3 Types of Maintenance Strategies: What Type is Yours?

The ultimate guide to the 3 types of maintenance: reactive, preventative, and predictive

Three Types of Maintenance Strategies

What is a property maintenance strategy? 

A property maintenance strategy is a plan of action for ensuring that a property is kept in good condition and running smoothly. It involves regular inspections, preventive maintenance, repairs, and improvements. A successful property maintenance strategy should help keep your property safe, increase its value, and reduce costs. It should also ensure that any potential risks are addressed promptly.

Efficient maintenance is critical to scale your property management company and maintain it. 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. Is your maintenance strategy efficient, or does it need some work?

What are the three types of maintenance?

The three types of property maintenance are preventive maintenance, reactive or corrective maintenance, and predictive maintenance. Preventive maintenance involves regular inspections and upkeep of a property to minimize the need for significant repairs or replacements. Put simply, preventative maintenance is fixing things before they break. Reactive or corrective maintenance includes repairing damaged or malfunctioning equipment, such as broken windows, doors, or electrical systems. 

Corrective or reactive maintenance is the most common type of maintenance  since maintenance technicians typically fix something after a resident submits a work order. Finally, predictive maintenance is anticipating issues before they arise. An example of predictive maintenance would be monitoring equipment sensors to identify potential problems before a failure occurs. 

What is your current maintenance strategy type?

Consider asking yourself these four questions. When was the last time you reviewed your maintenance strategy? What tools or resources do you have 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 part of your management conversations? 

Take this brief survey to determine which type of maintenance strategy you have.



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. About 25% of his maintenance requests every summer are related to an HVAC issue. Generally, residents call him directly to schedule the repairs. It takes a few days to schedule a local vendor, leaving Jeff’s residents hot and frustrated with the influx of calls. In addition, he pays higher rates for the vendors since it is during peak season. 

James feels he is doing the best he can with his reactive approach but overlooks the direct impact on his residents’ satisfaction. He needs to 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 by over 50% during the summer months. 

Her proactive maintenance strategy requests that residents 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. 

This way, maintenance techs can address any problems before the temperatures get too high. For Megan, asking this of her residents seems like the best solution. She has noticed fewer upset residents and can save money on maintenance costs. 

  • 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 summer. 

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 various successful aspects of your business or operation are performing in real-time, allowing you to get ahead of problems before they appear 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.

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

For example, if you want to increase resident retention, finding a maintenance strategy to keep your residents happy is vital to reaching your goal. You may find a preventive or predictive maintenance strategy to work best. This way, you can identify and fix maintenance issues before they arise instead of waiting for your resident to become frustrated. 

  • Review your needs and budget.

If you are looking at your budget and trying to find areas to save money, taking a look at your maintenance strategy is a great place to start. Implementing a well-organized maintenance strategy can be a great way to cut down on unnecessary costs. First, research available software systems to see if any could help you track maintenance orders and offer you more oversight into the process. 

For example, maintenance software can give your maintenance team more time in their day. Maintenance software that offers effective communication for all players can remove your property managers from playing the mediator.

One of the main reasons property maintenance is so costly is that it can be unpredictable. But it doesn’t have to be! 

Reactive maintenance is inexpensive to run but comes with the risk of costly downtime. Reactive maintenance can save money because it usually requires a minor maintenance team. Because you’re not running a planned maintenance schedule, you need fewer techs. Another way you save money is through training. However, there are also expensive downfalls to running a reactive maintenance strategy. Reactive maintenance often leads to costly maintenance emergencies since the equipment is not routinely checked. Many studies have shown that reactive maintenance isn’t efficient because it isn’t proactive. 

Preventive maintenance can be expensive, but it helps predict problems before they occur. By performing regular inspections and maintenance tasks on equipment, businesses can save money by avoiding costly problems and ensuring that their equipment is always in good condition. Regular maintenance can also help improve the equipment’s efficiency and performance, allowing businesses to save money on energy and other costs.

Like reactive or corrective maintenance, preventative maintenance also has its downfalls; the two significant issues are extra waste and added risk. If you’re changing the equipment parts too soon, you’re throwing out excellent inventory. Also, since technicians work with equipment more, you increase the risk of accidental damage. 

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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