The Ins and Outs of Spring Cleaning Your Property

With the first day of Spring finally arriving, many people in the Northern Hemisphere are looking forward to additional daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of the ground and sky, courtesy of Mother Nature. Spring’s routine also brings about Spring Cleaning, a somewhat less anticipated ritual where people shed what is no longer needed and embrace the new that is possible. Spring is an excellent time to confirm property beautification projects while also addressing routine preventative maintenance as properties head into one of their busiest seasons of the year.

Whether the property has a preventative maintenance checklist or this is a first time exercise, it is important to consider what the residents and staff see at the property as they come to work every day. Are those items documented on a maintenance To-Do list or are those items lost due to other priorities? Are the preventative maintenance items solely the responsibility of the maintenance staff or is everyone involved?

Sometimes, it takes a fresh pair of eyes to spot obvious issues so this year, try splitting the property into two main sections (exterior and interior), then have all staff complete a walk-through, noting what improvements can be made. The list should be as inclusive as possible, even if there is no immediate budget to make the capital improvement: the items will be recorded for future projects as funds become available.

Exterior Items to Consider

  • Do the buildings need to be painted?
  • Does the roof need inspected/repaired?
  • shutterstock_94087642-resized-600Are there boarded up windows or missing window screens?
  • Are the gutters over-run with twigs and other debris from Winter storms? Are the gutters still attached?
  • Is outdoor signage in need of repair?
  • Are there potholes in the parking areas?
  • Are the parking spots clearly painted/marked or do they need a touch up? Does the parking lot need to be sealed?
  • Do the garages need painted? Signage updated? New doors?
  • Do all of the outdoor light fixtures work? Do bulbs need changed? Does security lighting need to be installed/updated?
  • Are property gates in working order?
  • Is there clutter on the property that needs removed?
  • What type of landscaping will be used at the property for the upcoming year?

Interior Items to Consider

  • Do the hallways need painted?
  • Do the windows need washed?
  • Do the carpets need steam cleaned?
  • Do thermostats need replaced with greener alternatives?
  • Does the leasing office need to be updated?
  • Do the resident areas, ex. business center, fitness room, conference areas, need to be updated/cleaned?
  • Do light fixtures need updated with greener alternatives?
  • Do stairwells/elevators need to be cleaned?
  • Do units need to have new caulk/beading around windows and/or tiles?
  • Does the model unit need updated?
  • What routine maintenance updates, ex. new toilets, new air conditioning, etc. are scheduled for this year?

As the list continues to grow, reach out to residents and ask them what type of programs they would like to see at the property, keeping the mindset around beautification and green initiatives. The property could offer programs that not only focus on resident activities and retention but ones that also build the appeal of the property.

  • Property Donation Day: Identify a local charity in need, and then designate a Property Donation Day where residents can bring their gently used items for donation.  Not only will your residents appreciate the help with their Spring Cleaning efforts, but their donations help a worthy cause as well!
  • Property Garden: Some residents choose the apartment lifestyle based on need but some may also enjoy playing in a garden.
  • If there is unused land at the property that needs some tender loving care, allocate the space to be a Property Garden.  As residents contribute to the garden, feature some of their items in the monthly newsletter or incorporate those items into other activities, such as a “Best Dish Made From The Garden” potluck party or showcase the different types of flowers that residents have grown.
  • If the property is urban, consider a roof garden or potentially a greenhouse when land is not available.
  • Property Carpool/Public Transportation: Host “Carpool” events so that residents interested in ride-sharing have the opportunity to meet in a public forum.  Residents utilizing carpools will reduce the amount of car exhaust generated at the property, reduces the carbon footprint of workers commuting to similar spaces and can minimize car traffic around the property.  As a special incentive, there can be select parking spaces awarded to residents participating in carpooling or the property can offer a free car wash (at a green provider of course!) for a randomly selected participant.

Spring Cleaning does not have to be the same old list of improvement projects. Take the time this Spring to consider new ways to renew your property!


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