While there are many different types of strata properties, they all have one thing in common – a need for clean and well maintained shared access areas.
A diligent contract cleaner is a valuable asset to a strata manager or body corporate. As well as safeguarding building hygiene and clean appearance, their presence throughout the building can also help to identify potential safety risks due to maintenance issues.
Suppliers of cleaning services with a genuine interest in satisfying the needs of strata owners and building managers can be integral to a well managed property. Today’s cleaning professional is well trained in the latest materials and techniques that ensure correct cleaning management. So how do you find a cleaner that’s right for your building? How do you know the job will be done properly and correct hygiene is maintained?
The Cleaning Professional The days of the mop and bucket cleaner have long gone. Sure, there will always be someone who offers to do the job for “the best price”, however a ‘price only’ approach will most likely not deliver a satisfactory arrangement in the long term. A good place to start is ensuring your potential contractor has some affiliation with an industry body such as the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA).
Cleaning and security contractors who are BSCAA members subscribe to a code of ethics and have access to the latest information on staff training, building management, risk and liability issues. They care about their business reputation, their clients, training and the safety of their staff.
Michael Cassimaty of First Call Cleaning & Property Maintenance said typical issues faced by strata owners include the transient nature of tenants, rubbish deposited following parties and the potential of having to deal with heavy dirt and rubbish deposits. Litter and graffiti in gardens, car parks and common areas can also require special attention.
Detailed Site Inspection Critical “When looking for a reliable cleaner, it’s best to take potential suppliers on a detailed inspection of the property. This gives both parties the opportunity to clearly understand the requirements and issues such as agreement as to the time to complete different tasks. Inspection as part of a briefing will go a long way to eliminating any misunderstanding on the scope of work to be carried out within the contract pricing. Full inspection of premises with the strata manager enables the bidding contractor to ensure the quoted price covers everything and can allow both parties to ask questions to clarify specific points.
Ask the cleaner about their scope of their experience and how long they have been carrying out strata cleaning maintenance. Enquire about the typical site size and how they treat the different challenges. Are they positive, focused and answer your questions decisively? Do they present professionally and in a manner that reflects their concern for cleanliness and attention to detail?
If your body corporate has environmental concerns, ask questions about the chemicals and cleaning methods used. Does the cleaning contractor insist on the latest genuine “green” materials? Above all, an open and frank communication between the cleaning contractor and the building or body corporate manager is essential”, Michael said.
“A reputable cleaning company will take into account the needs and wants of both parties and adhere to agreed budgets, while focusing on the quality of service delivery” said Cristian Haute of the FCE Group.
“The main issues revolve around communication and expectations. Liaison between the strata owner, body corporate manager and the cleaning company is very important, as well as clear specifications that define frequencies and reduce unrealistic expectations.
Track Record a Good Indicator How can strata owners make the right choice of a cleaner? For a start, look at their track record – you are only as good as the job you did yesterday.
Often there is a fine line between good performance and sub standard work. If you are dealing with a cleaning company for the first time, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into account.
A cleaning contractor’s experience is a real indicator of quality and reliability. Ask them for details about how long they have been in business. Are their key people and management easy to contact? This is very important in emergencies and gives strata owners comfort to know their cleaner can respond to these situations. Good cleaning companies won’t wait for problems. They will keep in regular contact with strata owners to ensure they are happy with the work. Your cleaner should always be giving advice about anything they notice that is not working – broken lights, pavement and railing fixtures. Strata managers appreciate a cleaner who is proactive and involved with the property.
Check insurance credentials. Does the contractor have public liability insurance? How frequently do managers carry out site inspections – weekly, monthly or fortnightly?
A good cleaning firm will be flexible. Sometimes there will be a need to address other tasks that are not part of their core business, for example dealing with a burst water main. While this type of work represents an “extra”, an attentive cleaner who knows how to take action can be a real asset helping minimise disruption to other tenants. Environmental issues are now very important, so cleaning companies need to have sustainable practices when it comes to materials, chemicals and methods. A strata owner should also question cleaning contractors and ask for evidence of their sustainable approaches.
It’s also very important to check that your cleaner has a training program to ensure their staff are up with the latest technology and management techniques”, said Cristian. – See more at: http://www.stratavoice.com.au/blog/maintenance/20-finding-the-right-cleaner/#sthash.3j2V2dUY.dpuf