •The employee must be paid a set amount each week, not varying based on how many hours worked. •Their duties must include “managerial” decisions, such as supervising others, with the authority to hire and fire or greatly impact personnel decisions. For the complete list, go to https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/general-guidance.pdf Best Practice: Perform an audit of all your existing employees and if an employee doesn’t meet any one of these, that employee is non-exempt, meaning they are eligible for overtime pay. The third thing you’ll want to consider are the several options to “stay legal.” A few are listed here:  •Raise pay: You can increase the person’s pay to minimum $47,500, and if you meet the other 2 requirements you may still pay the employee as salaried-exempt (from overtime).  •Recl......
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Speed Hiring! 8 Tips for Finding the Right People Fast!

Speed Hiring! 8 Tips for Finding the Right People Fast!
A recent tweet from GraceHill said that our industry is slow to hire.  It reminded me of why I try to be PASSIONATE about hiring.  When you have a vacant or about-to-be-vacant position, nothing is really more important.  If you’re a “MAN DOWN” You can’t get your work done as well, working to see the other person’s job is done  Everyone else has to work harder too You are torn between time to recruit, interview, vet and hire, and time to do what’s not being done by the “missing person”  And that doesn’t even consider the impact of the learning curve on co-workers’ time and keeping results up.  The best solution: REHIRE FAST! Here are 8 Tips to Speed Hiring: 1. Post ads before the ink dries on your outgoing employee’s notice!  Post the position on any site you think will draw qualified industry professionals: Apartment Association job sites, Craigslist, LinkedIn, MultifamilyInsiders, Indeed, and more!  2. Call your “Employment Pool.”  Think of people who have “WOWed” you, or who have sent you a resume in the past.  Call them now!  If they aren’t interested, ask if they know anyone else.   3. Network!  I was excited to get 2 great referrals from a business friend I messaged on LinkedIn!  Call your network and let them know what you’re looking for, and contact everyone they suggest.  Even if that person isn’t “the one,” they may give you a name!   4. Call any resume that meets your criteria FAST!  In fact, set an alarm so your email dings every time......
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3 Reasons NOT to Ask an Employee Who’s Quit to Stay!

3 Reasons NOT to Ask an Employee Who’s Quit to Stay!
I worked for a big company as a Regional VP and was ready to leave. It was just time. The owner of the company, who had always driven Toyotas bought his first status car – a Jaguar. When I gave my notice, he said if I stayed I could use his brand new Jaguar for a year!   First, he didn’t have a clue what motivated me, although I’d worked for him almost 10 years. Second my mind was made up. But 3rd and most important, the notice period was very awkward because I wasn’t planning to stay and a good employer/employee relationship soured a little. So don’t do the “Jaguar!” Don’t ask the person to stay, offer them more money, or negotiate, no matter how tempting.  Even with your best employee ever. MAYBE there are exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, it’s not a good practice. Here are 3 reasons why: 1.Even the best employee has had to “divorce” you in his/her mind in order to accept another position. In fact, they have had to consider ways the next option is better, and possibly come up with things they don’t like about your company.  In most cases, even if they stay, they don’t stay long, so you still have to replace them anyway.   2.If you have to offer them more money to stay, there is always the question in the back of the departing employee’s mind: why wasn’t I worth that before I gave notice?  And that can turn it into a “bidding war” ......
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The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Maintenance Supervisors

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Maintenance Supervisors
I have the honor of working with numerous Super Stars in apartment Maintenance.  They certainly had technical skills, but what made them successful were these 7 Habits I’ve observed consistently in the best of the best Maintenance Supervisors: 1.They pick up trash. When we walk a property, Juan stops if he sees that trash has fallen during the day.  I do it too. He’s not “too good” to take time for the small stuff. I admit the antenna go up when I walk with staff and they pass the trash and don’t reach down for it. I try to set an example, picking up as I go along, and respect those who do as well. 2.They do more than is on the service ticket. Mark has a couple of standard items that he and his team check every time they perform a service request. They check faucets for leaks, test the smoke detector, and check for running toilets, as well as spotting obvious problems, like worn weatherstripping.  There may be more, but these are standard items.  It saves the property money, keeps the resident safe, and demonstrates caring to the customer.  In the long run, Mark’s job is easier on the turn, since he’s taken care of problems each time he enters the apartment.   3.They communicate with residents. Marvin and his team speak to the residents they pass, leave behind information about repairs in their homes, and will make phone calls or home visits when a resident has a question about his or ......
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Spring Marketing Checklist To Get in Shape for Leasing Season

