In the history of the aviation industry, 2017 was the safest year for commercial airline flights. Many industries, including commercial and residential property management, can benefit from their success. For example, noteworthy airline safety practices can be transferred to property management through the utilization of checklists.

In an article regarding airline safety, Victor Koen created categories of aviation safety procedures that can be translated into cost-effective checklists for commercial and residential property management.

A checklist to research a property and assess fair rental value

One of the ways airlines stay accountable to themselves and their investors is by understanding the amount of money they have on the line.

Airlines spend and invest billions of dollars in their industry and they have gained their expertise through years of research, development and adoption of the best safety practices.

Property management teams can do the same. Create a checklist, or template that you follow, which considers every foreseeable need on a property for its rental merits. This will become a valuable tool used, when considering investing in a property, or searching elsewhere.

In property management, major concerns include the property location, local amenities, current market trends, history of the building and much more.

All of this would be a part of your checklist and ensure you have taken into consideration all-important factors for your decision-making.

Seasonal Inspection Checklists

For commercial and residential property managers, running the operations of a successful building requires another checklist. It is equivalent to airport control for the aviation industry.

Airports have become sophisticated machines that monitor any and everything that could possibly lead to collisions, disturbances to their tight schedules, or potential problems on the entire property. Property management can definitely benefit from adopting this level of proactive safety for their buildings.

Checklists that cover every aspect of the property, seasonal work, staff, and inventories could create more profit. By having inspections done regularly and recorded, potential emergencies can be avoided.

A checklist to make the property rental ready

In the airline industry, the stars of the show are the planes, pilots and flight attendants. They all look great based on their branding. None of these factors would matter one bit, if the planes could not get off the ground, be safe in the air and land. That is the job of air traffic control.

For commercial and residential property management, the same can be said for the checklists necessary for making sure the property is rental ready.

In the years gone by, air traffic was run by paper, pen and many manual calculations to make sure the planes stayed in the air and away from each other in the sky and on the ground. Now it is done through open communication between the planes and sophisticated hardware on the ground, as well as an expert team of controllers.

For managed properties, checklists that include factors such as if the units have been painted repaired and the grounds spruced up are essential. Once all necessary factors are covered and recorded, you will be ready for your next steps. These templates would be readily accessible when needed, in your computers.

A checklist for client screening

A good client is like a good pilot. They are tested and thoroughly examined. Now as a property management team, you cannot test a client like a pilot, but you can protect your rental building and investment, as much as possible.

You can screen rental applications, as well as have a checklist that includes the minimum qualifications. This template will aid your client screening for your properties and include specifics like, income, payment history, employment and more.

The Move-In and Move-Out Checklists

Whether a commercial or residential property management team, your clients will be moving in and out. Just as the airlines have put years of experience into creating a safe, enjoyable passenger cabin, you have to do the same during these stressful times for your clients. If you have adhered to checklists for these events, it will make the moves less stressful for both your clients and your staff.

Take the time to find out what clients feel is the hardest aspect of moving and make sure that is covered. Record all the information you have provided before the move, the day of the move and after the move, as well as informing every person who can be impacted by this situation. When the checklist is followed and recorded, it can serve as your legal rider and help to avoid any liability, or problems regarding the moving day.

Forms and reminders for tenant notices for rent increases and more

This step is very similar to the checklists needed to get the property rental ready. Property managers can use the same air traffic control logic to get standard notices set up and therefore ready to go when necessary.

When an event needs a form, or checklist, once the templates are already created, the majority of administrative work has been completed. Like Air Traffic control, property management teams can be technologically ready for any event. The forms produced can be easy to read, simple to understand and can be used at various buildings. This will benefit your staff and clients who will be prepared well ahead of time for necessary changes, or interruptions in the regular routine.

There is a reason commercial airline flight was so safe in 2017. Property managers who utilize these successful safety procedures will benefit. It could be the asset of saving money by having less emergency repairs, or unexpected situations, or a soft reward like very happy clients.

It will allow you to have a better overview of your property and support a safer environment, as well as taking the guesswork out of a number of necessary procedures. Documented checklists will support many of the day-to-day procedures done at your property and make your maintenance and buildings as safely directed as an airline.

Written by: Sabine Ghali, Director at Buttonwood Property Management

About Sabine

Sabine Ghali is Director at Buttonwood Property Management, a property management company in Canada. She is an entrepreneur at heart who endeavors to help investors create real estate wealth over time in the Greater Toronto Area. Sabine is published in a number of media outlets, including Entrepreneur, Toronto Sun and Gulf News, among many others.

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