Webinar: Setting Maintenance Expectations to Increase Efficiency
In this month’s Beyond Maintenance webinar, Property Meld discussed the importance of setting expectations in your maintenance process. Building and setting expectations with your residents, vendors, maintenance technicians, and property investors is the best way to ensure communication and engagement is being upheld and the repair speed is remaining competitive with other leading property management companies.
Setting expectations with key players sets the tone for what needs to happen in the maintenance process. Failing to set standards from the beginning leads to issues in the maintenance process. Some of the risks associated with not setting clear expectations include:
- Slow speed of repair
- Resident dissatisfaction
- Increased rental turnover
- Higher Owner Churn
Different property management companies have different standards, so if you assume that residents, investors, or vendors know what your expectations are there may be misunderstandings or miscommunication.
One of the most important expectations you should set with your residents is what needs to be included when a maintenance request is submitted. For example, if you expect residents to add a description and include photos of the issue, that needs to be communicated in advance. Failing to set these expectations means you, or another member of your team has to spend their time tracking down this information which halts the repair process.
“If residents don’t know that you need as much information as possible during their initial request you are just adding a step because you have to go back and request more information.” – Luke Alvarez, Property Meld Customer Success Manager.
Additionally, one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your maintenance process is ensuring all residents are submitting maintenance requests the right way. For example, if you use an online maintenance portal but residents still call or email their maintenance issues, things may get lost or held up. One of the best ways to remedy this is to set clear expectations for how residents submit maintenance issues. This can be done by outlining these expectations in your lease agreement, in resident welcome packets, or even magnets or sticky notes around the residence reminding residents how to submit requests. Then you must uphold those expectations by routing residents to the proper channel if they try to call or email.
Investor/ Owner Expectations
The best way to set expectations with your property owners and investors is to be completely transparent as to why you’re making a process change. When you are setting expectations with investors it is important to include what they can expect, and how often they can expect it. These expectations should be set in your initial onboarding of any new investors and should be included in your management agreement to avoid any disputes down the line. Delivering the right amount of transparency to your investors validates the work you’re doing.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of dealing with investors is getting them to approve maintenance costs in a timely manner. Most property managers have a cost threshold, any maintenance issues that lie above that threshold needs to get owner approval before work can begin. These approvals can delay your repair speed if owners are not getting back to you quickly.
The best way to stress the importance of quick approvals is providing data into your repair speed. Repair speed is a leading indicator of resident satisfaction and resident satisfaction directly impacts your resident retention. Owners need to understand the importance of that repair speed so they don’t hold up the repair process.
“Owners need to understand the importance of that speed of repair because it’s your reputation on the line.” – John Kearns, Property Meld, Head of Solutions
Many of the property managers we speak to have trouble getting their vendors to abide by the expectations they have set. Vendors work with many property management companies who all run their business differently. This means, getting vendors to adopt your process can be difficult. However, if you can show them how your process will save them time and money, you can increase vendor adoption.
A great way to hold vendors accountable to these expectations is by tracking your maintenance spend per vendor. If you are paying a vendor thousands of dollars and they aren’t willing to adopt the process you have in place that may indicate a problem in your vendor relationship.
“My bread and butter has been looking at the maintenance spend per vendor in Insights Pro. If I am paying my HVAC vendor $90,000 and they won’t even send me an invoice. Why?…If vendors are giving you bare bones and you are paying them more than my car, there’s a problem there.” – Luke Alvarez, Property Meld, Customer Success Manager
Building trust and strong relationships with your vendors is the best way to ensure they are willing to adopt your processes and procedures.
Failing to these expectations with key maintenance players can lead to lapses in communication and a delayed repair process. To learn more about what expectations you should be setting and how to hold people accountable watch the full webinar below.
To see how Property Meld can help you provide data and transparency to investors and vendors, schedule a demo with our team today. This transparency makes it much easier to hold people accountable to the expectations you have put in place.