March 24, 2016
How to Optimize Your Maintenance Workforce
Studies have shown that over half of residents choose not to renew leases based on controllable reasons. The top two reasons that send renters packing? Poor communication and dissatisfaction with maintenance requests. Often those two reasons are intertwined.
Getting maintenance right is a priority. All property management companies are looking to improve customer services as well as streamline their operations.
Yet, maintenance teams and property managers face consistent, ongoing challenges:
Communication Breakdown: A huge point of frustration for tenants is a slow callback to an issue they feel is a priority. Or worse, a request that has slipped through the cracks altogether! As well, even if the repair is in progress, there can be miscommunication. For example, the repair (a broken pipe) may have been fixed and marked as complete at head office, but meanwhile the resident is still waiting for fresh drywall and paint.
Not Enough Information: It’s not uncommon for building managers to receive emails or voice messages from a resident asking for a repair, but not identifying the problem fully. While a tenant may say a light is burnt out and needs, they may neglect to mention it is a light in the corridor of the building, not one inside their apartment, or, if it is an interior light, which light it is within their rental unit.
The Right Tools for the Job: Not having a full understanding of what is required to repair the issue leads to delays. This could be in the case of not having the right tools or part for the job, both of which necessitate a return visit.
Barriers to Entry: Entry into a property rental is one of the more contentious issues during tenancy. REITs and large property management companies with units across the country must be mindful of the variation in state/provincial and local laws. Without written permission and a specific time and date, repairs can feel invasive and may infringe on tenant privacy rights.
At Property Vista, we’ve worked closely with multi-residential REITs/property management companies to develop a product that meets all of their needs, and I’d like to spotlight how it works. The tenant simply logs into their MyCommunity portal, and can view or submit any maintenance requests.
Capture ALL Info: If the resident wishes to submit a repair request, the Property Vista solution walks them through the process, ensuring you capture key information that might not have been submitted otherwise. A stuck door? What door? Interior or exterior door? Which room? Your residents can also easily include a photo of the problem, which allows your on-site or third-party vendors to show up prepared for the job.
Permission-Based Access: Across the country there are different rules about entry into a tenant’s apartment as well as regulations about giving notice. We’ve made sure that our clients stay on the right side of the law by getting resident permission to enter the apartment as well as allowing the resident to provide their preferred times.
Full Transparency: Your customer simply hits “Submit” and automatically an acknowledgement email is sent to the tenant. (Emails can be customized if you wish.) Simultaneously, it also appears in the property manager’s dashboard, where the request can be assigned to a maintenance person or preferred vendor. So now everyone has a record of the request, and can check the status.
Streamline Operations: From automated emails to being able to instantly schedule and assign work orders, the Property Vista solution is designed to eliminate paperwork, automate processes and create a digital record of all activities. Your property staff has a centralized location to track and monitor all activity and manage resident communications.
Nothing Overlooked: Once the repair has been completed, the property manager clicks on a “Resolved” button, which automatically sends a notice to the tenant that the repair has been completed. If your resident responds to the letter, the repair is automatically added back into the property manager’s dashboard.
Here at Property Vista, all our solutions are designed to help property managers improve operations while improving the customer experience.
To learn more about our solutions for maintenance, communication and operations, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.