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Walk the Facility

February 1, 2001

4 Min Read
Walk the Facility

Preparing for the New Year

By Pamela Alton

Theexcitement of the Christmas season and New Year's has passed, and now it's timeto turn our thoughts to spring and the busy summer rental rush. It will be uponus before we know it!

The weather will be getting warmer soon and you can begin planning yourattack to get your facility in shape for the spring and summer. Now is the timeto sit down with a pen and paper and begin planning your spring cleaning andspecial projects. If you are on a first-of-the-month rental cycle, then you haveslower times of the month when you can plan those special projects. If you areon an anniversary date, then you might have to plan your project when you canhave your relief managers come in and help you.

Walk the Facility

During these wet and cold winter months, why not begin your spring cleaningby taking a good walk around your facility and making notes of any maintenanceissues? Will you need to buy new annual flowers for any flower boxes, beds orbarrels? If so, what will you plant in them, and when? If you have awnings, arethey in good shape? Should you order new ones? Do your facility signs look fadedand worn, or are they in good condition? Are there any security issues to beaddressed--breaks in the fencing or exterior lighting that needs replacing? Isyour entrance or exit gate working properly? Are your downspouts in goodshape--do any of them need replacing?

Walk the interior hallways if you have them. Are your hall lights on timers?Do they all work properly? If not, which need repair or replacing? Are theinterior lighting, ballasts and bulbs all in good working order? What aboutskylights--any broken or cracked ones that should be replaced?

Do a thorough lock check. Pull each and every lock. Are they fastenedsecurely? Do you have security stickers on every lock with the unit numberwritten on the sticker? Do you have any double tenant locks--is that againstyour company policy and should you notify the tenant to remove the second lock?How are the door hasps and hinges--do any of them need replacing? Open each andevery vacant unit. Are they all swept clean? Do they contain rodent poison? Doyou have a notice of illegal items posted along with your facility rules andregulations? Be sure to look up and see if there are cobwebs that need to beswept. How do your roll-up doors look? Do they need to be swept down, or gentlyhosed off if they are exterior doors?

Maintenance Shop and Office

How is the "shop" at your facility? Do you need new supplies--lightbulbs, rodent poison, brooms, dustpans or tools? Is your golf cart up topar--how is the paint, batteries or charger? What about the upholstery--is ittorn and worn out? Should you get it replaced? Is it time to clean it up andhave it ready to have prospective tenants riding on it? Do you have a signdisplayed on it that states, "Rider rides at own risk"? Why notdisplay on the dash the locks that you sell?

Look at your office with fresh eyes. Can you see outside or are your windowsdirty? What about those blinds or drapes--is it time to have them replaced orcleaned? Does your office "flow" or should you move the file cabinets,desks, chairs and computer? Do you have your merchandise displayed properly?Should you order more items? How is the carpeting or flooring in the office--isit time to have it cleaned or replaced? Do you have adequate lighting? Does theoffice need painting? Do you need new accessories--plants, pictures or desklamps? Is your office cluttered? If so, is it time to "de-trash" thecounters, tops of file cabinets, etc.?

Marketing Plan

What sort of marketing will you be doing this spring? Easter is coming up andit could be a good time to plan for a canned-food drive or Easter-basket drawingto new tenants. How do the facility flags and banners look--do you need to ordernew ones? Are your facility price sheets, mail-outs or literature up to date? Doyou have enough leases, office letterhead and envelopes on hand, or do you needto order more?

Bytaking a few minutes now to sit down, make a list and plan an attack you will bedone with your spring cleaning before you know it. Your facility will be neat,clean and ready for the upcoming summer rush. You, your tenants and your ownerwill appreciate your hard efforts to make your facility the neatest and cleanestaround. Good luck, and have a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!

Pamela Alton is the owner of Mini-Management®, a nationwidemanager-placement service. Mini-Management also offers full-service and"operations-only" facility management, training manuals, inspectionsand audits, feasibility studies, consulting and training seminars. For moreinformation, call 800.646.4648.

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