Spring Marketing Checklist To Get in Shape for Leasing Season
The woes of winter and slower traffic will soon be a distant memory.  Are you ready for the sudden switch to spring and a groundswell of traffic?  If not, these 10 tips on this Spring Marketing Checklist will help you get in shape for leasing season! Time for a fresh face!  Schedule new photos!  Right about the time the grounds contractor is taking the pansies out they look their very best!  That’s about the same time that the skies are crystal blue, the summer haze has not set in, and leaves on trees are multiple shades of green, rather than dark summer shades.  Schedule new photos with all your vendors at that time, or if it’s in the budget, get professional photos made.  Switch out photos in all your ads and internet listings.   Paint your office!  Consider new flooring also!  Often your Carpet Vendor Partner will install carpet at a discount in your office if you have done significant business with that vendor the previous year.  Sometimes the painter will too.  If not, do it anyway! Freshen up signage.  Clean off any mildew and cobwebs that have settled in over the winter.  If it’s a painted sign, repaint it in fresh colors.  One Maintenance Supervisor replaced rotting wood posts and repainted all the property signs in brighter colors, saving the property over $1,000 in budgeted sign replacement dollars! Print new guest cards in a spring color.  Prior to printing, ask your staff if new sources should be added or other chang......
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The one with the most BARS wins!

b2ap3_thumbnail_iphone-cellular-signal-bars-600x600.jpgAccording to the recent NMHC/Kingsley Resident Preferences Survey*, 98% said GOOD CELL RECEPTION is important to them!  And 91% of apartment residents report they use their mobile phones all the time!  Over half your prospects will test connectivity when they are sho Can you hear me now?  Does your community have super cell coverage?  If so, brag about it!  Snap the “bars” on your phone and make a big picture of it!  Post it on your social media, in your offices, EVERYWHERE! You could snap it daily and post it! If your cell coverage is bad, fix it!   Contact all the cell service providers in your area and tell them how many residents there are in your community.   Show them the stats that 91% of apartment residents report that they use their mobile phones ALL THE TIME!  So it is in the cell provider’s interest to turn up the reception in your community!    Offer them the opportunity to market to your residents IF they fix the reception! Get residents to help! Get cell-phone using residents to sign a document (not a petition) asking for improved cell service in their neighborhood.   If different carriers have better (and worse) reception in your community, co-market with the ones that have great reception, and focus improvement efforts on those that don’t. This kind of change takes time, but the stakes are high. Short-term you may want to investigate boosters, which can be purchased to operate in a small environment, like one indiv......
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Smart Idea for Satellite Dishes!

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This is the SMARTEST Idea I’ve heard in a WHILE!

I was walking a property recently with a very impressive Maintenance Supervisor, who knew all the ins and outs of the property, the problems, the residents, everything!

Being the Satellite Dish Scrooge (i.e., I abhor them), I asked how he kept them under control. The ones I saw were all where the lease said they should be: on the patio or balcony, within the leased space of the resident, not permeating the building walls, and not attached to the roof...

He said they charge a Satellite Dish Fee (not a deposit but actual revenue) for all satellite dishes. I thought that was a great idea in and of itself, but asked, “What about those that add them and don’t tell you?” He said it’s not a problem…The Property pays the Maintenance Team a Finder’s Fee for every dish they find that isn’t permitted and paid! 

WOW!  What do you think of that idea? Would this work for your property?

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If it goes missing…6 Simple Steps to Avoid the “Maintenance Took It” Syndrome

If it goes missing…6 Simple Steps to Avoid the “Maintenance Took It” Syndrome
No one actually loses anything anymore.  Maintenance took it. So if you can’t find your gold ring that you KNOW you left right on the table, it can’t be your memory or that you misplaced it.  Or if you are a beer short in your refrigerator, it can’t be that your teenager sneaked it while you were out.  Or if you left change on your dresser and it’s gone, or if the blinds are moved, or any other of a list of other things, it has to be that Maintenance did it.  I even remember one resident who stopped up her commode late one night, and then fussed at me because Ben (SUPER Maintenance Supervisor) supposedly used her towels to clean up the after-hours overflow.  It was actually towels he brought to the scene of the crime, and she neglected to apologize for accusing Ben.  Our maintenance team is so vulnerable, so it’s important to hire well, train well, and then protect your maintenance team from accusation.  Some ways Maintenance Professionals can do that are: ·       Keep track of any keys to apartment homes that leave the office and when they are returned ·       Document how long you are in the apartment on a particular work request ·       Don’t go in any part of the home you don’t need to ·       Don’t move anything you don’t need to ·       Always put a “Maintenance Is here” door hanger on the door handle while you’re inside ·       Leave the resident  a clear description of what work was completed, a......
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