Maintenance Troubleshooting Techniques to Reduce Costs
Maintenance troubleshooting is a vital part of any successful property maintenance process. Troubleshooting saves time and money, as it can help to reduce the amount of downtime caused by the issue and prevent further damage.
Maintenance troubleshooting typically involves:
• Diagnosing the cause of an issue.
• Performing the repair or part replacement.
• Testing the system to make sure the issue is resolved.
Troubleshooting ensures the safety of personnel and the environment and maintains the lifecycle of the equipment being serviced.
Troubleshooting can also be a beneficial way to avoid maintenance technicians or third-party vendors from making unnecessary trips to diagnose an issue. Sometimes a problem may be simple enough that a maintenance technician isn’t even needed. By troubleshooting beforehand, your team will clearly understand what needs fixing before entering the unit. Below we have outlined some helpful troubleshooting tips to help you reduce your maintenance costs.
1: Offer solutions for simple maintenance fixes
One of the most common things we hear from property management companies is that most of their maintenance requests are repetitive. Sometimes, these requests don’t require maintenance technicians to fix them. You can quickly reduce unnecessary trip charges by working with your resident to try and fix an issue. For example, let’s say you have a resident who submits a maintenance request for a broken garbage disposal. You have a conversation with them about the details of the issue. There are two options you could try to resolve the issue: You could call your most trusted plumber to visit the unit and take a look. Or, you could send them an instructional video showing them how to fix the issue independently. By creating designated instructions for common problems that maintenance coordinators can automatically send to your residents, you will save time and money instead of hiring a vendor for the repair. Keep in mind troubleshooting instructions should only be used for things that a resident can easily fix. If the resident is still experiencing issues, assign a maintenance tech or vendor as soon as possible to resolve the issue.
2: Ask residents to submit photos with their work order
Another great way to avoid unnecessary trip charges is to get as much information about a maintenance request from the resident. A great way to do this is requesting residents to attach photos to their work orders. This can help your maintenance technicians and third-party vendors to understand the issue before visiting the residence. This way, they know what parts they might need and what it will take to fix the problem. Additionally, if the issue is simple and can be fixed by the resident, you will know before you send and pay a third-party vendor to repair it.
3: Use a designated maintenance software
Setting up triage instructions and requesting photos from residents are responsibilities that require manual work by property managers or maintenance coordinators. That is, unless you have designated maintenance software to take care of it. With designated maintenance software, you can automate the delivery of troubleshooting instructions based on specific keywords of a work order submission. When a resident submits a work order with a particular issue with the keywords “garbage disposal” or “lightbulb,” you can create clear messaging that automatically sends instructions to resolve the issue themselves.
In addition, when residents submit any work order, you can request that they attach photos of the issue. Dedicated maintenance software allows you to automate the tasks of your process that take too much manual coordination—saving you time and money while providing a better experience for your residents, vendors, and owners.
Why is maintenance troubleshooting important?
Maintenance troubleshooting is essential to running a successful property maintenance process. For one, by troubleshooting ahead of time, you avoid paying for unnecessary labor. Without enough information, vendors, and technicians may have to return to a residence multiple times to repair it. Perhaps they brought the wrong part or didn’t have the tools to fix the issue on the first visit. The more times you have to send a maintenance tech to a unit, the more money you pay in trip charges and beyond the monetary value; sending a vendor to a home more than once burdens your residents. They want their issues resolved as quickly as possible, with little disruption to their routine. If maintenance technicians and vendors return to a unit multiple times, that is inconvenient for your residents. If their issues aren’t fixed quickly and efficiently, they are more likely to leave a negative review or decide to move when their lease term expires.
If you need help implementing troubleshooting in your maintenance process, schedule a demo with one of our experts to see what our software can do for you.