Five Tips for Choosing Commercial Landscape Maintenance Contractors

Commercial landscape maintenance is a specialist job and therefore it’s usually advised to hire reputable commercial landscape maintenance contractors. There are a few things you need to consider however. Here are the top 5 tips for hiring contractors to manage your commercial landscaping.

1 Finding a Reputable Contractor

Before you hire anyone, you need to be sure that they are a reputable company. You don’t want to waste your money and you want to be sure that the work that’s carried out is of the highest standard. Finding a reputable company using the web is as simple as typing commercial landscape contractors into Google and finding websites with testimonials for companies you’re interested in.

2 The Right Budget Is The Right Choice

As well as finding a reputable company, you need to make sure that you communicate properly with the project managers so that you can discuss your budget. Making sure that you have a service that’s appropriate for your budget is important to avoid any surprises when it comes to invoicing.

3 Timescales Are Everything

You also want to find a company that can work to your time frames. It’s important that you have a serious discussion with any project managers so that you can arrange schedules for the work. You don’t want any work to overrun and you also want to schedule the maintenance to fit in with your preferences and business requirements.

4 Your Goals Are Important

As well as arranging schedules and budgets, you need to make sure that the company you choose to work with understands what your goals are. Whether you are looking for simple regular maintenance or something a little more complex, you must make sure that the company you work with understands your goals.

5 Communication Is Key

In any business relationship, communication is key. When it comes to hiring a commercial landscape maintenance contractor, you need to make sure that you are able to communicate on a very regular basis. Companies with high quality customer service are the ideal choice.

As you can see, there are a few things you need to consider before you hire any commercial landscape maintenance company. There are a lot of areas where you can end up getting caught out if you’re not careful. Before you hire any contractor – for any kind of work – it’s important that you consider all of the above points.

Finding a Reliable Real Estate Broker in the Philippines – Tips You Need to Know

However the gains on selling the property is enormous with the current buyer’s market for the OFWs and affordable segments of Class D and E with seller’s market of segment A, B and C (Upper Society or Upper Middle to Low Middle Class). There has been a slow down in the demand however people are still dreaming of owning a property either for immediate need as a home or as profitable rental business.

Anyways, here are some tips in finding a reliable realty practitioner:

1.) Set an Appointment – It would be wiser for sellers / buyers to get to know first the person you are negotiating with. Make an interview him or her and get to know him/her well.

2.) Qualifications: Is he/she a licensed realty practitioner? He can show his qualifications on hand with a resume, a calling card with license to practice on it. Plus the contact numbers or he / she has a website it will have plenty of information about him/her on his short bio etc. As of today, most Filipino broker / realtors follow the Republic Act 9646: Real Estate Service Act of 2009 on which the Implementing rules and regulations plus the code of ethics is still on the process. The Philippine Regulatory Board on Real Estate Services under the Professional Regulations Commission (PRBES-PRC) overseers all the regulations in the practice of the Realty Profession. Other suggestions for sellers is to further investigate and research about the person you want to contact by reaching the following websites for realty practitioners as bona fide members of good standing Certified Real Estate Brokers (CRBs) who are members of Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines (REBAP), for Realtors or members of Philippine Association of Realtors Board (PAREB) and contact their organizational secretariats to verify.

3.) Knowledge and expertise – he/she must know the current condition or state of the properties he would be selling off. Sometimes will ask for a meet up with a seller and make an ocular inspection on the said property. Also must be updated with current tax laws and property zoning and valuation especially for commercial properties. Don’t forget to ask what his / her real estate specialization to narrow down your interviews and the person you are looking for. There are real estate practitioners who are very good in general brokerage, others may be focused only in project selling and marketing on newly developed markets, others maybe engage in raw land or farm land selling.

4.) Marketing experience – he/she would ask questions ranging from the size of the lot area, the price you are selling your property and any terms or conditions from modes of payment, other pertinent information like history of the home, the tax declaration and also ask for the photocopy of the transfer of title certificate. A buyer should be open to some suggestions of a reliable real estate broker on payment terms for example. A seller should also be flexible with some terms as long as it is feasible and would all the benefit the party in liquidating the property.

