July 02, 2015
Why Your Resident Submitted Notice
The Google review said, “My bedroom window is cracked and I asked them to fix it two weeks ago. The repair guy came and took a look at it and hasn’t been back since. I’m moving. The property manager does nothing.”
And, with that Susan crossed the apartment listing off her list of housing candidates and went onto look at the next property.
A study from a few years ago noted that the number one factor in a resident’s decision to renew is “Quality of Maintenance Services.” Property management companies understand that every time a resident moves out, there are significant costs involved– the cost of maintenance (painting, cleaning etc.), the cost of advertising the apartment and the costs of labor and administration.
And, they also understand that these types of issues can harm their image. A maintenance issue becomes a non-renewed lease becomes a poor review becomes bad reputation.
So, why isn’t that window getting fixed? Any number of reasons, but most likely a breakdown in communication.
Falling Between the Cracks
Phoned-in repair requests can easily be lost in a heap of papers. The maintenance person might need to file a purchase order for a new pane of glass that will take a few weeks to get in, but neglected to tell the renter, who is now fuming about the overdue repair.
Sound farfetched? Consider this: A recent SatisFacts Insite® Index for Work Orders indicated that 18% of all service requests are not completed right the first time. And of those, only one-third of residents received notification that there would be a delay in completing the request.
A successful maintenance request resolution process is a team effort. It often begins with the property management office receiving a service request call, and it ends with follow up. In between those two points involves a variety of work orders, purchase orders and back and forth between the property management company, the contractor and the resident. Residents expect their requests to be completed quickly and correctly, and when this chain of communication breaks down, it can cause bad relations.
A Better Approach
Back to that cracked window. Had the resident been told that the glass was being ordered, and it would be fixed as soon as possible, it could have been a very different scenario.
Traditionally, renters have had to place a maintenance call with the property manager during office hours in order to report non-urgent repair needs. With PropertyVista, requests can be made through a tenant portal where all parties, including the resident, the property manager and the maintenance contractor, can read them. It streamlines operations and improves the speed of service calls.
Better yet, residents can also rate the quality of the repair. This helps property management companies to respond to poor ratings, and improve customer relations as well as to be able to monitor their on-site and third-party contractors.
To discover how Property Vista can improve your maintenance request process, sign up for your free account today.