From the moment we have an asset , be it a property, a vehicle, machinery or anything that needs maintenance, we must pay attention to it. In this article we will focus on real estate properties and assets , houses, apartments, condominiums, land, warehouses, offices, etc. Surely if you are reading this, it is because you have a house for rent, an apartment in a condominium regime, a luxury house in a development or offices or premises that are part of your heritage and, surely some of them require maintenance and external administration . The good starts here.
The Property Management basically involves two vital parts:
the administrative document , which refers to the administration of accounting, income, account management etc., and the operational part that manages the corrective maintenance, preventive and predictive.
Let’s understand some definitions , any property is made up of simple and complex systems. The systems are all processes and equipment necessary to function properly, say as an example some of them:
- –Hydraulic systems, pumps, heaters, filters, tanks and everything related to water.
- –Sanitary systems, drains, pipes, drains and everything related to discharge water.
- –Gas systems, equipment such as boilers, stoves, firepits, tanks and LP gas lines.
- -Systems of irrigation and maintenance garden.
- -Automated systems for pool cleaning and filtering.
- –Automation systems, home automation, voice and data.
- -Systems of heating and cooling with air conditioning systems.
- –Finishes, such as sealants, paints, waterproofing.
- –Carpentry, blacksmithing, gates.
So you could continue with an endless list of processes and systems that need permanent attention by highly trained people or with the necessary experience to be able to attend to these needs.
It has been more than 20 years since I started my first maintenance business for foreigners’ houses in front of the beach. Since then and until today, nothing has changed, the needs and problems remain the same. We currently provide very high quality services to serve first-rate clients in our Property Management area and, my surprise is to find high-end developments with Property Management departments and external companies that are not really. I will detail it below.
As I explained before and, as you can see, having a department that can attend to these very specific needs requires a high-performance team with very high technical capabilities. The problem that I find in most of the developments in Puerto Vallarta And Riviera Nayarit is always the same, personal without knowledge and without commitment Maintenance departments with personnel who are more than technical “MASTERS”, very good, by the way, “DON PEPE” is very kind and always gets me out of the problem, that is a very common phrase when I get to houses of 4 or 5 million of dollars. These types of systems and services should not be luck, they are complex systems that must be taken care of for what they are. If you realize it, when a new equipment comes out of its box it brings a “MANUAL” and technical data sheet for its operation. Did you know that 97% of installers don’t read it, much less save it? This directly affects the operation of the equipment and its preventive maintenance, since we operate systems without knowledge.
When I meet with those in charge of Property Management, supervisors or middle managers, I always meet personnel who have a Bachelor of Administration, Accountants, sometimes without profession, and operators say “DON PEPE”, because they do a little of everything. It tastes the same to masonry as it does to electricity, and this is the worst mistake that can happen when managing a property both technically and operationally. The developments and the clients must have personnel according to the discipline and I mean that the directors, managers, supervisors and middle managers must be personnel who meet the knowledge that this discipline requires: Industrial Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers, and their operators, they must be technicians. In other countries, to be a plumber you must have a license to work, but in Mexico it does not apply.
What must be done is to have adequate personnel for the position. Operators must be certified, trained and invested, running the high risk that exists in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit with staff turnover. We cannot allow an employee who was security personnel two months ago to maintain the hydraulic system in my house today, the risk is very high.
Another very delicate part is that we see Property Management companies everywhere, many of them “Duckling”. They all claim to be the best and the truth is that in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, this business is currently poorly regulated, which many people see as an opportunity to do business. No special licenses are required and what they do is SUBCONTRACT third parties to do things: repairs, maintenance and administration, in the end the only requirement is to speak English. What a terrible reality! Extremely expensive services, no technical protocols or management processes for the direction of projects or methodologies, which results in annoying clients who must settle for what there is. For this reason we find gardens in terrible condition, leaks, equipment that fails because they do not know how to maintain it, subcontracted employees who party in the houses when the owners are not and “Duckling” companies that do not really exist and do not have assets, infrastructure or the necessary knowledge to be a company that requires a very high technical, operational and administrative knowledge.
Now that we have a bigger picture, let’s talk about solutions. Companies operating large developments need to train employees, operators and hire capable technical staff for middle and managerial managers. On the subject of private companies, the issue is very different, there are some very capable good companies in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit market, but in reality there are very few. Outside of that, most are SUBCONTRACTORS.
Here are some recommendations to choose correctly the company that will provide the technical services for your property and that will have access to the interiors of your house, be very careful with that.
- -Verify that it is a company incorporated with a minimum of 5 years old.
- -Verify your documents, operating license, charter, permits, records.
- -Visit their offices, workshops, warehouses, assets, know their muscle, nothing will give you a better answer.
- -Know the curriculum of its managers, middle managers and operators, paper talks.
- -Verify that your employees are registered with your company and are not a subcontract.
- -Verify the selection process of your staff, how they are selected and what requirements they have.
- -Check the insurance policy for damage to third parties or theft. It will be useful to you when something happens in your house.
- -Verify that their vehicles have an insurance policy and are in the name of the company.
- -Verify that all your staff is registered with social security.
- -It requires anti-doping tests and requires personnel with no criminal record.
- -Verify that you pay taxes and generate invoices for each income or payment made.
- -The technical person in charge must be an ENGINEER, without exception. No one can have an electrical, gas or hydraulic responsibility without being an engineer.
- -Check their warranty policy for the work or services performed, remember if they do not read the technical sheets, your new pump will fail and you will have to pay for the next one.
- -Verify that as in any company it has an internal administrative organization chart, never trust companies that a single person does everything, it must have an address, an administrative, accounting, operational, logistics department and the most important the technical department that executes the tasks.
Remember that your property is a high value asset, so it is not a game, much less a business opportunity for people who can put your assets at risk. Cheap is expensive and sometimes it is even more expensive. I always tell my clients, when you have heart surgery, do you go to a cardiologist, right? It is the same in this discipline, you need the cardiologist, not the nurse. The issue is serious and as such should be addressed.