The Time Is Now

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September 14, 2015
Joel Erlitz & Sally Harrington
President and Senior Manager/Trainer
First Commercial Property Corp

 

With the summer soon to become a distant memory, it is time to prepare our communities for fall and winter here in the Northwest!  It is EASY to take a breather after summer, the busiest landscape time of the year, but there is a legion of tasks ahead that need our attention:

Are your catch basins cleaned out and ready for the fall rains, and are your speed bumps painted so vehicles and pedestrians can see them through the long winter months…neither of these two tasks take a lot of time or money, and Residents appreciate some of the attention to this detail!

Have you sent a “Prepare For Winter Memo” to your Residents reminding them to clean gutters, check their heat tape/pipe insulation? Have you WALKED your property taking note of any limbs on tall trees that need pruning attention in the fall and winter wind storms?  While on your daily walk-throughs, did  you follow-up on your spring four sided inspection reminding Residents to remove items improperly stored outside or in view of the street?  Tarps suddenly have a way of appearing once fall rains start, so you will want to include in the memo that these are not allowed. (Check your “Guidelines For Living” aka R&Rs for inclusion of this prohibition!)

How about your inventory of emergency ice melt and sand…do you have them available for common area walkways…mailbox, clubhouse, laundry room and office entry areas…?  What is your plan for the leaf litter that can be overwhelming in the fall?  If you own your snowplow equipment, is it serviced and ready to go?  Before the rest of the property owners beat you to the phone, you may want to  advance negotiations with a local snow removal company…now is the time to make the call and ask for a contract!

There is still an enormous list of tasks ahead of us especially if you own communities with outdoor pools, irrigation, systems, RV storage areas, lawn equipment and the like.  These are all the PHYSICAL and FACILITY maintenance items that require our attention before the long winter “sleep.”  BUT, equally important is sharpening your pencil and looking back at the past year’s financials and preparing your budget for NEXT year!  Have you contacted utility agencies to establish anticipated raises on their part?   How about your insurance agent or County Assessor?  Did you sit down with your manager to generate a list of areas that he/she believes need attention administratively????  Have either of you generated a comparable market analysis of rents in your area…exactly where do YOU stack up??

The BEST run MHCs are occupied with content Residents who receive VALUE for their rental dollars. Therefore a very large part of our jobs is not just anticipating and addressing the physical and administrative needs of our communities as partially illustrated above; most importantly, treating Residents with respect and attention to detail will yield a rent roster of Tenants who will exhibit the pride of ownership we all strive to have in our land lease communities. 

Joel Erlitz

First Commercial Property Corp

4500 Kruse Way #345

Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Phone: 206-985-7275

Fax: 206-985-3876

Email: ross@fcpcmgt.com

Web: http://firstcommercialpropertycorp.com

Sally Harrington

First Commercial Property Corp

4500 Kruse Way #345

Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Phone: 206-985-7275

Fax: 206-985-3876

Email: ross@fcpcmgt.com

Web: http://firstcommercialpropertycorp.com