NAA Operations Insights: Expense Reductions to Boast About | National Apartment Association

NAA Operations Insights: Expense Reductions to Boast About

An Essential Resource for Maintenance & Operations Professionals • October 2013

Expense Reduction Initiatives: Something to Crow About
Expense reduction initiatives can have a major impact on an apartment community's bottom line. For instance, an initiative that calls for maintenance staffers to visit every apartment each quarter to conduct inspections and perform routine preventive maintenance can significantly reduce the amount of reactive work orders and bring down annual operating expenses on a per-unit basis. Nyla Westlake, Trammell Crow Residential's Vice President of Asset Management, recently sat down with Operations Insights to give tips on how apartment professionals can put in place such initiatives.

Steps to Starting a Community Running Club  
October is the perfect month to kick off a running club in your apartment community, with the weather cooler and most residents back from vacation. The article offers eight steps to getting such a club started. These tips range from gauging community interest and setting the best meeting times to holding mileage contests and encouraging the use of such mobile apps as MapMyRun, CardioTrainer, and RunKeeper.

Brigadoon Fitness- SidebarAug13

Maintaining Your AC Unit in the Fall
In preparing their air conditioning units for the coming fall and winter months, apartment owners and managers need to follow a few easy and sensible steps. Step one is to clean the filters of each A/C unit before the cold temperatures set in. Also important is to clean each A/C unit's condenser coils thoroughly. Once the condenser coils have been cleaned, securely cover up the outdoor unit of your central air conditioning system. Other tips range from regularly clearing away any leaves, small branches, and debris that find their way to the top of each unit to having a professional air conditioning company check all units to ensure maximum safety and efficiency.

Why Apartments Should Switch From Pine Straw
Because pine straw burns twice as hot as cypress mulch and, once lit, spreads the flame more than seven feet per minute, several North Carolina cities have moved to regulate its use in apartment settings. Apartment communities are a special concern because small fires can quickly turn catastrophic, placing a large number of people in danger at one time. Apartment owners and managers use pine straw because it is cheaper. At the very least, owners and managers need to be proactive with educating residents about fire hazards.

How to Reduce Apartment Crime in Phases
The five-phase Crime-Free Multi-Housing program emphasizes communication with owners, managers, residents, and area police. Phase 1 entails a workshop that introduces the program, along with classroom instruction on everything from resident screening and fair housing issues to gangs and graffiti. Phase 2 involves police officers conducting a security assessment of the various apartment communities, which helps apartment management staff to identify ways to make their communities safer for all residents. Completion of the first two phases allows managers to begin Phase 3 -- the ordering and posting of signs denoting their communities as "Crime-Free." Phase 4 will find police officers scheduling resident-manager meetings at participating communities. The fifth and final phase certifies the apartment community as Crime-Free.
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