Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Benefits of consistent paint color and product in apartment and condo rental interiors

One of our favorite things to do at UPNW is to assist our customers and industry peers make their job smoother and save money.  From the perspective of a 15 year Property Management veteran "the most important thing I can do is demonstrate to an owner that I have increased their profit (NOI) and saved them money. That is the only thing that really shows off my worth to an owner".  Lynn-Property Manager

Where painting is concerned consistency is key whether you are contracting your painting out to a vendor or having your in-house maintenance staff perform the task. With a little planning and organization, you will be on your way to saving some time and some cash! 

Here are our best tips to get started:

1.  Walk all of the units in the building at least once per year as a rule but for this exercise; to inventory the condition of wall, ceiling and trim paint. Make note of the condition particularly the colors that have been applied.
2. With the help of your painting contractor or trusted paint store, choose one color paint that will be neutral in color (not bright white) and compliment your unit finishes. If your finishes vary you must keep this in mind and choose a color that will work with multiple finishes.  Take your demographic and budget of-course into consideration during this process.
3.  Choose your products wisely. In the long run a better quality paint will provide better coverage and may reduce the number of coats, hold up better longer and have less off-gassing. For walls, an eggshell or satin finish is recommended as some stains wipe off with out removing paint. For kitchen and baths we recommend satin as grease and soap scum wipe off easier. (this helps your residents keep their place cleaner) Finished product varies by paint manufacturer so it is a good idea to test the product on a 1x1 patch of wall before committing to it. For Ceilings, paint in a white flat color looks sharp but for extra savings have your ceiling paint match your wall color. *This looks good especially if your units have crown molding.  *You should also choose a primer and sealer product. 
4. If you or in-house maintenance are painting, make sure you have the right tools for the job. A good paint store representative will gladly make a list of the sundries to keep on hand for unit painting. Most larger retailers will provide free training if needed. There is really nothing more obvious than a bad paint job. Sometimes hiring a professional will save you and staff time and headaches.
5. Keep a log updated of the status of each unit, the exact product to be ordered and where so anyone at anytime can look this up.

 What ever products you choose, use them in every unit ALWAYS! Initially you have to draw the line, dispose of all old paint laying around, properly of-course, and go for it. At first this may seem like you are taking a step backwards but here are the reasons this makes so much sense for the future of your property.

a. After the initial repainting, you may only have to touch up areas or a wall or two during turnover which saves time and money          on your turns.
b. You reduce the amount of products on hand and the required safety data sheets. 
c. You can negotiate a better price with your paint supplier.
d. Reduce the time that you and your staff spend deciding what is needed for turns.
e. If you cannot show a perspective renter the actual available unit, you can show another with the same interior paint color and project confidence in 
    your product.

UPNW is here for you if you have questions about this blog subject or decide you would rather hire a professional to paint your apartments.