Behind the Scenes with our Building Operations Team
Thanks to our Building Operations Team, our tenants have comfortable spaces to work and play in. This is the team that is first to arrive on-site when help is needed. Yes, they can change a flickering light bulb and shoo away wild geese, but they also work on our HVAC systems, arrange contractor repairs, oversee cleaning, set up for events and generally ensure our spaces are in tip top form.
We job shadowed a few of our Building Operators for a day to find out more.
What you should know about the team
Full names: Mike Watters, Danilo Esquivel, Ian Toth, Gilbert Manique
Start dates at KRP Properties: November 2016, March 2018, January 2018 and February 2020 respectively
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
D, I: Our day-to-day priority is addressing tenant needs and concerns first – balancing customer service with important preventative maintenance projects can be a challenge at times but one that is manageable with the help of a great team.
M: Working on new challenges. It’s an accepted and enjoyable challenge of constant troubleshooting and learning new things.
What’s the best part of your job?
All: Pooling together as a team to resolve new challenges and learning continuously are some of the most positive aspects of the job. That, coupled with the variety of hands-on and admin tasks, social, solitary and team-building activities, creates a desirable balance.
What’s one of the funniest things you’ve ever seen on the job?
I: We recently fixed an exhaust fan, which had been turned off for a couple of years. When it was turned back on, an explosion of dust filled the room! Fortunately, we were all wearing our safety equipment, so the only harm done was the mess left behind.
What’s one thing that people misunderstand about what you do?
D: People often assume we’re able to drop everything at once. Our #1 priority is customer-service. Hence, we need to be able to adjust our schedules accordingly to maintain a tenant-first focus.
I: Many assume that all we do is fix toilets, play with the heating controls or change lightbulbs. Those type of tasks only occupy a minority of our time.
M: If you think about the amount of maintenance work that goes into the average home, we probably do about 100x that. Coordinating with contractors and our Construction Team, preventative maintenance on sophisticated mechanical equipment, water testing, etc.… there’s much more to our team than meets the eye.
Why do you work at KRP?
I: There’s a strong team chemistry here. We all get along so well!
G: The hands-on approach and independence, in comparison to other companies I’ve worked for, is a big plus.
M: The benefits package is fantastic, and a work-provided wardrobe means we never have to decide what to wear! A big thing is the supported independence we’re given. By no means are we micromanaged – we’re allowed to fail and learn from our failures, which has pushed us to grow as a team.
A Building Operator’s Average Daytime Routine
Note: Our main focus is keeping our tenants comfortable and responding to their needs is our first priority. This is a routine we follow in between our customer service responsibilities.
7:30/8 AM TO 10 AM: We generally start our day by logging in and checking all our BAS systems remotely to ensure everything is up and running. With hundreds of sensors throughout each building, this is an important step. During this time, we also do our morning walkthroughs. Checklists are updated and inspections completed on operational equipment that we are not be able to check on remotely. You get to know the sights, sounds and smells of a building when it’s in good working order. When something is off, you know it needs fixing.
10 AM TO NOON: Once our checks are complete, we take the time to address any items that weren’t critical repairs during our inspections. Preventive maintenance on our mechanical equipment is also completed to avoid failures down the road – some examples include securing fasteners, ensuring controllers are functioning, or replacing bearings, belts, and filters.
NOON TO 1 PM: Scheduled lunchtime (if started tasks are complete and there are no customer calls).
1 PM TO 4/4:30 PM: If priority issues are solved and our regular maintenance tasks are complete, this is a time when we tackle building improvement projects. This is our opportunity to implement better processes, update equipment, and apply energy savings. These projects often involve working as a team where a few heads and extra hands are required.
No one day is like another for our Building Operations Team. It’s very diverse, challenging at times and fun! And it’s not always a typical nine-to-five position. Approximately every eight weeks, Building Operators are on call, addressing emergencies – such as power outages or floods – that may occur during out-of-office hours. Also, occasionally, Building Operators are scheduled to come into the offices as a group after hours (on weekends) to tackle larger projects. Our treat? A pizza lunch for everyone!