Without trying to get all Ned Stark on you – because we all know how well things turned out for him – believe it or not, winter is on its way.
The year just seems to fly by and once Easter arrives, bringing with it not only chocolate but also the daylight saving change, we start to see the long, hard slog of the cooler months laid out before us.
Something happens in winter: people tend to want to hibernate and aren’t so keen on moving about.
If you find in your office that you do have some quieter time, it’s a great opportunity to plan some projects that will help you to be more organised and on top of your game when the busy times are there.
- Stay up-to-date with smoke detectors. Your software programs allow you to enter details of the last date of testing so you can audit each property to ensure compliance with legislation. If you aren’t sure of your requirements under smoke alarm legislation, check the fire brigades website for your state: they note all the requirements and recommendations for your tenants, especially as the those heaters start getting fired up ready to keep you roasty, toasty warm.
- Try a key audit. Now, don’t completely freak out, but when was the last time you actually audited your key cabinet? How many keys are sitting in your cabinets unused, for properties that you no longer manage? Some tips if you would like to try this process:
- Print or save a pdf copy of the current key numbers before the audit.
- Have some dot stickers to take out with you and the keys when you visit properties. Check all keys at inspections, be it vacates, ingoings or routines, and put a coloured sticker on those that work and another on those that don’t and can be thrown. Often you find over time that locks are changed, old keys that never work are kept and a handful of keys for one property becomes the size of Everest. If you would like to go the extra mile, write which door the key belongs to on the sticker, which will really help you, your colleagues and even your tenants.
- Have a box for keys to properties that you no longer manage or when you have no idea to which property they belong. This is handy to keep for a few months for “just in case” purposes until you feel comfortable about disposing of them.
- To make key tracking easier, try some of the new software such as Inspect Real Estate’s key tracker. It will really save you time and stress. If you choose paper, don’t forget to have a key system in place for tracking key movements in and out of the office.
- Audit your routine schedule. Sometimes, believe it or not, routine inspections of properties can slip through the cracks. Print out a report from your software to find when the last inspection was carried out: if it’s behind, get out there and get it done.
- Get that maintenance up to date. Check your outstanding work orders and if there are any outstanding for two months or more, find out why. Chase up the tradies, check with the tenants if the work has been done and get invoices in so the owners have a chance to claim them come the end of financial year.
It’s important to remember to keep momentum during these months as the quieter times can mean catching up on maintenance tasks that may not take priority when times are busy.