The summer heat may feel great on the beach, but as many property owners or maintenance coordinators may know, today’s data is showing that the summer months are when 80% of people are moving into new properties and when maintenance issues increase by 57%.
Moving in this many new tenants and following through with an influx of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) maintenance can feel like a test of your patience and skill. Many of us tend to call this, stuck in “survival mode.”
Here are some ways you can throw yourself a rope to pull yourself out of the hole of summer management stress.
Staff and Resource Levels
What are you are doing to escape survival mode? The answer should never be “I’m doing what I can”, or “what I’ve always done in these months”, or “nothing.” The most common solution is balancing your staff levels depending on the amount of work needed. This isn’t the most comfortable for some because that means temporary help or layoffs in slow seasons but in order to get a firm grip on the rope out of survival mode, it might be necessary.
Adjust staffing by hiring and training early, before the big turn market begins, or automate processes to allow existing staff to work more efficiently.
Creating Routine A/C Unit Check-Ups
An overwhelming amount of maintenance requests between June and September are from residents concerned that their A/C units aren’t functioning properly. We are all familiar that HVAC maintenance is not the most enjoyable fix, especially for many residents saying they need “emergency” attention at the same time. To help alleviate this there are a few things you can try:
- Start routine calls to residents before the survival summer months, asking them to check their air filters and request replacement filters (check your lease agreements because some residents could be made responsible to replace those themselves). If they are capable to vacuum out their own A/C unit vents, this will save you trips and time to focus your attention elsewhere.
- If you’re keeping a log of when maintenance is being completed or checked-in with residents, inspecting A/C units that haven’t been logged recently might solve problems before they’re found later.
Remember that the life of a good HVAC unit is only a dozen years so consistent maintenance and cleaning can help them live longer. Other than inspecting air filters and vents, ensure that the condenser coil and the fins are clean.
- Before a resident moves in, and after they move out, do an inspection of the windows and doors for air leaks. Having a well-sealed property will help prevent rapid damage to any of your HVAC units.
Evaluate Your Lawn Care
This is very overlooked and can be a large culprit for damage-related maintenance caused even before the summer months arrive. After the fall and winter months where leaves and branches have fallen, foliage seems to find its way into the smallest places such as drainage pipes, rain gutters, pools, as well as outdoor vents and fans. Depending on how kind the spring weather is, your lawns and outdoor equipment might need a little more attention than usual.
Don’t forget to perform any necessary trimming of trees or shrubs. Regular outdoor maintenance will help with protecting the property but will also help with insect/pest control and maintain the property’s plant growth.
Summer doesn’t have to be about survival. By taking action and planning ahead you can ensure a smooth operation and happy residents through the dog days and beyond.
Written by Kyle Graves – Property Meld Blog Editor