With the festive season rapidly approaching, now is the time to ensure your holiday season checklist is ready for activation so you and your team can enjoy a stress-free break.
2019 is almost over. With most real estate offices closing so staff can enjoy some well-deserved down time, now is the time to ensure your holiday season checklist is ready for activation. Not only will this ensure you and your team can log off and leave the office on your last day knowing everything is under control, but it will also give your landlords and tenants confidence that urgent matters will be attended to in your absence.
To help, we’ve prepared a pre-holiday season checklist, which includes steps to perform no matter which software platform you are using in the office as well as how to take advantage of Maintenance Manager at this time of year.
The pre-festive season checklist for property managers
- Reschedule any routine inspections that fall due over the holidays. Failing to do so could result in a routine inspection being missed altogether.
- Follow up all rental arrears. While it’s always easier to send an email, it’s best to pick up the phone and call tenants in arrears, even if it’s only by one day. The lead up to Christmas is traditionally a time when many tenants fall into arrears, so the sooner you get on top of it the better.
- Debrief any salespeople working in the office over the holiday season. This will ensure they are well prepared should an issue arise in your absence.
- Consider disbursing funds to your owners early. If you choose to do this, remember to diarise the need to receipt and reconcile to the end of December and close off the month on your return in January. The same is true for the payment of suppliers.
- Check your tradies’ schedules. With many tradies also taking time off over the festive season, it is vital that you have a back-up plan in place in case of emergencies. Urgent repairs must be attended to promptly for the safety of tenants and to ensure problems and the cost to solve them don’t escalate.
- Change your email signatures now (if you haven’t already) to include office closures and a Seasons Greeting message.
- Advise owners and tenants of your holiday closures and provide them with your emergency contact numbers, ensuring tenants are aware of what to do in an emergency. If you have Maintenance Manager, this can all be done quickly and easily as one bulk email. Emergency procedures are also easy with Maintenance Manager. Simply remind tenants to install the tenant app, if they haven’t already, and use this to lodge any maintenance requests over the holidays.
- Set up your automatic Out of Office email response. Again this is easy in Maintenance Manager as it is a ‘set and forget’ option for all users.
- Create a post on social media to advise of your office closures.
- Consider providing tenants with a home security checklist to give them tips on how to protect and secure the property and their possessions during the time of year when break-ins are traditionally at their highest and when many families go on holidays, leaving the property vacant.
- Prepare a festive sign for the office door noting your office closure dates.
- Change the office hours in Maintenance Manager if you have it, or other software platforms you use (this can only be done by a Super User).
- Back up all software (this step is unnecessary for cloud-based software like Maintenance Manager).
Last but not least, don’t forget to share in the Christmas spirit with your landlords and tenants. Let them know they are valued and thank them for working with you during 2019 and that you look forward to working with them again in 2020.
Returning to work procedure
While returning to work would be the last thing on your mind right now it helps to know that Maintenance Manager makes reopening the office and bringing procedures back to normal a breeze. Simply:
- Re-set the office opening hours (just remember only a Super User can do this).
- Process any jobs that have come in over the Christmas break. These will appear as action items on the home screen so you can’t miss them.
- Adjust your email templates back to the normal office procedures for Emergency/Non-Emergency repair requests reported by the tenant. Don’t forget to remove the emergency trades contact details added before Christmas.
And that’s it! Now you can close the doors on your last day and walk away confident that all is in order.
Want a system that makes holiday procedures a breeze?
It’s not too late to have us install Maintenance Manager in your office and teach you and your team how easy it is to use it. We’ll even show you how to set up your holiday settings while we’re there. Call our team on 1300 155 888 today.