Bravo to the property owners and executives who attended the Owner/Executive Round Table at the Alabama Apartment Association’s Educational Conference and Expo this week. I was fortunate enough to present An Introduction to Social Media for owners and executives during one of their sessions and assist in the Money Saving Ideas in Recessionary Times session.
I expected for someone to say cut your advertising, delete your print, take an internet only approach. I was pleasantly surprise to find that not one owner or executive offered this as an expense they felt they could cut or reduce. However, this room full of highly intelligent people did come up with some really interesting money saving ideas. Frank Barefield, owner of Abbey Residential presented several ways his company had taken their entire portfolio of communities and compared what they were paying for different services and goods. A few of the services they looked at were Landscaping, Waste Removal ( amount hauled, frequency, container type and cost), Pest Control, Alarm Monitoring, Answering Service, Telephone Line Analysis, Turnkey Analysis- Painting, Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, and Maintenance Supplies. After analyzing what each community was paying they then initiated a process to align their expeditures across their entire portfolio.
Other money saving ideas the group offered were to use AT &T’s Bundled Service (they even offer an income share plan), use internet phone services, hire waste consultants to help you reduce your waste removal expenses, volume purchasing programs or national supplier programs, replacing security personnel with cameras and call-down boxes, but my favorite was the management company that was able to save $7k a year buying balloons from one vendor in bulk. If you have any other money saving ideas you are using to reduce your property expenses, please share them in the comments section of our blog. If you would like to view the slides from Mr. Barefield’s presentation you can follow the link provided here http://www.slideshare.net/mchilders