Preparing For Winter
Preparing your multifamily property for changing seasons is just one of the many responsibilities of a good property manager or owner. While winterizing can be a time-consuming process, the trouble it saves you in the long run, both in terms of money and repairs, more than makes up for the work in the short term. It also helps to make the process of coming out of winter into spring easier, which will help get units leased during the busiest season.
Talk to Your Residents
Keeping communication with your tenants open and clear will make the winterizing process go much more smoothly. In addition to just being able to inform your residents about ongoing processes that may affect them, which helps to cut down on angry messages and calls, it lets them know they can come to you if they spot any issues around the property that need to be fixed, like clogged gutters or necessary repairs.
Have a Plan
No matter how well prepared you are, all that equipment means nothing if you don’t have a plan of action to use it when the time comes. Be ready for deicing or snow removal, and make sure that if you need to hire an outside firm to handle these issues, you have those arrangements made ahead of time, so you’re not scrambling to set up a contract at the last minute. If you have staff on-site that handles some of these duties, ensure that they’re properly trained in the requisite processes and how to handle the tools and supplies safely.
Do Your Inspections
If you have any equipment that needs to be inspected for safe and effective function, or to make sure that it doesn’t leak, the best time to do that is before freezing weather sets in. This includes safety equipment like fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as well as things like outdoor light fixtures and anti-slip mats to avoid dangerous falls. Additionally, plumbing and HVAC need to be inspected and closely maintained in multifamily buildings, both to ensure proper operation and to find possible problems before they can spread to other units.
Winterizing is an important step in the regular processes associated with managing a property and shouldn’t be neglected. Even simple-sounding measures like cleaning your gutters or checking for leaks can prevent expensive repairs further down the line as the freeze/thaw cycle starts to set in.