When managing a large building or few buildings, it is extremely important to select the right janitorial and building maintenance company that will best fit the needs of your organization, the needs of the owners and your tenants. It is always a good idea to select a building service provider who does more than just basic cleaning. Many small businesses that only provide cleaning service do not have enough work to justify employing a janitor or team of janitors, having the right equipments and/or knowledge to be able to perform a variety of specialized services that comes in maintaining an entire facility clean and properly maintained. In other words, be able to perform other relevant maintenance related work that is necessary for a building such as carpet steam cleaning, floor or stone care, window washing/cleaning, electrical, graffiti removal, hauling, etc.
We all know that there are thousands of cleaning services out there, but how do you go about choosing the right one with all necessary services? Well first off, you need to choose the service that best fits your facility needs. How often is your facility going to require such services? Does it require night time service or it requires day time services as well? What specialized services will be needed for your facility, like maintenance, carpet shampooing, or doing landscaping maintenance, this will be an integral component in finding the services that would best fit the needs of your building.
There are few types of companies offering janitorial and building maintenance services, and they are as follows:
- large nationwide or statewide franchises
- large privately held companies
- small to medium sized privately held companies
- micro individually owner owned & operated companies
Each type has its pros and cons, and a detailed discussion of it will be provided in my upcoming blog.
Another important step in finding a commercial building service provider is checking references. This can be a sure-fire way to hear first hand what kind of company this is, and what kind of services they offer. Make sure when in the evaluation process that you ask for references, and check them out thoroughly by calling the references. Another important step you can take to protect yourself, the owners and or the tenants of the facility would be to ask the service provider to show proof of liability insurance and certified bond. A good commercial building service provider must be able to provide a minimum of $10,000 bond insurance, which sets aside money that could be used in case of broken, damaged, or lost properties of the tenants in their building. Make sure that you verify proof of all their insurance, including auto insurance that employees drive, and their certified bond insurance. One other thing is to make sure, the building service provider can provide copy of workers comp insurance for their employees. If they can not provide a copy, it means they are using sub-contractors or some other wrong means of paying their workers. Always ask the potential company, can you provide a waiver of subrogation on your workers comp policy? If they say ‘yes’, it means you have a company that is legitimately doing all their business operations in the right way. I would always recommend selecting a company who can provide this waiver. This waiver protects the owner or the property manager or the tenants of the facility if ever an employee gets hurt during the work hours while working within the facility.
The final step of the evaluation is finalizing a contract together. Make sure that everything that you had discussed and agreed upon is in the contract and is in writing, including how often, and to what extent, they will be rendering their services. Most importantly, make sure that you make provisions in the contract, to be able to drop the service, if you do not find they have lived up to their end of the bargain. Any building service provider who wants to sign a contract of two years or more is a red flag, and has clause that indicates 4 to 6 months of corrections or notification for cancellation. I will be discussing contracts and some dirty tactics that some of the nationwide franchises uses to trick property owners and managers.
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