5.) Network – A reliable realty broker / realtor must be connected with clients looking for properties and at the same has built a large network among fellow brokers from within the organization he or she is a member of. Realty Brokers / Realtors have Multiple Listing System (MLS) for Realtors (members of Philippine Association of Realtors Board or PAREB) and Property Listing System (PLS) for Certified Real Estate Brokers (CRBs) for members of Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines (REBAP) wherein they can post online within their organization website or show the listing during organization meetings in order for the broker to get help in marketing and selling off your property immediately.

Top Tips for Choosing Office Space

Are you in the process of starting a new business? Here are a few top tips that could help you to zero down on the decision making of choosing right office space for your business. Since your office space will represent your business, choosing the right location for your office space must not be taken lightly. Here are a few tips to consider before choosing an office space:

The Location: The most vital part of an office space is the location. You need to make sure location for your office is located preferably in a well developed office locality with good transportation facilities so that the client and employees can reach the office without any hassle. Getting a space in that locality is ideal for an office.

The Construction: It is important to evaluate the building, enquire the year of construction and ensure electricity and water facilities are adequate and there is a good backup system is in place in times of emergency. Choosing the right office space should be done right from the first time, so ensure all facilities are in place. If not, you’ll end up with aggravated employees and a lot of money and time will be spent on repairs..

Office Facilities: An office that provides extra facilities is a good choice as getting facilities set up can be a pains taking task. For example, if the building has a cafeteria for the employees working there makes it easier for the employees to have lunch and errands. Another thing is access to the office, pick one that allows 24/7 access to the office. Make sure to see the security system is in the building. Parking is also an important aspect to consider, ensure there is enough secure parking for your employees.

The Office space: Answer these few questions before choosing the office space. Is it big enough for your employees? Is there room to expand? If it’s a yes for both, you are on the right track. To make things easier ask for the layout of the office and preferably choose one which already is an office set up with a reception, cubicles, executive rooms and a meeting room.

Internet Facility: internet connection is a major requirement for any business in today’s world. Enquire if the building already has an internet service, if they do there’s nothing like it and picking it would be a smart decision. If they don’t find out who are the internet service providers in that area and how long the connection will take to put it to use.

Understand the lease/rental agreement: Understand the lease/rent agreement how long the lease/rent is for and if there are any added charges for maintenance, if required hire an expert. Ensure to read through the agreement twice and consult your lawyer about the ones that seem unclear to you. Ask about the changes you can make to the office and add to the agreement to avoid any misunderstanding in the future. Also clarify what extra charges will you be responsible to pay like property tax that is usually termed as ‘Additional rent’ or “NNN’ in lease agreements.

Analysing your options: Make sure you don’t settle on the first one you see even if you like it. Look for more options and see them and get all the required information for each office space. Then compare, first disregard the ones that had major issues like bad building structure, limited access, no security and no parking. Then with the ones remaining compare the prices and the services being provided. Your main priority must be the locality and it provides all the services. If you find a space that provides you with fully furnished office space with security, cafeteria facilities, parking and is a good structure it would be an ideal choice to make. The lesser effort in setting up of the office makes it easier for you and it gives you extra time to concentrate on evolving your business to higher level.

Tips for Offering Move-In / Move-Out Cleaning Services

People and businesses are moving from homes, apartments, and offices on a daily basis. As people and businesses move, they either need their old location cleaned or want to make sure their new location is clean before moving in. Your cleaning company can fill this niche by providing what is known as move-in/move-out cleaning. It can be an added service that your cleaning business provides, a way to give employees new skills, and a great way for your company to make more profit!

Move in/out cleaning can be cleaning a building after an old tenant moves out or before a new tenant moves in. The type of clients looking for move in/out cleaning includes residential and commercial property owners and managers. Commercial move in/out cleaning can vary from small, quick jobs of just a few thousand square feet to large office buildings of 15,000 square feet and up.

A good place to start when looking for move in/out cleaning accounts is to contact property management companies. If you happen to be located in a college town there will probably be no shortage of work. If you have been cleaning commercial buildings, your clients will no doubt ask you to provide move in/out cleaning services when they move into a new office or building.

When first starting out with move in/out cleaning it may be necessary to meet with the property manager on-site to give an estimate on the time it will take to clean the apartment, office, or building. Once you establish a relationship with the property manager you may be able to skip doing an estimate and just bill for your time. They will most likely need floor cleaning services too (carpet, tile, wood). These are specialized cleaning services, which you will charge separately for. Offering these specialized services will also add more profitability to your cleaning company since you will charge more for these services.

