Wollaston Development discusses solutions to the challenges property managers are facing in 2021

January 08, 2021 - Owners Developers & Managers

Boston, MA Property managers know firsthand there are always new challenges that pop up no matter what season or climate. As we head into one of the toughest winters in modern history, there are new and unique challenges that property managers are facing. Wollaston Development works with owners and managers at commercial and residential properties of all sizes, providing them with an up-close look at the recent recurring complications faced by the people tasked with maintaining buildings and keeping residents happy and safe. Wollaston Development has distilled the current hitches and fixes for easy digestion and execution:

The Problem: While COVID-19 is certainly not a unique problem for any one industry, the pandemic and all of the repercussions that go hand in hand with this ongoing global event are undoubtedly more burdensome for certain sectors than others - particularly if human-interaction is required. Enter: Property managers. Social distancing is a necessity to prevent the spread of the communicable virus, which is tough to do within commercial and residential buildings that house multiple pods. While most property managers may not have it in the budget to install automatic doors to scrap the unsanitary doorknob, there are other ways to improve safety and lower potential transmission.

The Solution: Smart technology has entered our lives in a number of ways including automatic car-starting and asking Alexa to turn the living room light on. The newest version of these mechanics is smart home technology, which is a large umbrella term that encompasses many solutions for the COVID era. Wollaston Development has worked with a number of satisfied property owners who have employed this technology to monitor the property and allow maintenance workers to enter the building using a one-time code that can be sent remotely and is set to disable after use, granting peace-of-mind to residents and preventing any human interaction, thereby forgoing the risk of virus transmission.

The Problem: Climate change is slowly but surely affecting the entire planet. As a result, many of us are attempting to reverse the effects by making immediate changes and stave off the repercussions by listening to the science. On the west coast, developers are contending with the ever-increasing threat of wildfires. In the northeast, high winds and extreme weather events cause a great deal of costly damage annually.

The Solution: Forward thinking about the potential for disaster is key for property managers to keep at the top of mind when it comes to decision making about materials and safeguards. Implementing plans for extreme weather events before they hit will save money and time. This can mean planting drought tolerant plants such as Black-eyed Susans and perennial Geraniums to keep your property looking beautiful if the rainy season doesn’t come as planned. In California, property managers are using alternatives to flammable mulch that can easily be ignited by embers carried on the wind. 

The Problem: Budgeting for the unexpected is never easy to do, but in a time when sudden strong weather events and extreme seasons are the new normal, it’s vital to do so. Especially in an often erratic climate like the Northeast, where no one bats an eye when a seventy-degree day is followed by nine inches of snow. As these climate events are becoming more frequent and less predictable, many property managers are experiencing budgeting woes when one unexpected Nor’easter exhausts the annual snow removal budget in one fell swoop.

The Solution: Keeping in mind the reality of our injured ecosystem, the most successful property managers are budgeting with the unknown in mind. There is no way to predict what’s to come, but preparing for the worst is the smartest way to protect your tenants and your investments. Error on the side of caution by allocating funds for the potential for extreme weather events to strike, so that no matter what happens, you will have a solution. Paying a monthly retainer for snow removal may feel like a waste during a milder winter, but it can save a lot of time, hassle and money when paying per storm and snowfall totals. 

The Problem: As the needs of tenants increase and older properties require more upkeep and renovations, property managers require contractors across a spectrum of services. With the financial burdens and economic impact of COVID, working with multiple contractors increases expenses at a time when property managers are looking to spend less and get more. 

The Solution: Flexibility! Contractors that don’t specialize in just one narrow field, but maintain in-house expertise across a broad range of specialties are quickly becoming the darling of many property management companies. Contractors that function as a Swiss Army Knife instead of a single use tool, consolidating everything from building structural renovations to landscaping to snow removal to irrigation, give property owners the ability to streamline operations under one umbrella contract, significantly reducing cost and preventing duplication of efforts and unnecessary waste. 

Site development and landscape design present unique and complex challenges which demand innovative solutions. Wollaston Development is committed to consistently delivering exceptional results in a specialized industry. From excavation and trucking, to landscape design and commercial masonry, Wollaston Development is dedicated to meeting their client’s needs at all phases of the construction process.

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