Having been in the position where I’ve taken over communities before, my recommendation is get to know your community, try and do as much homework on what’s been done, get to clean up your shop so you know what pieces of repair parts you do have so you’re not ordering stuff that you later find on the shelf, but really clean house, organize and figure out where you’re at so you’ve got a good place to start.

If you jump in, you’re always going to be behind the eight ball when you start. Getting a clean house and a fresh start, and knowing what you’ve got to work with is really paramount to be successful in that position.

I would highly suggest maintenance director’s become familiar with the community. That would include walking the building, looking in the attic space for HVAC equipment, mechanical rooms, their boiler or hot water heater, mechanical closets, electrical rooms, identify breaker panels, their fire protection riser room, identify isolation valves to the building should anything ever occur with a pipe freeze, a sprinkler head from the fire system being inadvertently broke or knocked off. Having knowledge of where everything is at in the building pertaining to the mechanical infrastructure is highly advantageous for a new maintenance director.

I can give countless examples of new maintenance directors and a problem that occurred and they had no idea it took two, three or four times as long to identify a shut off valve on the water supply, for example.

They need to know where their water meters are at, where the main coming into the building is at, where those isolation valves might be so they can prevent additional damage to the community and inconvenience to the residents and staff.