While the fact that you’ve decided to reinvest in your property by repairing the foundation should be viewed as a positive, your tenants may view it as a major inconvenience. And while no one likes to live or work around an invasive repair like a property’s foundation, a proactive property manager can minimize the disruption of the daily lives of their tenants by following these four simple rules:
1) Know Your Repair Company/Contractor
Before you agree to use a foundation repair company, ask them about the level of intrusion they expect for the repair, the length of time, and how they will communicate between you and the jobsite crew. Some things you should consider are:
• Will you have a dedicated liaison, so you only have to make one phone call instead of four?
• Will there will be a supervisor on-site throughout the repair process who can handle issues as they arise?
• If you have a retail/office building, can their crews work after-hours?
• How will refuse, waste and equipment will be stored while on-site?
• If your property is a multi-family building, will they need access to the residents’ homes?
• Will your tenants need to be relocated during the repair?
• How will your foundation repair company accommodate residents with special needs?
2) Know Your Residents
Your tenants are your income. Of course, your tenants are people, businesses, families – maybe even your family – so understanding and satisfying their needs is vital at all times, but especially during a lengthy and potentially invasive repair.
Your ability to identify your tenants’ needs will help your foundation repair company recommend a repair strategy that best suits your tenants. We at Perma-Pier did just that by building a temporary ramp for a resident whose patio had to be accessed as part of the repair process.
Can their crew work at a different time of day – daytime for residential properties, nights and weekends for an office or warehouse – to minimize the impact? Are the crews flexible? Showing that you put your tenants’ comfort and interests as a top priority will go a long way toward retaining them as tenants into the future.
3) Be Proactive and Transparent in Your Communication
Give your tenants plenty of notice regarding any foundation repair – and be thorough, honest and transparent.
Let them know if your repair company/contractor has to come inside to take measurements or if parking will be limited due to crew trucks and equipment. Be sure to communicate how long the repair is estimated to take, what type of work will be done, and if there are alternate entryways onto the property that tenants will need to use.
This is also a great time to outline the benefits of this repair — such as that puddle that never goes away, those doors and windows that don’t close, etc. Alert them to any changes that may come about as soon as you learn of them.
For instance, if the scheduled repair is going to take longer or if an underlying issue was discovered (a plumbing leak, for example), let them know that it will require extra crews and time. Not only will your transparency engender trust among your tenants, it will also give them an accurate read on what to expect during the repair. No one wants to be blindsided with 7-21 days of construction on their property.
4) Be Responsive
If and when a tenant raises a concern, your first priority isn’t to solve the problem, but to acknowledge the tenant’s concern. A quick phone call, email, text will let them know you are on the case and finding a solution to their problem. Communication goes a long way toward building the confidence of your tenants and ultimately retaining them.
Having a foundation repair company that employs a full-time, on-site supervisor as well as a client liaison ensures that you can quickly react to any problem that arises – which only makes you look that much better as a property manager! Of course, don’t forget to pass that torch of responsibility on to any after-hours management as well. When your property management team is on the same page, the tenant enjoys a seamless experience.
Remember: Happy residents = loyal residents.
At Perma-Pier, we understand the stress that a foundation repair can bring to the tenants of your commercial property – be it retail, manufacturing, office, or residential. We specialize in making our repairs as non-intrusive as possible. If you’re a property owner or manager in need of an evaluation of your foundation, contact us today to schedule one at no charge to you. At Perma-Pier, we work with you and your tenants.