A checklist for commercial property maintenance in winter

Winter is one of the most challenging seasons for property managers. While everyone is getting ready for the festive season, property managers prepare buildings to withstand heavy rain and snow to prevent damage. Winter maintenance can be a stressful task. To get your commercial buildings ready for the season, take a look at this comprehensive checklist and use Property Maintenance Software to keep track of your winter maintenance jobs.

Inspect HVAC systems

Check your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to make sure they’re working. Preventative HVAC maintenance is essential at this time of the year – you want to avoid as many repairs or replacements as possible, as there’s nothing worse than a cold building in winter. Arrange for your HVAC systems to be serviced and make sure the technicians change any filters that need to be replaced, clean drains and pipes, and check for gas leaks.

Check the property’s exterior.

It’s difficult to do repairs outside a building when the weather is terrible, so check the property’s exterior now to avoid fixing problems in stormy weather. Make sure the windows and doors are weatherproof, check the roof for loose shingles, the gutters for leaves, and trim back or remove branches that could fall and damage your property. Keep the areas around your building where people walk clear of snow and ice to avoid accidents where your tenants could be injured. Arrange for snow removal services throughout the season to regularly clear pathways.

Make sure buildings are well insulated.

To keep the heat in, make certain the building is well insulated. A poorly insulated property can increase your heating bill, which you’ll want to avoid as the price of gas continues to rise. Get a contractor to check your building’s insulation and ensure that the roof, windows, doors, floor, and walls are well insulated. Double glazed windows and doors can keep heat in the building, which is something to keep in mind for your property in the future.

Keep your smoke detectors working.

You should maintain your smoke detectors all year round, but it’s imperative to ensure they’re working during the winter months. During winter, tenants keep the building warm with heating. While central heating systems are reasonably safe, portable heaters and radiators can start a fire if they’re in contact with flammable furniture or clothing. You can test your smoke detectors by simply pressing the test button. If the alarm doesn’t work, you may need to replace the battery, get a new alarm, or get a fire alarm engineer to check the device for you.

Prevent frozen pipes

When pipes are frozen, it can be a real nuisance to have no running water. But frozen pipes aren’t only an inconvenience – they can be dangerous and experience too. When water is stuck inside a frozen pipe, it expands and puts pressure on the drain, which could burst the pipes and cause water damage. To protect your building and avoid expensive repairs, get a professional plumber to prepare your pipes for winter and prevent the cost of fixing frozen pipes in the middle of winter.

Stay on top of your checklist with Property Maintenance Software

It’s easy to lose track of your projects when you’re managing multiple winter maintenance jobs at a time. Make sure you get to every task before winter with Property Maintenance Software – a tool that makes it easier to create, assign and schedule maintenance jobs.

Why Small Business Owners Get Better Sales Results From Relationship Marketing

There are 3 major differences where direct marketing, also known as relationship marketing veers sharply away from traditional marketing and advertising.

You’ll see why it’s the most cost effective method any business can do. But especially small business because let’s face it – you’ll never have the money to throw at marketing and advertising that BIG business does. 

And the good news is you don’t have to. These proven principles will work on or offline across the board, for any business, in any media, with any product or service. 

But first let’s be clear that direct marketing is not just direct mail. It includes mail of course, but that was just the beginning it’s now expanded to include all the mediums available today. Remember the media is just the delivery method.  

So here’s the 3 major differences between traditional marketing and advertising AND direct marketing using direct response advertising. 

The first is – Direct Marketing is based on a one-on-one customer relationship which gives the ability to have 2-way communications. 

Unlike traditional marketing direct marketing relies on dialogue. We all know that people do business with people they know, like and trust and that is best achieved by building the relationship. So it’s not the “catch and kill” approach here. 

Getting the contact details of your prospective customer is goal number one because it puts you in control of the communication process.   You are no longer at the mercy of the crowded marketplace when you are “talking” to your list. 

It’s also easier to find more people like them. 

The second is – Direct Marketing always has a call-to-action so the customer is asked to do something. 

And that’s because you “ask” them to take the action you want them to take – either request more information or place an order immediately.   Whatever is the next logical step in your sales process. In fact it’s called “a call to action” or “asking for the order” which doesn’t happen in the traditional advertising model. 

You see there are actually 2 types of advertising. 

The dreaded awareness advertising and the champion “direct response”. 

It’s important to understand this because the biggest mistake I see small business owners make is they copy big businesses. You won’t make this mistake now you know about direct response advertising but naturally people think that big companies are successful so they must know what they are doing and they “copy” their type of advertising. It’s the last thing you should do. 

Big companies use Awareness advertising which is image based advertising or brand awareness. These big companies, with well known brands have expensive ads that aren’t really selling they are promoting their brand trying to get you to “feel good” hoping when you are out in the marketplace making a buying decision, you’ll remember them. 

They never ask their customer to do anything – think about all the ads you see on TV.   It takes many years and many millions of dollars to make an impact. So don’t waste your money on this. You need ads that sell NOW. 

