Delivering on our clients expectations

I’ve had the opportunity to lead multiple product delivery teams in many different industries. Some industries offer many similarities between clients, and some have large variations amongst clients. PropTech companies tend to have a diverse set of clients, Infotycoon primarily services the Multifamily industry, but our clients could not be more different. We are lucky enough to be partners with some of the largest multifamily owners and operators in North America, we’re also fortunate to serve small independent owners and operators with only a handful of rental units in their portfolio.

I had the opportunity a few weeks back to have a discussion with some of my peers in the PropTech industry. We had a fruitful discussion mostly focused on product delivery and the rapid adoption of technology by our customers. The conversation kept coming back to how do we stay focused on our quarterly and long term goals while responding to rapidly changing demands of our clients. Our clients are very diverse, the needs of a small regional customer is vastly different than the needs of a large national customer which further complicates that matter. We all agreed that building custom solutions that are tailored for a specific customer was not the right approach, but how we decided what to deliver and how to respond varied on multiple factors, and each of us weighted the factors differently as we should have, based on what we felt was best for each of our organizations and our customers

Customer feedback drives all our decisions here at InfoTycoon. We seek customer feedback in multiple ways, positive or negative, we welcome all of it so that we can build the best solutions for our customers. One of the ways that has proven to be very beneficial for us is the creation of our “beta” team. This is a group of select customers that we have take our new enhancements or solutions for a test drive prior to a national roll-out. This group gets to see our new solutions before anyone else and they get to use them in the real-world. Our product and development teams can take all the feedback from our beta team and understand how to best position the new solutions, and also where we might still have some gaps that need to be addressed before our national roll out. This has proven to be very beneficial for us, it allows us to get real feedback and has allowed us to deliver on solutions that are in line with our long term plans while best supporting our clients.

Delivering solutions and products to our customers that helps them accelerate their business is our goal. We are here to support all of our clients through a property acquisition process, as well as provide them the tools to best operate their business. The best way we can support our clients is to make sure we are constantly seeking feedback from all of them and delivering on their asks.

Maanav Mahindru

COO

(404) 267-1506 x 708

mmahindru@infotycoon.com

Is Your Property Prepared for the Cold?

Seasonal property inspections are not only a best practice for maintaining the safety of your residents, but they help you maintain the value of your property. So, before you get bundled up and settled in for the Winter, now is a great time to get your multifamily property ready for the cold weather.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, large areas of the US are already experiencing record temperature drops. Speaking about Winter Storm Caleb, the National Weather Service stated, “This is an air mass that’s more typical for the middle of January than mid-November. It is pretty much about the coldest we can be this time of year [and] it could break records all over the region.” And these bitterly cold temperatures are predicted to continue from the Texas Coast to coastal South Carolina.

Don’t Give Them the Slip

The National Floor Safety Institute reports that slips and falls account for over 1 million emergency room visits per year, with most falls happening in the winter months. Don’t think that a southern address will keep the frost away. In 2018, for the first time in 28 years, it snowed in north Florida. Waiting until bad weather to arrive before could leave you…out in the cold.
Make sure you have plenty of ice melt and tools on hand, as well as secure vendor contracts for snow clearing equipment/personnel in advance of a storm forecast. Even if you’ve hired professionals, always make sure your onsite team has the necessary materials and proper training before it’s snow time.
Your property inspection should include your landscape irrigation system. Any damage should be repaired to prevent leaks. If necessary, have your outdoor sprinkler systems turned off when frigid conditions are in the forecast. Wet sidewalks can turn in hazardous quickly.

It’s What’s on the Outside that Counts

Quality inspections of building exteriors should be routine, with a special focus on the roof, walls, and door and window frames. Damaged windows should be repaired to keep the weather out, heat in, and your costs down.
Multifamily Housing Executive suggests having additional insulation installed in all common areas, especially around windows and doors. Heat-shrinking plastic wrap may not have the most attractive look, but it can be very useful for reducing heat loss through windows. For club rooms, leasing offices and business centers, consider insulated shades and thermal drapes for an elegant option. Install weather stripping and a door sweep on exterior doors for a cheap and easy guard against the elements.
It’s always a great idea to keep gutters clear of any built-up leaves and debris so they drain properly throughout the year but fall and winter months are especially important. Neglected or clogged gutters could lead to leaks or a dangerous accumulation of snow and ice causing more damage to your property and jeopardizing the safety of your residents.
Inspect trees and branches near your property and remove any damaged or weak branches that may not survive the high winds, icy freezes, or snow accumulation of a winter storm.

Stay Warm but Not Too Hot

Inspect all furnaces and boilers to ensure everything is in good working condition, so your staff and your residences don’t experience a system failure when it’s most dangerous and most costly. Clean units and replace damaged or worn parts and install new filters. When possible, keep a supply of commonly used replacement parts and filters on standby.
Likewise, if you have any wood-burning fireplaces on the property, it’s best to have them inspected and cleaned by a professional. When inspecting fireplaces, make sure flue dampers are operating correctly, the chimneys are clear of any obstructions and debris, and there’s no damage where the chimney adjoins with the roof.
As the temperatures start to dip, it’s is a good time for your management team to communicate space-heater safety to all residents. According to National Fire Protection Agency’s latest U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment report, which was released today, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. The US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that each year, an average of 430 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months and are likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking, and power sources used dangerously indoors during power outages.

