The Building Superintendent/Chief Engineers' Role The "Super" Life in the Sunshine State

 The role of the building superintendent or chief engineer for a condo or co-op  will often vary by property and location. Nowhere is that more evident than in  Florida, the Sunshine State, the land of “55-plus communities” and a retiree’s dreams come true. The dream is as varied as the folks that seek out Florida  living every year.  

 And it's not just retirees and winter residents, but young professionals,  couples, and families looking for sun, water, and a more relaxed lifestyle.  Condos, on and off the beach, high-rise buildings, modular home parks, and  planned communities all provide different opportunities and challenges for  property management and maintenance personnel. The superintendent—or building engineer, or custodian, depending on the community—position occupies the unique space between the residents and/or owners and HOA  administrators. No matter what other duties fill a job description, people  skills and good communication skills are a must for the “go to” guy or gal wearing the super’s or engineer’s toolbelt.  

 Maintenance Mavens

 Chief engineer Rick Watkins is well aware of the importance of good  communication. Watkins fills a superintendent/chief engineer position at the  Parkshore Plaza, an exclusive 32-story condo in St. Petersburg. The Parkshore Plaza is surrounded by lovely waterfront parks across from the  beautiful Vinoy Basin and the Museum of Fine Arts.  

 “Building engineers truly provide customer service behind the scenes and  face-to-face with our residents," says Watkins. “An ability to work with and communicate well with different personalities is  very important.”  

 Watkins’ duties are spelled out in a job description but he does not have a contract. He  oversees the maintenance crew and cleaning staff. A typical day for him begins  early, reviewing any new maintenance requests and assigning jobs. Watkins also  stays on top of scheduled preventative maintenance and monitors the results. Finally he will review the concierge logs for additional items that may require  his attention. The Parkshore Plaza provides 24-hour concierge service, so the  logs are a valuable communication tool between staff members.  

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