10 Things to Consider When Working in a Leasing Trailer

Campus Town TrailerYou’re building a new Residence Hall or Apartment Complex. Great! Unfortunately, that means you won’t have a permanent office space until the project is near completion. No problem, a trailer can be a perfect home for the next year or so and in some ways may be better than your permanent office. There are things that one might never think to prepare for before working in a Leasing Trailer. Here’s a list of things that you should at least consider before entering into your new leasing trailer office.

  1. Find the right internet/phone provider: We chose Verizon’s Wi-Fi and Voice Plan. We have a “landline” where prospective students and parents can call and we have internet that our copier/printer can connect to for easy access. Since having and actual landline in your trailer might not be possible, this is a good solution. Keep in mind that since everything is wireless, there may be times when internet runs slower or the signal may drop.
  2. Everything can change: This is very true and can happen on a day to day basis. Everything from furniture to the flooring can be restructured at any time. It’s very important to be flexible and be prepared for anything.
  3. Using the Restroom: Don’t worry, you won’t need to go outside to the Port a potty. There is a bathroom, but just be warned that there will be a loud sound when you flush. It’s normal; it’s just the water from the tank refilling the toilet.
  4. Water source: Water is not as free flowing as in a regular office so it’s a good idea to bring your own bottled water from home. There is water to wash your hands, but keep in mind this water comes from the same tank that refills your toilet when you flush. You may not wish to use that as a drinking source, so bringing your own is the best option.
  5. Leaks: Seeing as you are in a temporary space, there may be times when there may be a leak during a rain storm. It’s handy to have some towels around until this can be addressed. Just in case.
  6. Your coworkers are closer than you think: Sure, you may be used to working in a small office, but in a leasing trailer where the walls are extra thin, things might seem especially close. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind.
  7. Trash removal: In a traditional office setting, usually trash is dumped with the rest of the building so this may be overlooked. It’s a great idea to work with the construction site to either have your trash dumped, or have a designated area where you can dispose of it.
  8. Receiving Mail: Do you have an address? Does the post office know of this address? Does the mail carrier know of this address? If the answer is “no” to any of the above questions, you may not receive mail. Until this is sorted our properly, you may choose to create a P.O. Box.
  9.  Mistaken identity: Due to your location and the fact that you’re in a trailer, prospective students to the college or visitors to the college may mistake you for the “Information Center”. Have a stack of campus maps on hand so you can help direct them to where they wish to go. It’s also a good idea to know where the visitor parking lots are located.
  10. Patience: This should go without saying, but this is probably the most important. Due to the constant changes and unexpected incidents with new construction, having patience is probably the best thing you can bring to work each day!MelyndaDavis

Finding the Right Work-Life Balance

ron_campbellJoining the Conversation today is Ron Campbell, the Executive Director of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, or NACAS.

This is Ron’s second time joining us on the podcast after we originally interviewed him in 2012.  Today Ron joined us, not only to catch up on what is going on with NACAS, but to share some insight he has gained on striving toward a healthy work-life balance.

Prior to serving at NACAS, Ron was president and CEO of College Business Concepts, a company dedicated to developing educational and business partnerships between higher education institutions and corporations.  Ron has experience in higher education, working for six years at the University of Minnesota, and for 4 years at George Mason University, where he served as the Director of Housing and Residence Life.

Top Halloween Costumes Based On Online Ad Spending


For a little fun today, I thought our readers might enjoy this article about the top 20 Halloween costumes based on online ad spending.

Top 20 Halloween Costumes by Paid Search Spend

Surprised that Frozen (Elsa) was at the top? Not if you have a daughter 10 or under.

So where does our costume fall in the rankings? Let us know!


Higher Education’s Preparation for Ebola

The current Ebola outbreak is something everyone is keeping an eye on.  After it’s initial entry into the United States (where the CDC was criticized heavily), the measures put in place have seemingly been effective.

I’ve recently been sent a couple articles about what higher education institutions are doing in preparation that I thought would be interesting to share:

Universities, Colleges Make Ebola Preparations

U.S. colleges screen students from West Africa for Ebola as fears grow over epidemic

University of Oxford’s page: Ebola: information, advice and support

 The CDC’s Advice for Colleges, Universities, and Students About Ebola in West Africa

I think it’s important not to overhype, or scare people about Ebola, but I do think it is important to also be prepared.  Is your institution taking precautions?  Is it overhyped, or appropriate, in your opinion?


Student Housing on a Community College Campus


Today we’re doing something a little different… Instead of an individual interview, we have a panel of senior leaders from Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  The individuals participating are:

  • Bob Harrison, President
  • Kelly Hahn, CFO
  • Dr. Clinton Gabbert, VP of Student Services
  • Anne Erdman, VP for Administration

This team has been working together on a large project: the college’s first residence hall.  Although it is a little unique for a community college to have housing, Lake Michigan College is actually the seventh two-year institution in Michigan to open housing. Not only did the team talk about their foray into student housing, but they covered several other topics of interest to both, two and four year institutions across the country. In this podcast, you’ll see/hear their team dynamic, how well they know each other, and why they’ve been able to be successful in their endeavors.

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