As you interview potential candidate companies to manage your private asset called a seasonal home, it is important to understand exactly what they will be doing. In aviation, extremely itemized checklists ensure that each and every flight covers the essential items to keep the crew and passengers safe. Your house deserves no less. Ask any pilot and he will tell you checklists have proven their purpose time and time again. There are checklists for engine start, taxi, takeoff, descent, and landing. They list the items that must be considered. It is a written checklist and is reviewed at every phase of flight. Nothing is missed. An item may not be required for this particular flight, but it is always considered. Checklists have saved thousands of flights from disaster through systematic planning that ensures attention to detail. And every aircraft type has a different checklist. There are no 'generic' airplanes and no generic checklists_ each aircraft has a tailored checklist for that airplane. How does this apply to your empty home?
A friend of mine, Jill, came to me a couple of weeks ago to ask me for help. She was in the midst of planning her parents' 50th wedding anniversary. This is an event that should have been a joy to plan; her parents have been together for 50 years, and from what I can tell, they are still very much in love. It doesn't get much better than that. Anyway, Jill was in a harried state because the party was less than two weeks away and she felt like she didn't have a good enough handle on the party. I sat her down and asked her explain to me what she had accomplished so far. She proceeded to pull out a handful of Post_It Notes from her purse, and she dumped the wad on the table we were sitting at. "What is this," I asked her. "These notes have the stuff I've been working on for the party," she replied. I remember looking at Jill, then looking at the pile of scrap paper that was her parents' 50th anniversary party plan, and then shaking my head. This is an extreme case, but you'd be surprised how unorganized people can be when it comes to preparing for important events.