5 things to consider when renewing your Janitorial services agreement

Keeping your building in tip-top condition is important for resident retention and to help when attracting new residents or tenants.

Seems like a no brainer, right?

As the saying goes, sometimes even the best laid plans go awry.

Most building managers outsource services like janitorial, security or front desk. When things are running smoothly, everyone is happy, however, that is not always the case.

Many factors such as missed shifts, cleaning that was skipped & billing issues can influence whether a property manager may look for a new cleaning company when the contract with their existing vendor comes up for renewal.

In this article, Planned Companies, a firm with over 100 years in the janitorial biz, presents the top 5 things a property manager should consider when renewing their current, or selecting a new, service company.

Here are 5 things to consider when renewing your janitorial services agreement:#1: TIME 

How much time do you spend managing your outsourced staff? 

If the answer is 5 minutes a week, then you’re spending 5 minutes too long.  If you’re going to invest time managing the vendor’s janitorial staff, you might as well bring the entire operation in-house and manage it all yourself.

Property managers outsource these services to free up more time to focus on keeping their residents happy.

This won’t happen if you’re busy managing a staff that should be managed by the company you hired.

A quality outsource vendor will provide trained and effective managers freeing you up to attend to your residents and tenants.  Those managers will supervise their staff, take care of call-outs and will report back to you with information necessary for you to efficiently do your job.

Forbes published a great article on managing outsourced staff here#2: THE STAFF

What kind of vibe do you get from your janitorial staff? 

Do they appear to be happy? Do their uniforms look “pulled together” or do they seem disgruntled?

An unhappy staff may hint at other issues with your cleaning vendor.

Are they dissatisfied with their pay?  Is there a problem with benefits?  Does the staff have a manager that’?

The problem with an unhappy cleaning crew is:

Their funky mood could result in rude behavior toward your tenants & residents and although they may only have brief interactions, people remember when someone is rude to them and these encounters will reflect poorly on property management.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of your janitorial staff’s mood is essential in understanding how they might interact with your residents and whether your vendor is properly taking care of their team.#3: FAMILIARITY WITH YOUR BUILDING

How well does the Ops-Management team know your building?

Your vendor’s Ops-Management team should be as familiar with your building as you are.

Knowing your building’s personality and all its quirks enables ops-managers to make useful suggestions and better navigate their team through your property

You’re not just hiring a cleaning crew, you’re investing in a partnership that will bring experience and ideas to the table.

A partner (versus a vendor) will ultimately serve to improve the lives of your residents.#4: COMMUNICATION 

Does your Service company provide the level of communication you require?

Communication is a two-way street for you and your janitorial partner.

Are you a “just the facts” kinda person?

Do you want a detailed activity report every week or do you just need the high points whenever you happen to connect?

For them to understand your level of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction), a steady flow of communication must be in place.  Not everybody wants or requires daily updates, so you should work with your vendor to agree on the ideal frequency of these updates.#5: IS YOUR CURRENT VENDOR UP TO DATE?

Is your Service company up to date with the current tech & trends in the market?

Technology impacts the cleaning industry too.  Hyper-sweep hasn’t been invented yet (whatever that is…) however Green products, HEPA filtered vacuum equipment and cutting-edge disinfection systems are at the forefront of today’s cleaning industry.

Is your vendor up to date with these current systems?  Are they making you aware of your options in order help you make the best decisions for your residents?

How do they disinfect your common areas in order to keep your residents safe from illness?

Does their equipment filter out harmful allergens and pollutants that can spread colds or the flu?

Are Green products used to reduce the incidence of allergic reactions to harsh cleaning chemicals?

Your residents are concerned with keeping their living spaces disease-free.

You want a vendor who is on-board with using the right mix of products and equipment to best keep your residents safe from harmful allergens or dust triggers in their homes.

Making sure that new cleaning technology is used will go a long way to scoring big points with your residents.CONCLUSION

A disengaged cleaning crew, or their management team, can significantly damage your relationship with your residents.

Sometimes one weak link, such as lack of communication, is all that is needed to break the chain and interrupt your relationship with your janitorial crew.

A janitorial vendor that is willing to invest the proper time, money and care can significantly improve a property manager’s relationship with their residents or tenants.

When the time comes, your current vendor is going to be quick to get their renewal agreement signed.

We’re here to remind you to take a step back.

There’s nothing wrong with assessing your current janitorial staff and vendor. Too often it’s assumed everything is running smoothly.

But what if it isn’t…