We expect service providers to operate as a part of our team, not simply as disconnected labourers. At Taurus we like to build a strong relationship with solid service providers and that often means a smaller, local company where our business is key to their business. This often means that we will bundle a significant group of properties with one company to encourage participation. We gain some leverage to demand a high level of oversight and communication to ensure 1, the property is kept in the best possible condition, 2, we are informed of any pending issues or potential problems before they occur, 3, are informed of other periphery conditions that might overlap into other building concerns. Note, this does not necessarily mean we only deal with small companies, this can also work with a manger of a division in a larger company provided they are “engaged”.
A good example of this is with landscaping. Landscaping offers an opportunity to provide a positive impression to the property, with minimal expenditure. High impact – low cost. But it is also a fairly technical area of specialization to keep plants in good shape. A typical scenario is a landscaping company telling you that you will be advised of appropriate times of when sprays are needed to protect trees, or when fertilizers or weed suppression is required for lawns then hearing from them again once and never again. Months or years later you find dead trees and a lawn full of weeds. Given that the “buck stops here” it is ultimately the managers responsibility to ensure the property is cared for, there is no one else to blame. It is not the landscapers fault that the problems were not addressed, it is the manger’s fault for not hiring the right team.
Developing an environment of Engaged Service Providers is not simple. It is something that is given a lot of lip service but typically overlooked by most companies once the contract is underway. This flows into all areas of property management. From HVAC service, roof care, security or common area janitorial. We like to use the phrase “eye and ears” when working with our team. We expect the HVAC contractor to give us a heads-up if there is an obvious deficiency in and around the roof top equipment even if it is not in their direct body of service. Or a janitorial company reporting on graffiti, a broken fence or sign that has been run over. The list is endless but since a manager cannot be in all places at one time, it is key to have an efficient working team of Engaged professionals surrounding them. This provides our client (the landlord) with optimal conditions for first class care of the property while keeping expenditures down for tenants who pay the bills.