Winter is a challenging season, with quickly changing weather, road closures, and power outages. Yet as a property manager, you have the power to set you and your guests up for success.
Here are the property management tips that will help you have a smooth winter season.
Get Extra Shovels and Check the Snow Blower
Removing snow is a crucial part of the property management process. Snow on walks and driveways creates liability issues, so it’s important to keep access to the property clear.
A broken shovel can throw off your whole schedule. So can a snow blower that isn’t functional.
In addition, guests may need the shovels to dig their cars out of a heavy snowfall. If they can’t, you won’t be able to turn the unit and get the next guests in on time.
The answer? Have at least 2-3 extra shovels per property, and check the oil and gas in the property’s snow blower.
Place Shoe Crampons in Each Unit
Many of your guests will come from places that don’t experience the kind of snowfall we get in the Truckee/Tahoe area. They don’t know they’re going to need shoe crampons, what they’re for, or how to use them. They probably won’t have their own.
We recommend placing crampons of various sizes in the property, while placing clear instructions on how and when to use them in each unit. Help your guests understand they really need to be wearing them to prevent slips and falls while they’re out walking their dogs or enjoying the snowy weather. And that they shouldn’t be wearing them in the house!
Pay Attention to Lights
If your guests are arriving in the dark they may be exhausted and frustrated to begin with. Don’t make it harder for them to find the property. Place exterior lighting on the home that lights up the house number, and ensure the light is always on.
This also helps your guests find their way back if they need to make a grocery run at night!
Prepare for Power Outages
Create a power outage kit for your residents, just in case a snowstorm leaves them without light. This kit should include:
- Extra flashlights
- Extra candles
- Extra batteries
Label the kit and place it in a downstairs closet location.
Prepare the Hot Tub for Winter
The hot tub gets a lot more use in the winter season! Keep filters on hand so you can swap them out quickly between visitors. Always have a good supply of the chemicals needed.
Prepare the Property for Winter
You need to make sure the property itself is snow worthy.
Start with removing the screens from all windows and from the sliding porch door. These can get damaged by falling snow, which can make it impossible to open them or close them as they’ll warp inside the track or get stuck on ice that forms
Next, check the water shut-off valve to make sure it works. This should be done once or twice every season.
After that, you’ll want to remove patio and deck furniture so that it doesn’t get damaged.
Then, head inside and check the gas fireplace. Have it serviced and get the flue and chimney swept. You want it clean for fire safety, but you also want to keep your guests warm and cozy, especially in the event of a power outage!
If you have a wood fireplace, cover the firewood outside so it’s not wet, and make sure it will be accessible even in high snow loads.
Give Guests What They Need to Take Care of the Property
We recommend boot trays in the entryway, with a sign reminding people to remove their boots. This ensures guests won’t harm your floors by tracking water all over the property.
We also recommend adding ski and snowboard hangers to the garage if you give guests access to it. You should also add boot trays beneath the ski and snowboard hangers. You can also put them by the door if you prefer to keep guests out of the garage.
Finally, Add a Nice Touch
A little gift can go a long way towards getting you rave reviews from your guests. Playing cards for power outages, s’mores supplies, local tea varieties…the possibilities are endless and they don’t have to be expensive. It’s just a nice extra touch that will make guests remember you and ensure they might want to stay with you again.
Winter doesn’t have to be a rough season. It can be one of the best and most profitable seasons you have…as long as you’re prepared with these winter property management tips!