Impending cyclones up north have prompted a PM consultancy group to warn the industry about safety risks and system failures.
Real Estate Dynamics has provided tips that may be of assistance for the safety of agencies, staff, landlords and tenants who are affected by Tropical Cyclone Lam and Tropical Cyclone Marcia.
- Print an abundance of your agency’s repairs and maintenance forms as you may have to handwrite these if the power fails
- Know how to end a tenancy agreement legally as a result of a natural disaster
- Have torches with plenty of batteries available in case the power fails in your agency
- Back up all your data and test that it works. It’s imperative that all your rent roll data is backed up and make sure the backups work by testing them
- Store copies of the backups in several secure locations away from the office
- Print manual copies of landlord, property and tenant information from the trust account system and keep these safe. A good suggestion is for the principal or department leader to retain this information and distribute to the property management team as required. If the power fails, you will not be able to access this information, so printed trust account reports held securely will be most vital
- Print a contractor list with contact details
- Print a key register and keep it safe – again it's a good idea for the agency principal or department leader to keep this list.
- Create a roster plan of who will take calls and when, and inform everyone in your agency about it
- Know your plan for telephone diversion and when to activate it. The office phones might have to be diverted to a mobile phone. Change the message if necessary to say messages are checked regularly and a returned call will be made as soon as possible
- Charge all mobile phones. It’s also a good idea to seek a battery-powered booster charger for extra charge capability
- Seek suggestions from the local SES about how to best secure your agency’s premises
- Have a battery-charged radio in the office with fresh batteries for news broadcasts
- Look after your personal safety and your team’s personal safety
- Make sure everyone in your agency knows where the first aid kit is and check to make sure it is fully stocked with the required contents
- Inform your tenants about emergency contacts and refer them back to their tenancy agreements for details
- Tell your landlords in advance about your agency procedures if a natural disaster occurs and that you may need their assistance in dealing with potential insurance claims
- Do a physical check on vacant properties
In support of the industry, Real Estate Dynamics said it would provide agencies with free checklists if they have concerns. All callers should ask for Erin Kelly.