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An ounce of prevention……a pile of cash saved

Like you, I try and plan my day and evening activities to minimize windshield time.  On Tuesday of this week, after dropping one of the kids off at his Boy Scout meeting, I zipped over to Lowe’s to pick up some Super Glue and Krud Cutter (to wash siding mildew).

After paying for the items, I head over to the restroom before leaving the store and walk past the drinking fountains.  Here’s what I saw:

Normally I would have kept walking, done my business, and left the store.

But this actually made me stop, chuckle a bit, and shake my head.

Notice the stream of water?

Now, I get that things break all the time.  (Certainly not picking on Lowe’s….goodness knows they get plenty of my money each month as does Home Depot.)  One of my operating companies manages commercial properties, so I understand that part.  Kudos to the store management for putting a nice “Out of Order” sign on the fountain, too.

But here’s the mental question I started noodling in my head as I walked through the parking lot to my car:

Lowe’s is a “hardware” store.  Lowe’s sells all kinds of construction materials, including plumbing supplies.  Why didn’t Lowe’s, when they were building the store and installing all these drinking fountains, anticipate that EVENTUALLY they would malfunction and install individual water shut off valves under each station?

I mean….the part costs less than $10 retail.

Even if the volume of water wasted was only $10 in “value”, the perception of the loss to customers is 1000X that.

Think of it this way:  Let’s say the fountain runs for 8 hours before Lowe’s can get a plumber or contractor out to repair it and 20 customers an hour see the issue.  What is the impact in those customer’s minds?  Even worse:  What if the fountain drain got plugged up from folks spitting bubble gum in it while it was running and then ran all over the floor?  Even worse still:  What if a customer slipped in this water and was personally injured falling onto a hard concrete floor?

Yup–very expensive whoopsie indeed.

So what does this have to do with your rental properties?  Learn the lesson and skip the expensive pain.

  1. What can you implement in your properties, like a simple water shut off valve, to avoid waste or inconvenience for either you or your Tenants?
  2. What should you NOT implement in your properties in order to avoid an issue?  For example, battery operated door locks are a big PITA.  Guess when the battery ALWAYS dies?  You guessed it–on a Saturday night.  Guess who the Tenant calls requesting assistance that night?  Yup–you or your property management staff.
  3. What non-physical items can you implement in your property management systems to avoid whoopsie moments?

As always, keep pushing towards your Financial Freedom with your Rental Properties!

Dan Baldini

P.S.  The October calendar is pretty much full already for private coaching appointments and November is getting tight due to loss of the Thanksgiving Holiday week.  If you are interested in scheduling your 1-to-1 Coaching appointment, I suggest you get ‘er done this week.  Otherwise, we are looking at December.

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