Handling Property Maintenance Like a 21st Century Guru

By
Industry Observer with Property Matrix

It’s 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning. You’re comfortably tucked in your bed-sheets, enjoying a well-earned holiday away from town.  Everything is going well, and you cannot imagine a better place you’d rather be right now.

Right when you’re dreaming about paradise, you receive a call.

“Hello…John? We’re having a terrible storm down here…”

“Oh no…Not again…Not today, for crying out loud,” your mind almost shouts at you, dreading what’s about to hit you.

“A gale just blew off part of our roof!” Sarah, one of your recently-acquired tenants screams frantically.

“We need you to get someone to sort this out ASAP”

Just what you need in the middle of your holiday. So, you calm her down and try to get in touch with a couple of your contractors on speed dial. Unfortunately, Dave, your main man, is unreachable. Steve on the other hand, is not picking up his phone. You have no option but to dig for ‘reliable roof contractors’ on Google.

The first consultant you call demands a down payment, but banks are closed and you cannot just surrender your credit card information to any third party on the internet. The second consultant says that he can only respond after 24 hours, because his schedule is full. The third one insists that he’s worked with you before, and there are outstanding balances to be cleared. As you try to figure out your way out of the crisis, another tenant calls…things are just getting started.

How Often Do Tenants Need Repairs?

tenant-repairsAccording to a report published by the Rental Protection Agency, repair problems currently ranks as the third most prevalent complaint filed by tenants, after deposit refund, and bed bug infestation. Renters expect their property managers to respond quickly and decisively to repair requests. Unfortunately, going by this report, a bulk of them don’t. And this presents a great opportunity to capitalize on your competition’s weaknesses, by implementing a contrastingly effective repair response system.

While some property managers are yet to comprehend their legal roles as far as repairs are concerned, a majority fail to respond effectively due to poor repair and maintenance management systems.

So, how should an effectual maintenance management system operate?

Saving your contractors on speed dial may be good enough at the beginning, but sadly, that’s as good as it gets. Problems begin creeping in when your management portfolio starts growing. The larger it gets, the more hectic and challenging maintenance management gets. Well, this is the main discerning level between average, and progressively efficient managers.

How Good Managers Handle Maintenance Efficiently

This may sound strange, but come to think of it, good property managers don’t actually handle maintenance. Computers systems do it all, with a property manager’s guidance of course. Good professionals know the right infrastructures to leverage, and how to implement them within their organization architecture.

Take Property Matrix for instance. It’s a comprehensive cloud-based property management application, with pretty much all the functionalities managers need to streamline their operations and improve overall business efficiency. To reduce workload and optimize service delivery, it uses a maintenance ticket system that integrates tenants, vendors, owners, and property managers.

Features and Benefits of a Maintenance Ticket System

ticket-systemProperty Matrix’s maintenance system is pretty simple. It provides a portal through which tenants can create tickets to initiate maintenance processes. Property managers then pick it up from there and dispatch tickets to respective vendors for rapid response. After work is complete, photos can be attached for close scrutiny, before vendors’ bills are prepared and fees charged to property owners.

Such a system would not only be convenient to you, but also increasingly improve overall tenant satisfaction rates, if a study by Forrester is anything to go by. Through a survey they conducted on customers across different levels, it was established that individuals actually prefer online self-service, as opposed to directly calling their respective agents. Well, this may be particularly critical to your business in boosting tenant retention and reducing accumulated complaints.

The best thing about using software for handling maintenance is the ability to track everything in real time. As tenants track progress of their respective tickets, property managers, on the other hand, can view and manage all pending and completed work orders. To streamline the entire process even further, Property Matrix also allows you to create custom fields, set automatic actions on tickets, customize all your orders, and categorize them accordingly.

Since remote is the future, at least going by a survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London, Property Matrix is compatible with mobile phones and tablets. That way, you can manage multiple maintenance projects on separate units across different cities, right from the comfort of your holiday apartment. And no, you don’t even have to make a supervisory appearance. Attached photos and reports from your tenants should be enough to make informed decisions on the status of maintenance projects.

That’s how simple and progressively convenient 21st century property management is. Don’t overwork yourself. Let your software do the heavy lifting.

 

 

 

 

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