eProperty’s Spring Maintenance Tips for Vacant and Abandoned Properties
Spring is just around the corner. That means spring cleaning, paying your taxes, and getting ready for a season of being outdoors in the garden, yard, or park. For our ePropertyPlus partners, especially those in the northern states, the coming of spring is the start of a new seasonal maintenance cycle and time to get into the community gardens.
Planning community improvements is exciting, especially when you have a supportive network of volunteers, but staying organized is a challenge. Where should you focus your energy, time, and resources?
We’ve collected some spring maintenance tips that can guide you as you spruce up properties throughout your neighborhood.
For organizations with vacant lots, the maintenance process can be time-consuming and involved. Vacant or abandoned properties pose numerous risks to the health of a neighborhood, so the action steps in caring for them are especially crucial.
Vacant property maintenance will typically include:
- Schedule mowing and yard work: As warmer and wetter months approach (and ice begins to thaw in northern regions), grass and weeds can quickly get out of control. Vacant lots are quickly overrun without regular care, therefore it’s helpful to schedule regular grass cutting, weed pulling, and other yard work.
- Plan placemaking activities: While private properties are important, it’s often the public spaces that truly transform and revitalize a city. Placemaking activities can include things like:
- Find creative, temporary uses for vacant business properties that are in between tenants – such as allowing local artists to use them for gallery showings.
- Schedule regular landscaping and cleaning of public squares (where events, markets, and other gatherings can be held).
- Collaborate with residents and tap into their talents, historical knowledge, and passions to improve community infrastructure. We’re inspired by nonprofits like Kounkuey Design Initiative that works in partnership with residents of impoverished communities to build or improve environments and dwellings.
- Launch marketing campaigns to sell vacant lots: The goal with vacant or abandoned properties is to get them into the hands of responsible owners who will care for them. The springtime can be a great season to clean up vacant lots and take new pictures to help with your marketing efforts and attract interested buyers. While it might not seem like maintenance, reviewing and updating property listings to sell or lease lots is a good springtime activity.
Properties With Structures
For those groups who have properties with structures, there are a few more factors to bear in mind. Structures can create safety concerns, draw criminal activity, become fire hazards, or draw unwanted guests like pests and mold. Some important spring activities to remember for properties with structures are checking on window and door coverings to make sure they are secure and conducting inspections to see if winter weather or storms created leaks in the roof or along roof lines.
Spring maintenance is a good time to begin addressing any issues you find issues with:
- New construction
- Rehab projects
In addition to regular spring maintenance, it’s important to anticipate a variety of one-off projects such as clearing a fallen tree limb or planting trees. The spring is a good time to tackle these one-time projects as winter weather often leaves behind debris that can be addressed at the same time. Even with a small group of vacant properties, it can be a lot to track.
Spring Maintenance Organization & Solutions
Whether your spring maintenance involves repetitive tasks, like grass cuts, or one- off projects like removing a dead limb or conducting a seasonal inspection, they offer great uses for ePropertyPlus and its built-in Services module. Services is a workflow management feature that is part of our ePropertyPlus software solution. It allows users to manage repetitive or recurring service activities or the occasional one-off job without worrying about losing track of key deadlines or failing to collect key information.
Services works in tandem with ePropertyPlus Financials (for tracking income and expenses), the Mobile app (for field services), and a dedicated portal for service providers. Users can manage the myriad maintenance tasks associated with a portfolio of real estate assets with ease. And it’s not just for maintenance. Our clients use it to manage leasing, property sales and closing activities, and internal activities like creating reminders to run reports.
You probably want to be outside in the springtime, rather than anchored to a desk struggling to keep up with mundane record keeping and community maintenance scheduling tasks.
So happy spring! Let’s all get outside and enjoy ourselves, and let ePropertyPlus manage the tedious work.
Want to see more of how it works? Check out our updated product overview videos or contact us for a live demo.