Author: Matthew Boomhower

4 Things to Expect When Working with a Property Consultant

4 Things to Expect When Working with a Property Consultant

This article was originally written for the Congregational Loan Committee of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church and has been slightly modified for a general audience. In order to understand what to expect from a property consultant, it is important to understand what 

Is a Construction Manager Worth the Cost?

A question that I often get asked is why someone should hire a third party owner’s representative or construction manager. (Note – these terms can be used interchangeably, so let’s just shorten it to CM). Frequently, this question is coming from a volunteer board who 

You Do Maintenance, but Do You Have a Maintenance Program

You Do Maintenance, but Do You Have a Maintenance Program

Take the maintenance challenge and answer the following questions:

– Does your maintenance team have a program or do they just move from “emergency to emergency”?

– Can you name the next three large ticket ($1,000 or greater) maintenance projects that need to be done this year?
o How about the last three?

– Are you confident you have allocated enough resources to your maintenance budget?
o And before you answer yes, go back and check; have you been on or under budget for maintenance in each of the last three years, while making all required repairs?

– Can you review a maintenance project tracking log right now that will tell you what projects are open, when they will be resolved, what the anticipated cost will be, who is doing the work, and who is responsible for making sure the work is done properly?

– Do you have a strategy in place for capital improvements (as opposed to on-going maintenance)?
o Bonus question: Did you know they were two different things?

– Are your maintenance and repair projects being done in conformance with building code and industry standards?

– Do you know what maintenance projects require a licensed contractor or a permit?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, maybe it’s time to rethink your facilities management program. You cannot just hope for the best, you need a plan.

Your facilities are just like your car, they require constant maintenance and upkeep to keep them performing efficiently and safely. Your buildings and grounds are one of the most valuable assets owned by your organization. If you are not keeping up with your facilities then your building issues will ultimately cost more when the problems can no longer be pushed off. One of our clients is, unfortunately, realizing that years of under-funding maintenance and repairs has left them with a maintenance backlog that is financially crippling. This is coupled with the sad fact that they have no ability to put off the work any longer because roofs are leaking and wood structural components have become unsafe. I never like delivering this news and would have much rather had the opportunity to work with this client’s leadership back when the problem was daunting, but not overwhelming. Hopefully you can learn from their mistakes.

Matthew C. Boomhower is the founder and president of Southern Cross Property Consultants; a construction management, architecture, and facilities management consulting firm. He is licensed as both an Architect and an Attorney. He can be contacted at or 858-395-8657.

Risk Management Strategies – Contracts

“Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don’t.” – Pete Seeger I know that many attorneys hate it when this happens, but sometimes the best legal advice comes from experience and common sense and not from attorneys.