Large capital projects, especially concrete repairs such as balconies and garages can be lengthy, expensive, and inconvenient to residents. When not handled with care they often lead to unanticipated costs, lower resident retention and higher vacancy all of which can disrupt cash flow. To help mitigate potential problems, careful planning and providing high levels of customer service during disruptive work are keys to success.
Providing excellent service is a core value at Osgoode Properties and goes beyond being professional and responsive to our residents (though this is certainly key!). It includes our commitment to ensuring that our properties are safe, clean, and well maintained. One of the ways we demonstrate this commitment is through our Capital Planning and Construction program. This program uses regular inspections and condition assessments of our buildings and their components; to identify potential issues, life expectancy of equipment and highlight areas that require improvements.
With this information our team builds the Capital Construction Program and utilizes the annual budget process to plan out the annual construction expectancy and anticipated five-year construction plan. This planning allows us to prepare both from a budget and a resident relation standpoint.
Benefits of a 5-Year Capital Construction Program
By planning in advance, we can:
- Prepare owners about cash flow interruption and possible cash calls
- Explore different financing options
- Delay or bring forward non-essential or aesthetic capital to reduce annual capital expenditures
- Provide ample notice to residents and prospective residents
- Plan multiple resident meetings to discuss what to expect and how we can assist
- Find parking alternatives and quiet spaces if the nature of work requires it
One of the most challenging elements of capital work is how to implement the necessary construction while being the least impactful to our residents as possible. This kind of planning allows the Osgoode Property Management team to assist and accommodate residents to ensure their needs, safety and questions are handled in a timely fashion.
Capital Planning During COVID-19
Although COVID-19 has changed many of the ways we do business it has not impacted how we plan and communicate capital projects. The pandemic did not change the structure of proper planning and providing customer service. However, considering the summer months often bring noisy work we looked at our plans and when appropriate from a safety standpoint moved some loud capital work into next year to not distress residents who continue to work from home. In planning for future projects, we will budget for sound proofing and look for ways to create quiet spaces.