Top Three Pitfalls for NYC Property Managers
Lack of a Vendor communication channel can be disastrous
The Pit: Your elevator guy is upstate. The gal who attends your ECB hearings is downtown. At any given time, a host of vendors in disparate locations are handling critical issues for your property. Even though they’re operating out of different offices, each person is still an integral part of your team. If something falls through the cracks, the building itself will suffer the consequences – violations, fines, and escalated penalties can all result from vendor miscommunications or a total lack of communication. Whether it’s submitting a Certificate of Correction or filing mandatory inspections, it’s imperative to know exactly who is taking care of what, and when they’ve met specific milestones.
Bottom Line: In today’s environment of increased enforcement, you can’t afford not to know what your extended team is working on.
Avoid the Fall: Create an automated plan for staying in touch with your team – schedule ongoing check-ins and reminder notices. Create updated reports to review with your vendors on a regular basis.
Shuffling through piles of paperwork will get you lost
The Pit: Permits. Certifications. Letters of Approval. Violations. Despite some NYC agencies’ ongoing efforts to bring real estate compliance into the 21st century, the massive amount of paperwork involved is still a big problem. Having endless filing cabinets or storage boxes makes it nearly impossible to locate what you need at a moment’s notice. The last thing you want when an inspector comes around is a flurry of documents as you try to find the document they’re looking for.
Bottom Line: You’re dealing with a lot of information associated with your buildings. That information becomes useless when you can’t easily locate it.
Avoid the Fall: Digitize your desk – scan and store critical paperwork in your company’s online network. This way, any member of your team will be able to access what they need at any time.
SiteCompli’s clients utilize the notes and files features to attach important documents and comments to violations and filings. This is in addition to automated digital records of each violation, permit, and more.
Waiting on complaints will cost you
The Pit: Getting a 311 complaint can throw a wrench into your day-to-day plans. Finding out about a complaint long after it’s been filed is even worse. But the worst of all is delaying the complaint in favor of previously scheduled tasks. Even slight procrastination here can mean the difference between dismissal and a violation. Inspectors are looking into complaints much more quickly – especially those perceived to be serious threats.
Bottom Line: Complaints are a ticking clock – time starts running the minute one is issued, and wasted time can result in serious violations.
Avoid the Fall: Knowing a complaint was even issued in the first place is half the battle – eliminate that lag time by automatically tracking new complaints and prioritizing immediate responses. Whether it’s HPD or DOB, having a plan that you can deploy in an instant will save you money and headaches later on.
Whether it’s streamlining external communication processes or organizing information across your portfolio, one thing is clear – having a comprehensive, automated compliance plan to ingest and efficiently respond to changing property information is an absolute necessity. Standardizing your operations flow will allow you to better manage any surprises and prevent major headaches.
Stay tuned for next week’s post, where we talk about what NYC’s top property managers need to create basic compliance plans for their buildings.