One Work Out Tip
The year is already half finished, making now the perfect time to assess your progress with 2021 goals, compare actual to budgeted numbers, and yes, start to get ready for FY2022.
It always seems like we wait until the last possible minute to get in shape for summer – getting ready for budget season feels the same way. We may not be all the way to budgeting season quite yet, but it is time to start to put together our plan.
Here’s a “no-brainer” tip, something you do anyway, just now it’s a slightly different purpose – and it definitely will give you a workout!
WALK YOUR PROPERTY. To get a good handle on Capital Expenditure estimates, do a property walk. Go just a little bit slower on this walk than usual. And focus exclusively on issues that will need to be addressed with money in the next budget year (or, if you have end-of-year money, for the current FY).
Walk interiors and all the way around buildings, common areas, signage, flags, models, and office areas. (Be aware of any city or state regulations that might impact common areas.) Don’t miss the fitness center. If you don’t keep your records in such a way as to make it fairly easy to determine repair costs, maintenance costs and new equipment costs, as your vendor. This applies to almost any area in your property. Your vendors want to assist you in any way they can – providing their value, so ask. Worst case, they can’t get you the information you need and you’re in the same position you started off in.
Have someone do an abbreviated version of your walk at night; check all the lights, look for potential safety risks resulting from poorly lit areas and anything else that can only be seen at night.
When you get back to your office, jot these down, pull up any invoices or estimates you have for similar expenditures and plug those numbers into a draft budget section. Then follow up in the next couple of days with your vendor for that area and get any updated rates or other information that may affect the numbers. It’s also a good time – especially if you have issues for which you don’t have recent prices – connect with your sister properties and see if they have the data you need. Nothing from that? Go online. The numbers are out there. It’s highly recommended that you do this right away, while what you saw on your walk is still fresh in your mind. If you can’t, write down a few extra notes to remind you of the problem you found and any extenuating circumstances that would affect the solution and therefore the budget numbers.
A related tip: Don’t try to rely on your memory, actually take the walk. And try to stay away from just plugging in a “just-in-case number with no historical or market basis. Even if you don’t have to justify your numbers line by line to someone, you’ll always have a more accurate budget if you take the time to get some real, hard numbers. Sure, things can change, but you’re always served best going by the numbers.
Of course, contact your Heartline rep for help budgeting for any fitness center-related numbers. Or contact us at [email protected] and we’ll have them reach out to you. If you want 2022 Preventive Maintenance service contract budget numbers, email [email protected]; our contracts managers will get a new contract proposal out to you right away.