This is a busy time for resident transition.
Effective observation, resident interaction and good note-taking make all the difference.
1. Bring the Property Manager along. It’s a perfect time to complete annual interior unit inspections without having to blitz it in a few days, without an extra entry into residents’ homes and without finishing late in the budgeting process.
2. Bring the Maintenance Supervisor along. Having the Manager and Maintenance Supervisor see potential issues together leads to better agreement in the actual budget process. This also is a great time for them to observe so they can plan projects.
3. Take a good form and ol’-fashioned pen and paper along. Even if you are using an inspection app, this can help. No matter how good the app is, sometimes pen and paper prevents staff from forgetting something, especially if it’s an item that, perhaps, the app doesn’t have a line for, or something at the community that needs attention at that moment.
4. Ask residents to leave a list of correction requests. And when they do, be sure to take those lists back to the office. Take a photo of the list, too, in case it gets lost. Typically, move-in, move-out and renewal traffic during busy season is heavier than during other parts of the year, so it’s a great time to get residents’ feedback. Listen, and then fix things a new resident moving in notices that is important to them and that might have been overlooked during the turn. This is a good way to show the new or renewing resident that the onsite staff is there to meet their needs.
5. Take good notes. Again, based on the high volume in this season, taking detailed and valuable notes from the start will save time and energy later.
6.Take a picture of the front door. Taking a photo of the front-door number before entering any apartment will eliminate any confusion by the staff who are determining to which apartment home the image corresponds.
7. Review and collate images and notes after each day. Don’t wait to record the information—because the meaning of the notes can quickly be forgotten, even with pictures.
8. BONUS This might be the most important on the list: Take time to thank residents for making property management easier, and thank staff for helping to complete it. Leave a simple thank-you note and a treat behind for residents. For staff, hosting a thank-you luncheon still tops the list.
Mary Gwyn, CPM, is Chief Innovator at Apartment Dynamics