As we welcome Fall and the cooler temperatures, some are sad to see Summer go; others are glad you have finally stopped pouring beads of sweat whenever you step outside! No matter your attitude toward Autumn, you likely have nostalgia associated with this season. Apple pie, carving pumpkins, bonfires, cider all litter our minds with happy memories. But are you falling for leaves? Sure, they look beautiful on the trees. On the ground, though? Or worse: in your parking lot. What does a property manager need to do about leaves this Fall? Let’s chat.
How many trees are on your property? Do they drop their leaves? If so, what month do most of them fall? If you are new to property management, these are good questions to ask the tenants on your properties. They likely remember the piles of mucky leaves from previous years. Leaves that once looked beautiful on trees filled parking spaces that should have welcomed guests. The lovely “crunchy leaf” sounds turned into a slip and fall hazard after a hard rain. The lack of sweeping on the property led to a general look of an unkempt parking lot. Your tenants will remember, so ask them! Once you have assessed the previous issues, let’s talk about how to solve them.
You may find out that leaves are not a big problem on your property. Few trees, or trees that drop leaves very slowly are a blessing! Your property may only need one or two extra sweeps per month. However, many of you will discover leaves cause quite the issue on your property. As October approaches swiftly, call your local parking lot advisor to add an extra sweep per week. If you have the privilege of managing an older property with well-established trees, you may need two additional sweeps per week. When to begin these sweeps and return to your regular schedule will largely depend on your region. Many Southern cities do not start seeing leaves on the ground until November; they will need to continue these sweeps through December at least. Northern and Midwestern towns tend to experience leaves accumulating in October and continue until Thanksgiving. A personalized plan is so important here, so be sure to talk to your local sweeping company when making a plan!
As you plan with your sweeping company, go ahead and schedule those sweeps! You do not want to push this item down your to-do list; sweeping companies are extra busy this time of year. Reserve your spot on their schedule early; they will be more willing to be flexible when you need things last-minute. Speaking of flexibility, this should be a talking point if you are interviewing new sweeping providers. Ask if they are willing to be flexible. If it looks like an early snow is coming to your region, can they add a last-minute sweep? Snow piled on top of leaves is double trouble. Work with a sweeping company who will meet your needs – even last minute needs.
As a property manager, you CAN still enjoy this beautiful season. All it takes is a little assessment, planning, and flexible scheduling. Oh, and a GREAT parking lot sweeping company on your side!