Everyone wins when a building is operating effectively: owners and investors have less to worry about, tenants are happy and plan to keep living there and the HOA board has minimal emergency last-minute decisions to make. But keeping a building in optimal shape is not always easy. Here are four ways to know your building is operating effectively:
1. The exterior and common areas are in good shape.
The saying goes not to judge a book by its cover. But with buildings, the apparent condition of these areas can actually tell you a lot about how the building is operating.
A few things play a factor here, such as preventative maintenance and capital improvement projects. An effectively operating building replaces materials and does small repairs before they turn into disasters.
2. The building’s reserves are well-funded.
No one likes special assessments and asking owners to chip in because the building doesn’t have the funds for a repair. This again ties into planning ahead, as some expenses, particularly the larger ones, can be seen years ahead of time. If the building’s reserves continue to be fully depleted from regular maintenance and services, then the monthly assessments are simply not sufficiently high to handle that building’s operations.
3. The building is almost fully occupied.
Buildings are meant to be lived in. Whether it’s the owner that lives there or a tenant, buildings just do better when they’re utilized rather than sitting empty. For investors, having tenants in place also safeguards their investment. Finding and vetting tenants for maximum long-term occupancy is a crucial part of an effectively operating building.
4. The residents are all on the same page.
Building communities count for a lot, and buildings that have a sense of community create a better quality of life for their residents. Property managers can help here, by keeping residents informed about what’s going on with the building and what they can expect in the future, so there are no surprises. The property manager can also facilitate communication between residents by doing things like putting up a board in a common area, or providing an online portal for communication.
At Hales, we’ve been making the lives of building associations easier since 2003! If you have any questions about these areas of management, or anything else related to your building, reach out to us today!