Having a day porter who checks each restroom regularly throughout the day is certainly one way to alleviate problems and it makes property managers feel like things are under control. Having someone visible who is there to make sure that the facility stays in the agreed upon condition can ease concerns for occupants and visitors.

Keep in mind that the frontline workers are the most important people in the company as far as customers are concerned. They’re the face of the company. The more time that a person will spend in areas where they will have contact with occupants and visitors, the greater the need to train them in public relations.

Crowe insists that BSCs must make sure that these staff members are appropriate to be the representative in addition to training them in cleaning techniques and workflow. This doesn’t mean that occupants and visitors should constantly be interrupting the workflow of the staff. It just means that janitors should know what to say to them to ensure that the customer is acknowledged and that their concerns are passed on as efficiently as possible.

Even with a dedicated porter, however, problems can still arise unless there is an understanding of usage patterns. Keeping track of usage for a week or two of normal use can give BSCs a lot of good information.

Restrooms are the single most-used spaces in office building, so it is not surprising that they garner the most complaints. Often it’s because they get abused, says Crowe. 

“I went into a restroom the other day; someone had used half a roll of toilet paper and [the toilet] didn’t flush properly,” he says. “Well, you know, it smelled. There was water on the floor. It should have been closed down.”

Based on that line of thinking, Crowe recommends that property managers inspect restrooms immediately after they have been cleaned, comparing them to the agreed upon standards.

“Otherwise it’s unfair,” he says. “It only takes one.”

Gloria Tillery, senior property manager at Inverness, LLC in Phoenix, knows that when she walks into a restroom that she might be there just five minutes before the porter comes in to empty the trash and she takes that into account.

“But you can tell if something has been kept up and kept clean,” she says.

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