This is a harsh winter for Ontario making our job as property managers more difficult than it always is during the winter season. And we got them all, large snowfalls, freezing rain, low temperatures and everything else in between. So far, keeping our fingers crossed, our snow removal service providers managed to keep up and service our existing clients.
On January 18, right after a major storm dumps 40-60 cm of snow in Toronto, I received a call from one of our former clients asking for help. The snow removal company failed to attend the property leaving over ninety-five townhomes buried under snow. I guess “responding to an emergency” becomes our second nature as managers. Given my previous relationship with this client (we’ve managed them for about five years) I didn’t even question they were not part of our portfolio. I jumped into my car and drove to the site to get an idea. What I found was not looking pretty.
People stuck with their cars in the driveways and garages, elderly people stranded in the house unable to clean a path to get out for daily chores. In talking with the members of the board, the main concern was that in case of a medical emergency the first responders will be unable to reach people in need. And to make things worst, the City of Toronto was unable to collect the garbage…
Luckily, within a couple of hours, we managed to make arrangements with one of our service providers to at least clean and open up the major access roads to allow people to get out and make way for first responders in case of an emergency…crisis averted. Lessons to be learned…a few.
The biggest satisfaction…an email from the board president telling me “You are the worst thing that happened to me yesterday!”
Date: January 19, 2022 at 10:33:01 AM EST To: "B1 Management Group Inc." <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: You are the worst thing that happened to me yesterday!
First of all, thank you.
Now on to the reason for this email. I am writing this to you at 03:00. Because of what you did yesterday, I can not find sleep and for this, I hold you responsible.
You are not even our property management company but you came through for us. We were in a pinch due to what the weather brought and you introduced us to your contractor to solve our problem. I had texted you at 13:43 and you called me back at 13:46 we spoke for a brief moment about what we needed and you said you will call me back.
You called me back at 13:59 and said you would be here with your contractor at 15:30, I was floored.
At precisely 15:30 I stepped out with my daughter to excavate some residents from their snow-blocked homes, when we rounded a corner there you were with your contractor already plow down clearing the street. I couldn't have been happier. We as a board were concerned about liabilities but as people were worried about everyone's well-being and access to emergency services.
Due to my insomnia, at 02:00 this morning I heard a rumble outside and checked my cameras. To my surprise outside was a heavy machine doing a final clean of the street. As you promised your contractor did his utmost to clear the road and parking so we would be able to move freely right away, but would come back to tidy up early morning.
Please send our compliments to your contractor, as I know he must have had a long 2 days his professionalism and ability are bar none. You brought so many smiles on faces at our condominium complex, people told me they were happy to see you here and if you were coming back. The only thing I could tell them was "I sure do hope so."
Once again, thank you.