3 Types of Maintenance Strategies: What Type is Yours?

The ultimate guide to reactive, preventative, and predictive maintenance strategies.

Three Types of Maintenance Strategies

What is a property maintenance strategy? 

A maintenance strategy is the preservation of work involving the identity, resource, and execution of repairing, replacing, and inspecting. Efficient maintenance is critical as you scale your property management company or simply maintain it. In an effort to expand the production of your property management business, you will need to increase your maintenance efficiency to coincide with the increase in demand. An increase in workload will require adding tools or resources to keep up. Are you efficient in your maintenance strategy, or does it need some work?

What is your current maintenance strategy type?

When is the last time you reviewed your maintenance strategy? What tools or resources do you have in place to ensure profitability, efficiency, and oversight? Chances are you’ve been entering into every season year after year with the same property maintenance solution. Does the “this is how we’ve always done it” attitude sound like you? Is the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” mentality constantly a part of your conversations with management?

Review the three main types of maintenance strategies as you audit your recurring maintenance issues.

  • Reactive Maintenance: Addressing issues as they arise

James R. of Grandeez Property Management oversees 400 units. Every summer, about 25% of his maintenance requests are related to an HVAC issue. Generally, residents call him directly to schedule the repairs. It takes a few days to get a local vendor scheduled, leaving Jeff’s residents hot and frustrated with the influx of calls.

James feels he is doing the best he can with his reactive approach but overlooks the direct impact on his resident satisfaction. He doesn’t realize there is a more efficient way to manage his maintenance process.

  • Preventative Maintenance: Understanding potential issues before they occur

As the property manager for Dual Days Property Management, Megan F. oversees 1,500 units. She has been with the company for over four years, so she understands that her HVAC maintenance requests increase over 50% during the summer months.

Her proactive maintenance strategy requests that residents to turn on their A/C units in March and April — months before the summer season to help prevent a massive influx of issues during the first heatwave. For Megan, asking this of her residents seems like the best solution.

  • Predictive Maintenance: Anticipating issues before they happen

Joe M. oversees 600 units at PP&L Property Management. Joe implements a predictive maintenance strategy on his A/C units to predict when maintenance technicians will need to visit, especially during the summer months.

The conditions of his HVAC equipment utilize data sensors to indicate failure before they happen. This is an expensive maintenance solution to attempt to predict the issues without the proper oversight to manage them. His turnover rate is average year over year but he is still leaving money on the table.

How to choose and implement your maintenance strategy

  • Do your research to identify your company goals and KPIs (key performance indicators).

    What is a KPI? Key performance indicators help you measure how successful various aspects of your business or operation are performing in real-time, allowing you to get ahead of problems before they show up in your company’s bottom line. When it comes to assessing the health of a property management maintenance operation, KPIs are especially useful.

    Some examples of property maintenance KPIs include resident retention rate, time of repair, and resident satisfaction.

    By the way, do you know that there is a difference between leading and lagging indicators?

  • Based on your KPIs, you will understand what type of maintenance strategy aligns with your company’s needs and goals.

For example, suppose your goal is to increase resident retention. In that case, you may find a preventive or predictive maintenance strategy that will allow you to control maintenance before issues arise before your residents are frustrated with broken A/C units in the heat of summer.

  • Review your needs and budget.

Do you have a budget in place for your strategy? Consider implementing a well-organized maintenance strategy. First, take a look at software products that could help collect data and integrate more intelligent solutions.

For example, a software system that offers an effective communication tool for all players involved. This is a great way to start being proactive about maintenance while retaining your residents and owners.

There are many types of maintenance strategies in property management. When comparing your approach to your company’s bottom line, one may outweigh the other. 

Reactive maintenance is inexpensive to run but comes with the risk of costly downtime. Many studies have shown that reactive maintenance isn’t an efficient strategy because it isn’t proactive. 

Predictive maintenance can be expensive, but it is predictable of problems before they occur. 

Regardless of which system is right for you, implementing the most efficient one with the most oversight will decrease your turnover rate and increase your resident satisfaction.

Let us help! Request a demo and see how Property Meld can help your process stay proactive instead of reactive.

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