And we’ve all seen those print ads that don’t ask the reader to do anything – just check out the yellow pages. People pay tens of thousands of dollars for just one advertisement, depending on the size.  And what do they do? Put a big fat logo at the top, boring feature after boring feature in bullet points and a phone number at the bottom. All about the company and product and NOT about the customer. 

Direct response ads, on the other hand are all about the customer, their needs and problems because your customer is listening to radio station WIIFM or What’s in it for ME. And they offer a solution, make an offer then ask the customer to “respond” using a call to action. 

It’s obvious the difference this must have on your advertising response and now that you know this you’ll never look at advertising the same way again! 

The third thing is – Direct Marketing results are measurable which means you know what works and what doesn’t. 

Unlike mass advertising you can make an offer in any media and track the results. It’s simple. So once you know what works and what doesn’t you can test other ads or media to try to improve the results and increase your profit margin. 

Tracking can be simple or sophisticated depending on your systems and resources and will vary for online and offline activities. But all you need is a way to identify where the responses came from and count them. 

You can have proven, predictable results to build your campaigns on and who wouldn’t want that?

How Can Direct Response Marketing Deliver Education Leads & Increase Applications and Enrollments?

Innovation Ads was originally formed as an education lead generation agency to service academic institutions. As time went by, colleges and universities began demanding applications and enrollments rather than leads. We saw that most academic institutions needed help with the lead follow up process–so we built and refined a set of solutions that address not only lead generation, but lead conversion as well. The Enrollment Solutions Platform, or “ESP”, is a unique platform that combines executive analysis and evaluation, with a dynamic lead generation and lead conversion system. The first step in initiating a campaign that generates more applications and enrollments is a thorough analysis of the existing enrollment process.

Analysis and Evaluation Analysis is the firm bedrock beneath a successful enrollment marketing campaign. In order to establish a comprehensive foundation, our senior staff members work closely with you, in order to: define your current goals and market share; identify the most effective means for attracting and retaining new students; and help determine the appropriate budget for the projected enrollment goals.

Another pivotal piece of our analytic process is “Mystery Shopping”–a term that refers to an anonymous evaluation of the existing enrollment process. Members of our enrollment specialist team walk through your enrollment “funnel” from start to finish, in order determining where improvements can be made. Once analysis is complete, we begin to initiate contact with prospective students.

Initiate Student Contact through Lead Generation We generate student interest by marketing across multiple channels. The direct response nature of our marketing process allows us to reach vast numbers of potential students, in a meticulous manner. Our large economies of scale in both the online and direct TV channels–combined with the direct response marketing and our tracking technologies–ensure that we’re generating more highly qualified leads, for less money. Our direct response strategies include:

o Online Media Planning o Online Media Buying o Direct Response Television o Creative Development o Micro-Site Development o Lead Remarketing o Search Engine Optimization o Trade Name Management o Virtual Tours Lead Conversion: Increase Student Enrollment with Our Prospective Student Conversion System (PSyC) In addition to our lead generation capacities, we’ve created a unique lead conversion solution–the Prospective Student Conversion System (PSYC)–guarantees that your enrollment funnel is working as efficiently as possible. PSyC marries our lead generation capacities to our unique follow up marketing process.

Once we’ve initiated marketing campaigns, and begun to generate student interest, our enrollment specialists that work in The Academic Advising Center (TAAC) initiate outbound phone calls to interested students, and field the inbound phone calls that marketing campaigns generate. The Enrollment Specialists help the prospective student to apply.

In helping students to apply, our Enrollment Specialists gather important marketing information. They enter this critical feedback into our technological platform–Multi-channel Interactive marketing Database, or MIND–, which organizes and tracks the response that each marketing campaign generates. Once the information is in our system, our technology optimizes your campaign according to the response that each piece of marketing material generates.

Our technology informs our Client Services Team which channels and campaigns are generating interested students, and which are not. Our client services team reacts to the success/failure of each phone call by boosting media allocation to successful campaigns/channels, and decreasing allocation to the channels that are not successful.

The must exciting feature of PSYC is the Real Time Optimization that takes place. We’re able to reduce marketing costs because we immediately know which advertising campaigns work, and which don’t: we’re able to cut campaigns that don’t work, and boost campaigns that do work, in a real time manner. This removes a large portion of the “x-factor” from marketing to prospective students.

Growth Strategies: Higher Education Consultant Solutions Enrollment Growth Consultant Solutions that are based on results. Because we have been so successful at increasing student enrollment at colleges and universities, we understand the daunting task that colleges and universities face: providing an academic service to more students within an economically viable framework is very difficult. Because we understand the goals and roadblocks that higher education institutions face, and because we’re able to offer pragmatic Enrollment Management Solutions, we’ve been able to refine our consulting skills in a way no other firm has. While many other consultants do just that–consult–Innovation Ads focuses on generating leads, applications, and enrollments. It is our experience generating tangible results that makes our consultant services so valuable.

Want to learn more about Enrollment Management? Click here to sign up for the Innovation Ads Enrollment Management Whitepaper.