Don’t Forget about Turkey

There’s something about the cold weather that makes people think about eating turkey. Perhaps it’s the heavenly aroma or the promise of delicious leftover sandwiches, but whatever the reason, there’s no denying the popularity of the bird, as the US consumes over 70 million turkeys between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And for the past few years, deep-fried turkey has become an increasingly popular tradition. But unlike its roasted brethren, the deep-fried turkey can be risky and costly. According to Apartments.com, the single biggest contributor to Thanksgiving fires is the turkey fryer. Frying, in general, is the cooking method that causes the most cooking fires, but turkey fryers are particularly prone to setting things ablaze because they use large quantities of oil at high temperatures. Combine the flammable materials and general lack of experience and you can understand how each year, over $15 million in property damage are caused by deep-fried turkey accidents.

While inspecting your property exteriors and interiors, keep an eye out for grills and fryers on patios and balconies. Inspect all fire extinguishers and make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.

Just like your own doctor’s checkup, Property Inspections are vital to a healthy asset. They not only keep your residents safe and happy, but they also save you money. And good record keeping of your inspections can save you from costly legal messes. At Infotycoon, our award-winning software helps streamline the property inspections process. Our intuitive platform helps you track, document and store your inspections securely without drowning in a sea of paperwork.

Protecting your Property with a Preventative Maintenance Plan

In an effort to increase and improve maintenance, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), said it would cut the number of notice of inspection days by more than half, to two weeks. In the past, HUD would allow extensions up to four months.

All of this has shed light on something property managers should have but sometimes don’t – an ongoing preventative maintenance plan. Unlike studying for the test the day before the exam, your grade will always be better when you put in the work ahead of time. We’ll show you how to ace your next maintenance plan!

It’s Time to Take Preventative Measures

Preventative maintenance is critical to creating safe environments for residents. Every year there are stories in the news about injuries caused by faulty facilities. In 2017, residents in an Atlanta complex, ceilings’ collapsed in the middle of the night. The complex had begun work on the roof but only after residents had begun complaining about leaks and there had been issues with the roof long before. Many even complained of not being notified that that work was being done.

We’ve put together reasons why a plan works along with practical tips to ensure you avoid emergencies – minimizing your liability.

The week back at your property after a conference can be overwhelming. Your inbox is full, inspections are approaching, and your brain is still running a mile a minute with everything you learned at the show.

Give yourself (and your new contacts) a day or two to adjust back to your regular routine before you reach out. You don’t want your email to get lost in their own flooded inbox, do you?

Benefits of a Plan

Planning is nothing new but it takes time. There’s always a battle between what’s important vs. what’s urgent and the urgent needs always seem to take priority. With a plan, we’d argue that maintenance requests could become less urgent. We put together a list of the top reasons we think having a preventative plan should be in place without question.

Preventing Accidents and Casualties

In the above story, there were no fatalities when the ceilings collapsed but there are so many stories where that isn’t the case. There will always be incidents out of your control but for the things you do have authority over, you should make sure things are structurally sound and residents are following rules.

Limiting and Reducing Liability

Hopefully, you’re encouraging residents to purchase their own renter’s insurance but taking care of major issues keeps you out of legal trouble. Unfortunately, residents don’t always follow your safety guidelines. They keep gills on patios, animals they shouldn’t have, or don’t take time to understand the rules in general.

Residents can be a liability. Inspect, repair, and document units. As red flags appear, take the time to tackle them.

Maintaining a Reputable Reputation

Preventative measures help you maintain a good reputation for new and existing residents. In fact, a study conducted in New York Rentlogic, an independent multifamily rating company, in conjunction with Radius, found that 93% of respondents rate quality a top demand when searching for an apartment.

Building a Practical Plan for Preventative

At this point, you may be wondering where to begin. We have a few suggested places starting with your residents. There are also software tools on the market that will help you manage these needs.

Listen to your Residents

When your residents start submitting requests about small issues make sure they’re not bigger ones. Small leaks, mild pest problems, little dips in floors can all become major issues if they’re not inspected further.

Even surveying your residents can help support maintenance along with retention. According to ResidentRated, a national resident satisfaction survey program, 75% of respondents said they felt management cared more when they were asked to complete a survey. Get their feedback on what areas need the most improvement or what they’d like to see improvements on.

Time to Budget

You need to set a budget aside just for preventative costs if there’s not already one in place. Roofs need patching and replacement in the long run, common areas need refreshing, and structural components of buildings should be inspected by professionals every few years.

This should be funded over a long period of time or can be subsidized with investor dollars.

Take Notes on Conditions and Conduct Internal Inspections

What’s the condition and age of your buildings, when was the last time items were replaced or upgraded in the units, the list goes on. Every so often you should be monitoring the inside and outside condition of facilities, vacant spaces, and keeping detailed records to track replacements, upgrades, and damages.

Your maintenance crews will also become more efficient. Preventative measures create opportunities to find small issues before they become big. This helps keep your crews from becoming backlogged.

Questions to Consider

  • What gaps are in my current maintenance plan?
  • How old are the units and the appliances, fixtures, etc. in them?
  • What tools am I using to track maintenance needs?
  • How often do your inspections take place?

If you’re interested in beginning a preventative plan and in tools to help you support it, then schedule a live demo with us today.

More Resources

We recently co-hosted a webinar with Multifamily Insiders titled Mastering Maintenance: Understanding Your Building’s Exterior – The First Line of Defense for Your Property. You can sign up to receive the recording here.

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Tags: multifamilymultifamily technologymultifamily due diligencemaintenancepreventative maintenance