A property manager recently wrote in stating they are not involved in cleaning service negotiations but have to comply with the promises they make. The challenge is weeding out those building service contracts that had no intention of fulfilling the contract from the start.

In a preceding article, we discussed some suggestions for getting a better handle on managing your sites. We will continue with these suggestions:

1. Do you know each of your tenants (especially the major ones) and have communicated to them the tasks and frequencies that will be provided in their office space as well as the common areas, especially rest rooms, lobbies, shared conference rooms, etc? If not, you need to start the process as soon as possible.

2. What are the requirements for a cleaning service to even be eligible to bid on the buildings in question? They should have a business license, workers compensation and liability insurance, etc. but do they have qualified staff trained to certain standards?

3. Based on #2 does the incumbent contract have any nationally recognized certifications that documents they are qualified to clean a building of this size and complexity? If not, why not?

4. Are they certified green complaint (if that is of concern to your tenants) and do they have a viable quality control plan/program/process in place to identify problems before they get out of hand?

Please understand that if you put in minimum requirements for the custodial service provider, not only will your life get simpler but your overall costs should go down. You also will be able to attract and hold better paying tenants who will recognize your efforts and work with you. Please look at the overall picture rather than just the $ cost per square foot that may not give the whole picture.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net