Property Management Preparations for Winter
The Reign of Ratings
In today’s world, ratings and reviews are currency. A recent survey by Local Consumer Review Survey found 85% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
This new reality is here for good, too.
In the same survey, 95% of people between 18 and 34 years of age said they read reviews of local businesses prior to engaging with them. While it’s clear that a solid record of positive reviews brings more people and revenue to your business, the question is, how much?
Well, one study conducted by Inc., concluded that each one-star increase in a company’s rating represented an increase of between five and nine percent in the company’s revenue.
In short, if you want to improve your business, improving your rating and reviews is a good place to start. But how do you raise your ratings? When it comes to property management, we have some compelling data to point you in the right direction.
Streamline Your HVAC Process or Feel The Heat
As winter begins to creep across the northern United States, so does winter maintenance issues, streamlining your HVAC — heating, ventilation, and air conditioning — repair process is a great move. Our data shows that ratings and maintenance issues are inversely related; when issues arise, ratings drop and when issues drop, ratings rise. With HVAC issues, the time you have to fix the problem before a resident becomes disgruntled and leaves a negative review is shorter than with any other maintenance issue.
With HVAC issues, most negative reviews come after just three days. That means you have just 72 hours to fix an HVAC issue before the chances of a negative review by a resident skyrocket. If it’s a plumbing issue, you have about 4.5 days. If it’s an electrical issue, most negative reviews come after five days.
Create A Winter Maintenance Prioritization Schedule
All winter maintenance issues are not created equal. At Property Meld, we believe the “first come, first serve” mentality is outdated. To maximize your residents satisfaction, we’ve found you need to prioritize maintenance tasks into five time-sensitive categories:
1. As soon as possible (e.g. Emergencies)
2. Less than 3 days (e.g. HVAC)
3. Less than 5 days (e.g. Electrical, plumbing)
4. Less than 14 days (e.g. Non-emergent, minor repairs)
5. Less than 30 days (e.g. Cosmetic)
This prioritization not only increases resident satisfaction; it maximizes the utilization of your staff/service providers.
Staff For Winter Maintenance
It’s paramount to dial in your staffing to meet the seasonal fluctuations in service demands. A good ballpark idea is to staff the slow seasons at about 50 percent of your staffing volume during the high season. It’s also a good idea to focus the work of your maintenance staff during the slow season on improvement projects to ensure your staffing is occupied and getting ahead of problems that would otherwise crop up during the high season when you have less time to spare. You’d be wise not to underestimate the importance of the prioritization schedule and best use practices of your staffing. As Parkinson’s Law has shown, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Building solid working relationships with your area technicians is also a key component to quick winter .maintenance repair turnarounds. You think you’re feeling the heat in high season? Think about your local HVAC specialist. Good relationships can mean the difference between “we’ll be right there” and “we’ll get to it as soon as we can,” which in turn can mean the difference between a negative or positive review.
In the end, the three most important performance indicators you should attempt to measure are:
1. Time of repair
2. Resident satisfaction
3. Vendor/technician quality
We’re here to help. If you’re sitting there wondering how you can create an efficient system to prioritize work, track maintenance repairs from start to finish, and measure the key performance indicators, perhaps your head is starting to spin. Take a breath and leave it to us. Aside from compiling reams of useful data, our software is able to track:
Service Issues (Accounting)
Vendor Submitted Invoices
Technician Time and Performance
Different Property Groups
Learn more about streamlining your process and see how we can help speed up repair times, cut down on headaches, improve your company’s reviews, and ultimately improve your bottom line.