The Connection Between Repair Speed and Reviews
One of the best ways to create happy residents is to fix maintenance issues quickly and effectively.
According to our data, 46% of residents said that maintenance issues factored in their decision to resign a lease or move elsewhere. Even more striking, 31% of residents reported that maintenance issues were the primary reason they left a property, with rent price the only larger determinant. Given the correlation between the time it takes to fix a maintenance issue, and the satisfaction of residents, we constructed a data-based guideline for how long your company has to repair each type of maintenance issue before your chances of a happy resident drop off considerably.
HVAC repairs: 3.5 days or less
Plumbing repairs: 4.5 days or less
Electrical: 5 days or less
According to our analysis, if a maintenance issue takes longer than 5.5 days to fix, you have close to zero chance of receiving a positive review. In the end, measuring the speed of a repair job is important insomuch as it’s directly related to resident satisfaction, the ultimate measure of how your maintenance process is working. By tracking how long each repair takes and the resultant satisfaction level of the affected resident, you can then begin to understand how long you have for each type of job before the resident experience turns sour.
One caveat: you should never use the day you receive an invoice for a completed repair job as the date of the job’s completion. Rather, your maintenance process should have built-in checkpoints and your technicians should understand that when a job is complete, they should notify a designated person in your company, or record its completion using, say, Property Meld software. If this isn’t a part of your process, you’re setting yourself up for failure, negative reviews, headaches and lost revenue.
We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: in today’s digital world, online reviews are currency. In one study, 78% of prospective residents said a property management company’s online reviews were the biggest factor in choosing where to live, with that figure rising to 86% for millennials.
In the property management industry, the primary reason for negative reviews is maintenance issues. So, if you want to preserve your company’s online reputation, you’d be smart to start with building a consistent, checkpoint-oriented maintenance process. Though it’s ultimately a lagging indicator, the satisfaction level of your residents is so intricately connected to other KPIs that it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Of course, you can also craft your own system outside of online reviews to track resident satisfaction. If you choose this route, our advice is to avoid the pitfall of selective surveying. The goal is to accurately understand how your maintenance program is operating and where the issues may lie. Selective surveying may help you intercept some issues but will taint your data and ultimately make the collection and analysis of it quite pointless. To sidestep selective surveying, you should attempt to survey every resident who has had an interaction with your maintenance crew/operation and ensure there are no barriers to entry for the reporting of their experience.
When companies report their quarterly and annual performance, revenue and profits typically attract the most attention. But those figures only tell one part of the story: the end. By using KPIs, you can gain deeper insight into the inner workings of your business, identify and get ahead of problem areas, and ensure the story’s ending is a happy one.