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Winter tips to save money and headaches!

Winter Tips ChecklistFor the Residents, Managers, and Technicians.

How many of these are getting done on your Property?

Tips for the Season

Here are a few simple tips that can make all the difference. The residents will really appreciate it when you go the extra mile, especially during the hectic and often stressful holiday season.

For the Residents

  • Extend office hours so residents can pick up packages
  • Give residents a small bag of ice melt or leave one with each service request so they can sprinkle it in front of their doorway if needed
  • Get the frost warning bootleg signs ready
  • Send residents a notice that there is a package in the office (many times they are pleasantly surprised someone sent a package and the sticky note left by the delivery company is blown off the door)
  • Have a little gathering where everyone can meet their neighbor, drink some egg nog, and possibly give them a roll of wrapping paper. They can usually be found at the dollar store and are inexpensive
  • Roast Marshmallows for the children and Big Kids (Adults) Just light a BBQ, Fireplace or light a small fire pit and pass out the roasting sticks. Everyone remembers making smore’s and roasting marshmallows!!
  • Schedule an adult or children’s movie night. Offer residents popcorn and hot chocolate. After all, who doesn’t like a good cup of hot chocolate when it is cold outside?
  • If your property is in an area where there is enough snow have a snowman building contest for the residents. This has been a huge success in many areas where there is enough snowfall.
  • Judges can be elected and the teams get a time period to build the best snowman. Keep the residents warm with hot chocolate and enjoy the area that is transformed into a hang out for the neighborhood Frosty.

For the company

  • Help reduce vacant electric – Turn the vacant unit thermostat settings to 55-60 degrees in heat mode and leave cabinet doors open
  • Be sure to order enough Ice Melt for at least one snowfall before any forecast for snow. There is nothing worse than being unprepared and inventories for ice melt are often low or it can be unavailable for several days.
  • If your property has fireplaces send the residents a friendly reminder about what logs should be used and why fuel logs are not a good idea.
  • Don’t forget to check those smoke detector batteries! When I worked on site it was not uncommon to experience at least one kitchen fire during the Holiday Season. Be as prepared as possible!

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Winter

  1. Give each resident a small bag of ice melt with each service request.
  2. Remove and discard their Christmas trees
  3. Check the heat in every make ready during the turn process.
  4. Check the heat in a few vacant apartments every day until they are all checked and working properly. It only takes a few minutes and can make all of the difference with a new move in.
  5. Reduce the heat setting on thermostats to 55 degrees and open cabinet doors in all vacant apartments.
  6. Talk to a local Gym, Fitness, or Diet center about getting a resident discount with no pressure sales tactics. Residents may want to burn of a few holiday pounds
  7. Schedule an adult or children’s movie night. Offer residents popcorn and hot chocolate. After all, who doesn’t like a good cup of hot chocolate when it is cold outside?
  8. Set up an account with a hotel that is near the property just in case there is a power outage due to an ice/snow storm or an emergency of any kind. Almost all hotels will offer a discounted rate and if the residents have guests coming to town they also get to take advantage of a discounted rate. The residents will appreciate your preparation.
  9. If your property is in an area where there is enough snow have a snowman building contest for the residents. This has been a huge success in many areas where there is enough snowfall. Judges can be elected and the teams get a time period to build the best snowman. Keep the residents warm with hot chocolate and enjoy the area that is transformed into a hang out for the neighborhood Frosty.

More items to consider

  • Cut back plants and trees from building exterior
  • Check caulking for decay and shrinkage around doors, windows, corner boards, joints. Remove old caulk and recaulk as needed.
  • Check seals around windows and weather-stripping around doors.
  • Drain exterior water lines, standard hose bibs, sprinklers, and pool equipment.
  • Close crawlspace foundation vents.
  • Check vents, louvers, and chimneys for birds, squirrels and insects nests.
  • Check chimney and chimney caps for loose and missing mortar.
  • Check for damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
  • Check flashings around roof stacks, vents, skylights, chimneys as sources for leakage.
  • Clean and check for leaking, misaligned or damaged gutters, downspouts, hangers, gutter guards and strainers.

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