The word “pretty” has been a large part of my world the last week or so. And I find it rather ironic because I use that word when walking apartments with my construction team. “Make it pretty.”
Obviously in the realm of a lease up there is a lot of walking apartments. A lot. The funny thing is, you think that it’s easy, you think that walking an apartment should be simple. Here’s the thing….there is a WAY to do it. There is a way you MUST do it, otherwise you’re going to miss a lot of stuff.
(Moment of truth: even in light of my awareness of the way you should walk an apartment, I still miss stuff….this is why four eyes are better than two, eight are better than four and so on and so forth.)
The construction team that is currently on our property is really great, for a number of different reasons. Mind you, I said our construction team….not necessarily all of our sub-contractors. But through all of this, and we are almost done now, they have heard me say one thing…..”Make it pretty.” I don’t tell them to fix it, I don’t tell them it looks wretched (or this day in age what seems to be “ratchet”) or anything else that necessarily comes with a negative connotation. Because they’re on our team too. And they literally are. Our management/ownership also owns the construction company. So we really are the same team. “Make it pretty.” At this point they know what that means……someone at some point really mucked this up and I’m gonna need you to fix it because that’s not good.
But, as usual, I digress. You think walking into an apartment home that you walk in, walk through the rooms, turn on the lights, walk through the room and back out again (thinking something is just going to JUMP OUT at you as wrong), repeating yourself in each room you come to. You can do that, yes, but I assure you, if you do that, you’re going to miss a lot more than even I do at times. (This is why more than one individual should walk an apartment, it’s why we have TEAMS).
If you walk into the room, did you stop at the doorway and inspect the door casing and the strike plate?
If you’re in the room, did you open and close the door to see if it functions correctly, to see if there is something behind the door you missed, or those things you may always forget…..the door stop….is it in the right place to avoid wall damage (is it there at all??)?
Here’s an issue I have, and it’s actually funny really. I am 5’ foot, like to consider myself 5’1 and every single time I have to remind myself to LOOK UP!!! Sometimes I’ll get through the entire apartment and realize that I didn’t look up once and have to go back through all over again and be looking up.
Ah, another, you have a bar area, did you squat down and look below to ensure precision with the paint, or paint at all?
Did you bend down to look under the cabinets to ensure the caulking was correct between the cabinet and tile work?
Have you memorized each floor plan to ensure consistency through each? (I ask this because we have two separate floor plans where cabinets/drawers are missing in specific areas).
Oh, and here’s something too that I did not necessarily think about through the first few buildings but had to make sure to start checking….the side of the countertops. Not the side splash per se, but the actual strip on the side that may run next to the stove, or next to the fridge or facing the sink. I have found those missing, cracked, split, etc and so now I have gotten in the habit of running my hand alongside to check.
And here’s the thing about what I just said. Habit. You really do have to make certain things a habit. Lord knows that I didn’t start walking apartments way back when and have all this down pat then. There was a learning curve, and always should be. Make it a habit. Be consistent with how you’re walking, pick up new consistencies as you go.
Make sure it’s “pretty”.