Maintaining the appearance of your apartment building presents many different challenges compared to running a shopping center or other commercial structure. That, of course, is because people are actually living in the units. This means that you can't close your building for maintenance, while at the same time, it gets far more use. Despite these challenges, it is possible to keep an apartment complex looking great. Here are some tips for maintaining the appearance of your buildings:
Set a Schedule for Lawnmowing and Other Landscape Upkeep
One of the most obvious things about an apartment building is what's outside, and in most cases, this will include a fairly large amount of lawn. Keeping it well-mowed makes that lawn into a green carpet that is inviting to residents, their guests, and potential new tenants. If the job is left until the grass "looks like it needs it," there will be days when it isn't looking its best. Set a solid and frequent schedule so it always looks well-manicured.
Take the same approach to other growing landscape elements like shrubs, flowers, and mulching. The landscape should never look like it needs some sort of work.
Protect Hallway Floors from the Appearance of Grime
The hallways of an apartment building are used all day long, and without careful maintenance, they quickly look like it. Protect the underlying flooring by putting a runner all along the length of the hall. Then, be sure to vacuum the runner every day. Do this job in the afternoon while most people are at work to avoid irritating the residents with the noise.
Hallway runners and flooring should be washed on a regular basis as well. Do this more often than you would for residential carpeting - there's a lot more foot traffic and grime to deal with in a common area.
Keep the Walls Looking Good
Washing the walls in the common areas should be standard practice, but they will still need repainting long before the paint suffers physical failure. Choose gloss or semi-gloss paint so that it can handle being washed on an ongoing basis.
Repainting is also needed inside the apartments. The easiest time to repaint an apartment is in between tenants, but if someone stays for a truly long time, you'll need to come in and do the job while they're still in residence. Depending on the residents in question and their habits, you'll likely need to do this painting somewhere between every five and 10 years on average. Make sure to warn residents far in advance of repainting so they'll be ready.
Update Units on a Regular Basis
Even if long-time tenants tell you everything is fine the way it is, they'll actually love it if you keep their apartments up to date. Replace aging ovens and refrigerators when they go out of style, redo the carpeting and kitchen tile, put in new fixtures, and handle other such jobs every few years. This way, the people won't feel a need to move due to the building feeling dated or neglected.
Address Reported Maintenance Problems Quickly
This does far more than improve the residents' opinion of your repair staff. Certain issues can quickly spread to damage other units, so it's good business sense all around. One of the most damaging types of problems is the water leak. No matter where the water comes from, it will seek the ground and damage everything it encounters on its way down. This damage will be visible and may cause smelly mold as well. Therefore, all water issues should get emergency-level priority even if they seem small.
By following these basic practices, you can rest assured that your apartment housing will be inviting to both current residents and people looking for a place to live. You'll enjoy the lower turnover and higher occupancy levels that result.