The prices charged will vary depending on the type of facility you are cleaning, but you should be able to bill $20 – $25 for your services. Apartment buildings tend to be less profitable than commercial buildings because many apartment managers have a budget to adhere to, so they like their cleaning contractors to bill a flat fee because it’s easier to stick to their budget. Cleaning contractors need to be cautious about bidding this way. Some apartments take much longer to clean than others so you don’t want to lose money because you underestimated your time.

No matter if you are cleaning a residential apartment, home or a commercial building there are several steps you should take to guarantee your success and your customer’s satisfaction with your move in/out cleaning services.

· Use teams of 2 to 4 people for apartment cleaning, depending on the size of the apartment. Larger teams may be needed for commercial locations.

Team members should be specialists in the tasks they are performing. For example, in a two person team, one person will be assigned to dusting, windows, and vacuuming. One person will be assigned to bathrooms, kitchens, hard floor vacuuming, and mopping.

The team leader is responsible for making sure that all equipment and supplies are brought to the job site and gathered when the job is complete. Put all tools and chemicals into a plastic tote.

· Before you begin check with the client to make sure the job site has working utilities. You cannot clean without running water and you need electricity to run a vacuum. If it is the middle of the summer, you should make sure the building’s air-conditioning is working properly. Cleaning chemicals and drying times can be affected by heat and humidity.

· Begin cleaning by removing all trash. Pick up all trash that is too large to vacuum. You will be able to vacuum more efficiently as you will not have to stop and pick up large objects.

· Use a microfiber flat mop for cleaning ceilings, walls, baseboards, and doors.

· Proper vacuuming is an important step in move in/out cleaning. Using a backpack vacuum with the proper attachments can speed up the tasks at hand and make work easier on the cleaning staff. Remember to vacuum from high to low, including light fixtures, window tracks, blinds, and along the baseboards. It is also much easier to vacuum out cabinets and drawers than wiping them.

Some of these items will need to be wiped down after vacuuming; light fixtures, insides of cabinets and drawers, ceiling vents, heat registers, and blinds.

· Windows and patio doors should be washed with an applicator and squeegee. Use scrapers or #0000 steel wool to remove stickers and bugs. Be sure the window is wet when using these tools or you could scratch the glass. Frames and tracks should be vacuumed and then wiped down.

· After picking up trash and vacuuming, start cleaning the stuck-on grime and dirt. Chemicals to have on hand include: bowl cleaner, fume-free oven cleaner, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, degreaser, neutral floor cleaner, stainless steel polish, and furniture polish. Save money by using concentrated chemicals rather than RTU (ready-to-use) chemicals.

Spray spots and make sure you give dwell time so the chemicals have time to work. It is important that you have enough air movement so employees do not breathe in fumes. Make sure that your employees have the correct personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, etc.) when working with chemicals.

· Deep cleaning. If you need to loosen build-up, use the correct cleaning tools – paper towels, terry cloth rags, microfiber cloths, pads, brushes and scrapers. Use caution when using these tools – you don’t want to damage surfaces.

. Use paper towels, terry cloth rags, or microfiber cloths for most cleaning tasks. Use a green microfiber cloth for dusting; blue for windows, glass and polished surfaces; red for cleaning restrooms and yellow for countertops, sinks and walls.

. Use hand brushes for scrubbing showers, sinks, stoves, and refrigerators. Use grout brushes for cleaning up grout on countertops and ceramic tile floors. Toothbrushes can be used for detail cleaning around faucets and around the rims in toilet bowls.

. Use white pads for surfaces such as glass, chrome, stainless steel and plastic. This is because white pads are not as abrasive as green pads.

. Green pads are good for greasy areas including cabinets, toilets and scrubbing shower stalls. Be careful when using green pads however, as they can scratch surfaces.

. Use a 2″ utility scraper for build-up and adhesives in kitchens and bathrooms.

· Save time by spraying the inside of the refrigerator and showers/tubs with a pump-up sprayer rather than using a spray bottle. When cleaning kitchens, be sure to pull out the stove and refrigerator. Clean the walls, sides of appliances, sides of cabinets, floor, and vacuum the coils. Also clean the oven hood and filters.

· Clean floors last. Use the backpack vacuum to give the floors a final vacuuming, and then mop all hard surface flooring.

Offering move in/out services is one way to start your cleaning business. It also provides a way for an established cleaning company to provide added services to their existing clients while putting extra dollars onto the bottom line.