Pre-holiday checklist for Property Managers
- Make sure your routine inspections do not clash with employees going on holidays. This time of the year can be challenging as colleagues are not sure who is staying and who is on leave.
- Keeping a record for days is a good way to make sure you don’t miss anything. Save them in your office device, so it is completely and unambiguously clear to anyone who needs to look at your portfolio where things are lined up. With i4TMaintenance, you can leave these on your Property Occupants files and be assured that they will be taken care of by the assigned employee.
- Get all of the rental arrears completed. This may not be as easy as it sounds, especially as Christmas nears with a surge in arrears. Still, it’s worth the effort to call and get in touch with the Occupants.
- If you’re using i4T Maintenance, you can take advantage of the Rent Arrears Workflow. It’s sliced average days in arrears across all users. Set up automated reminders to keep your Property Occupants on track.
- Don’t forget that upon your return a few important things need to be done for the year that just ended. These include receiving, reconciling and disbursing payments before starting transactions in January.
- Ensure your Occupants know who they should reach out to in an emergency. They should have your details, an alternate contact, contact of Field Service Suppliers, Utility Providers, State Emergency Service, etc. Feel free to send out bulk emails to share this information.
- Make sure your Property Occupants are prepared for extreme weather conditions or sudden disasters. You can even share this fire preparedness checklist and storm preparedness checklist.
- Assign an employee to take care of open service or IT tickets in your absence.
- Have a meeting with your colleagues/employees to discuss who is working over the break. Ensure to provide all the information and resources they’ll need to handle your portfolio while you’re away.
- Set your out-of-office email auto-responder up.
- Thank the employee(s) in the office if they are working through the break. Give them some Christmas goodies.
- Clear your work desk and power off all devices including your computer and bluetooth.
- Leave the office merrily and close the door on your way out. You’re on holiday!
Other Smart Ways To Avoid Emergency Repair Calls During The Holiday
Emergency repairs need to be taken care of right away. With the holiday season looming, many of your service suppliers might be taking a break. Make sure you have a list of suppliers who would be available during this time to handle emergency service requests.
Another way of dealing with this is to provide that list directly to the occupants, so they can contact the suppliers and get super urgent issues like water leakage or power failure sorted out.
You can also provide occupants DIY tutorials to mitigate the risk of property damage until professional help arrives.
Also let them know they will need to keep all the paperwork (invoice/receipt, causation report) in case you need to make an insurance claim.
While people are home for the holidays, Property Occupants can also take the time to look around the property and make a list of things that need to be repaired (not urgent). Let them know how to lodge their non-urgent repair requests and provide a timeframe for when you will be able to address them.
If your Property Occupants will be away, this might be a good time to attend to maintenance issues. Arrange for any intrusive repairs or upgrades (e.g. internal work or landscaping) to be made in their absence.
Christmas is the time of festivities for burglars as well, but for a different reason. It’s good to remind occupants to stay mindful of such activities around this time of the year and to increase security in and around the house.
Consider giving Property Occupants a Home Security Checklist which includes things like:
- Locking all the doors and windows properly before they leave for holidays. Thoroughly check there is no entrance into the house that thieves can use to access the property.
- Setting alarms and taking other security measures such as installing cameras and lights that cover all the entrances.
- Not leaving keys ‘hidden’ in the most obvious places.
- Canceling parcels that no one would be at home to receive.
- Disposing off packaging of new household items to avoid it being spotted by thieves.
- Immediately reporting issues with installed security devices such as window and door locks.
- What action should they take if the property has been subject to theft to avoid further losses.
- Let your property occupants know that they are themselves responsible to protect their belongings through personal insurance and not the landlord.
- Shutting off water and power supplies from the mains and unplugging all electrical appliances.
As a property manager ensure all your properties are fully insured to safeguard against any damage or theft. Hope for the best, plan for the rest.
Some landlords go for standard home and contents insurance, that covers losses caused by bad weather or thefts. On the other hand, specialized landlord insurance takes care of occupant-related issues as well..
Different kinds of landlord insurances offer different benefits and are focused on different scenarios. There are policies for houses that cover the building and contents, or for apartments that don’t insure the building structure (as this is covered by strata insurance). There are various policies for fixed-term leasing plans, and for short-term (including Airbnb).
The holiday season is a valid excuse to not be available 24/7 for your colleagues and Property Occupants. By being proactive in planning ahead, you can have peace of mind while on your much-deserved holiday. And that’s it. Once you’ve nailed your Pre-Holiday Checklist, you’re ready to say a happy goodbye to 2021.
How would you spend your 2020 holiday season? We’d love to know! Follow us on Facebook and share your ideas with your fellow Property Managers.