Your Chief Engineer A Look at Building Maintenance Professionals

In New York, they are called superintendents. In Florida, they are called maintenance supervisors. Other places call them supers or building engineers. No matter which title they answer to, these are the employees who are responsible for the day-to-day operations and repairs of the building, from the basement to the roof, and inside each and every unit. 

“Building engineers and/or superintendents vary from region to region depending on the needed skills for the individual building,” says Brian Street, adjunct professor in Nova Southeastern University’s Real Estate program at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which offers a minor in property management.“For example,” he says, if the building has a cooling tower, elevators, chillers or pumps, then the building super would need to understand the inner workings of that equipment in order to properly maintain the systems.”

It’s a lot of responsibility for an employee. One neglected drip or crack can lead to bigger, more extensive (and expensive) problems, and may ultimately lead to structural damage to the building or even personal injury. It’s crucial to have a trustworthy resident maintenance supervisor – or super – on hand to address these issues quickly and competently.  

The Right Person for the Job 

When something goes wrong, it doesn’t always go wrong during a standard 9 to 5 work day. “It’s a job where you’re on call 24/7,” says Steve Mason, Regional Condo Manager for Atlantic Pacific Management in Boca Raton, Florida. “There are fires, floods, power issues and more where a super has to be available no matter what time it is.”

“Each building needs to find the right super with the right skill set,” Mason continues. “The main role of the super is to delegate work orders to the staff and to overview the daily responsibilities. There are also daily and weekly items that need to be walked through and signed off on as well.”

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