Why is it that the air hurts my face in the great state of Minnesota? That could be because I was not properly prepared for my property visits the day it was 15 degrees and may have forgotten my scarf at home. We property managers run on a tight schedule from property to property every day without taking time to truly look over our wardrobe and see if we are prepared for our day.
Winter is one of the extreme seasons we need to prep for as our job requires us to spend time in the field, which mainly consists of being outdoors in the harsh elements. Any property manager could tell you that by not being prepared to handle the elements, you may miss key things on your property visits, which is one thing you do not want to happen. Here are some tips for fellow managers to keep in mind during the winter season.
- Always make sure you dress in layers. I know layers can be quite annoying as one moment you can feel frozen and the next minute feel as if you are on fire. Despite the annoying hot/cold feelings, it is important to have layers as one never knows how the weather will act during the day. By having layers, you are well prepared in the event of a snowfall or overly prepared and can easily remove the sweatshirt or sweater when a glimpse of sunlight comes our way. Overall, wear layers and avoid light material if possible.
- Hats, gloves and mittens, oh my! Hats have not always been my forte as I did not like the feeling of a weighted material on my head. Now, I appreciate hats in general. Days like today where it was 18 degrees out my hat came into clutch and kept my head warm from the insane wind chill. Gloves and mittens are also two of my favorite items to have when on a property visit. Let’s face it, our hands go numb after a while when typing away on our tablets, which makes it difficult to work. Therefore, gloves and mittens have been my friends as they have saved my hands from being dry, but also from cracking due to the cold temps. Ditch the stylish hat and go for true winter gear that will guarantee warmth.
- Scarves, a basic essential. The favorite part of my visits is when residents can spot out who I am with my big blanket scarf wrapped around my face. Scarves are an essential tool when it comes to doing property visits as they protect your face from windburn and lower the burn of breathing in the winter air. Not only do they have protective features, they also keep the mind off the cold air rushing in and allow the manager to stay focused on the task at hand. If you can, wear a fleece or blanket scarf; avoid silky or chiffon material.
- Boots. Plain and simple, boots are another one of the essential parts of the winter gear kit that are needed. No one likes to stomp around in the snow in their nice shoes or heels, which is why you should invest in a nice pair of boots. Do not buy cheaply made boots as they typically are not effective in the winter due to their lack of lining, waterproof material and rubber outsole. Nothing is more annoying than getting snow in your shoe. Invest in your footwear; don’t look at footwear for the winter simply on price tags.
- Winter coat, one of the many you will have in your lifetime. A sturdy winter coat should help you withstand rain, snow and cold by having a strong insulated layer as well as a strong outer core shell. The worst thing to do is to have a light winter coat on a day that is 32 degrees when all the sudden it flips to 24 degrees and your sturdy winter coat is no longer in sight. I recommend managers carry two coats — one light and one heavy — just in case the elements take a turn for the worse. It is always better to be over-prepared than underprepared in these situations as you want to be comfortable, but also ready in the event of a severe storm. Overall, carry two coats with you; don’t expect that one coat fits every weather situation.
Now that you read over these tips to ensure you are all set for your property visits, review your winter items and make sure you are all ready for whatever the next day brings. Now you will be able to spread the word on how to be effective, yet practical, for the blustery winter season.