The day-to-day costs of running a multifamily residential building are significant. There’s the fuel oil, electric, cleaning supplies, equipment maintenance and service calls for repair and upkeep. Then there are the insurance costs, landscaping, trash removal, snow removal, advertising, property taxes, and maintenance fees.
In today’s economy, the cost of many of these expenses have gone nowhere but up (and up and up…). For example, Jerry Blumberg, CEO at Kew Forest Maintenance Supply in Woodside admits that in his industry, the supplies costs are going ‘through the roof.’ And after one of the harshest winters in a long time when fuel costs escalated, most businesses are just raising their prices just to keep up with their own rising expenses.
Costs should always be on the forefront of a manager’s mind, and there may come a time when like it or not, the budget simply has to be tightened. The bottom line to managing a building’s bottom line is to do what anybody does when facing more month at the end of their money—evaluate spending, cut costs and look for better deals.
Evaluating current spending is the first step in determining whether or not any spending is out of control and if changes are needed to rein things in, says Robert Serrara, management director at Anker Management in Hartsdale. Several times during the year, he and his managers review their buildings' budgets. “We go over the year prior, and now we’re doing that more frequently because of the costs going up,” he says. “We’re always watching, especially with the kind of economy we’ve been in.”
When it comes to ordering supplies, Anker’s managers keep a running log of what the supers in each building need. “As the super goes over items in the building, say on a monthly basis, we can see what is being used more frequently,” he says.