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Make Your Capital Needs Assessment A Top Priority

Conducting a Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) is an excellent tool to help property owners and managers understand their potential capital improvement needs over both a short and long-term timeframe.
In fact, Fourmidable believes a thorough CNA is so critical to operational success that we highly recommend you make it a top priority in the upcoming year. This analysis is well-worth the time and resources needed to complete it.  More importantly, it will help set your team on the right course for the future.
So, what is a Capital Needs Assessment? Essentially, it is in-depth property inspection that will provide a cost roadmap over whatever effective timespan you may want to consider. Most CNAs cover anywhere from five to 20 years and create a foundational base of data that helps when it is time to budget for major improvements or changes to the property.
The goal of a Capital Needs Assessment is to collect enough information through detailed inspections to help determine the remaining lifespan of important “big ticket” items like roofs, windows, HVAC systems and more.
For example, by working through a CNA you can determine the number of doors or windows that may need to be scheduled for replacement sooner than later. You can develop a renovation plan to protect building roofs and equipment, even the property grounds and items like sidewalks and drive ways. Most important, it allows you to identify potential urgent needs before they become an expensive and unexpected problem.
Most needs assessments can be handled by the property team, but there are also plenty of firms qualified to assist. If you hire an outside company and their team of inspectors, they will need your cooperation. In the end, you will receive an in-depth review with detailed estimates of costs and a project schedule for the coming years.
Evaluating the property from this physical standpoint will help in the next step, which is to focus on identifying the resources and potential vendors that will be needed and to develop a project timeline to carry out the improvements in a timely and cost-effective manner. Once the “what” is completed, it becomes easier to focus on the “how”; how to improve your property in way that sets it apart from others.
Think of a Capital Needs Assessment as another important way to focus on long-term, strategic planning. This is a fundamental step to ensuring a high-quality property that meets both residents’ and owner’s needs.