Opening Day of Indians vs. Opening New Property

Today marks the start of Major League Baseball (MLB) in Cleveland! While the Cleveland Indians kicked off the season last Tuesday, they opened on the road due to the unpredictable nature of April weather here in Cleveland. As I drove past Progressive Field, the home ballpark of the Indians, I saw the stadium staff out in full force readying the grounds in and around the stadium for the 42,000 plus screaming Tribe fans that will enter before the first pitch is thrown. While watching them sweep the sidewalks, put touch up paint on the trash receptacles, and make sure that all the signs were hung evenly it got me thinking about how the opening day of a stadium is very similar to the opening day of a new property.

For both occasions, management wants to be certain that they are putting their best foot forward. It is essential that everyone comes away with positive memories of the day. An apartment building or complex wants to ensure that each appliance works, openingdaythe right keys are given to the right residents and that the staff is fully trained and able to assist in every way possible. Like a ball park, many people will be coming to the property for their first time with many questions about where their unit (seat) is, where the various amenities (bathrooms, concessions, or speed pitch machine) or just general protocol (no you may not bring in your own beer to the stadium). Having a fully trained staff will definitely help make this day go as smoothly as possible.

A commercial property has similar but slightly different requirements for their opening day. Both the stadium and the commercial property will need to coordinate with vendors so that all essential projects, responsibilities or supplies are accounted for. Could you imagine the outcry if the staff at the ballpark forgot to ensure their hot dogs were ordered AND delivered in time!? Similarly, a new shopping center would be in a bad situation if they never ordered trash bags or forgot to schedule staff to clean the restrooms.

Luckily, for both ballpark staff and property managers, software exists to ease the burden on management. Stadium managers can quickly pull up the current inventory; everything from the number of hot dogs and buns, to the cases of cracker jacks are just a few clicks away. Property managers can see all of this information in their property management software. Inventory, work orders and their corresponding status are all readily available. Not only does this alleviate any last minute concerns about whether or not something was handled, it can prompt the appropriate person to remember to place an order. Tasks such as preventive maintenance on my favorite ice cream stand, or replacing an HVAC filter at the new property, can be stored within the software. This allows the stadium’s operations manager, or property manager, a quick and centralized way to check up on the status of individual items.

During the pomp and circumstance of any opening day, all of the preparation gets lost in the shuffle. As people are sipping their beer and watching the fireworks kick off the season, they forget about the amount of effort that went into ensuring their opening day was a success. As you begin to prepare for the opening of your next building, be sure to have in place a top notch property management solution that will help ease the burden on you and your staff!

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