As we rounded out the end of 2015, I took the opportunity to review our services, the needs of the industry and elements of the consumer world that would greatly impact that of our clients in 2016.
I knew that by doing this the adjustments required to our business plan would be clear. And so they were.
Whilst as a result of this planning there are many exciting things happening for REAL+ this year, (you’ll see those as we move through the next few months), there is something that cannot wait, every day caries risk. Compliance!
I am not talking about compliance of the Office of Fair Trading kind, the one where no matter how prepared you are you still shiver as the officers inspect your business. (I get the same feeling as I am pulled over for a Random Breath Test, even if I haven’t had a drink in a week).
The compliance I speak of is property compliance, and not just smoke alarms. Most businesses now have a smoke alarm management program in place and I urge you to check yours. And even if it is there, check it's being followed and your properties are compliant. I think you will be surprised what you find.
The question I pose for you today is on the side of blind cord safety, pool compliance and safety switches. I’ve attended inspections with some of the offices we work with and observed the property managers going through the process of assessing these things themselves. Whilst on the face of it, we all have a basic understanding of what is required, heaven forbid something was to happen, this "practical knowledge" would hold little worth, or I’d suggest that to be the case.
All of this became pretty real for me recently. Over the Christmas break, as I looked over to see my two year old "playing" with the blind cords at the holiday home we had rented, my heart skipped a beat and, needless to say, I was grateful for the cord brackets in place. I could not imagine what would have happened if they weren’t there. 60 seconds is not a long time to have your eye off a toddler, but a long time to be without breath.
On another note, last week in the office as I held my laptop power cord, there came an almighty explosion, sparks larger than I thought possible from such a small device turned to singing of my hands and, as you can imagine, a scream and a jump comparable to an Olympic high jump record. Fortunately the surge controller took over and the office electrics shut down, minimising the potential affects.
I’m keeping clear of pools for a while I think…
As I spoke with our service partner, Ian from 1300Compliance on Monday, he shared more stories that hadn't ended up so well. One of my mandates is to ensure none of us become a party to a BBQ story, you know the one… Friends around a BBQ can be heard recounting events, "If they had only had the process in place", "if they had only had blind cords brackets", "why didn't they get it checked", "for $99 as if you wouldn't”, "if only…"
Ian’s team are off to look at my investment properties, and whilst he is checking the smoke alarm, he’ll check the safety switch and blind cords. Maybe I’m one of the easier landlords; I've told him to just install the blinds cords as needed. For $5 a cord… I think it's worth it – don’t you?