Repair and maintenance are often considered major issues in property management, especially on apartment properties. Whether the unit is new or old, there will be pipes leaking, HVAC units failing, and water heaters malfunctioning. Maintenance and repair is a major expense, which often eats away the profit margin and ROI. Even though these tasks are inevitable, effective management can help in reducing costs. Apart from acquiring better deals on replacement items there is much more to effective maintenance management.
A Highly Skilled Job
Many property managers feel maintenance is a messy business and most do not have the skill set to handle these tasks. In maintenance, one needs to be able to run projects smoothly, manage deadlines, have a keen eye for detail, and manage vendors or maintenance teams. Especially, vendors should be effectively managed to make sure the tasks are being accomplished at reasonable rates.
An Organizational Mindset
Poor record keeping, overpaying for materials, and having the wrong team for the job, are often the main reasons for failure. Ideally, superlative maintenance management would mean having effective leadership, establishing efficient reporting procedures, having clear descriptions of jobs, and most importantly having a balanced mix of primary and secondary vendors who are able to deliver.
Property management should aim to develop an effective maintenance management program that incorporates streamlined processes for leveraging available opportunities and plan execution. Streamlining can be done by firstly identifying who can do what, how it can be done, and how it can be executed. This would include choosing the appropriate vendors, forming the right agreements with them, and implementing standardized costing. These three things are the foundations of your maintenance management strategy and hence should be carefully planned and executed.
Ignore Technology at Your Own Peril
Lastly, property management should seriously consider choosing effective maintenance management software that will serve as a tool. However, the difference between tool usage and process execution should be clear. If the process is not executed properly, the technological advantage of using software will be defeated, and in fact, the software could create more issues and increased workloads. For instance, such a situation could be compared to using a wrench for hammering a nail, instead of a hammer.
A lot has changed in the past few years including the expectations of tenants and the rules and regulations of the state and city that have to be complied. Having the best maintenance management software could make a major difference in not just the management of larger projects but also in the execution of day-to-day things such as turnovers and service requests. The software will enable property management to track projects in accordance with a set time, which will provide property managers with the required control for overseeing each task to the very last detail.
Survival is at Stake
Summing up, managing maintenance projects effectively is all about managing processes, people, and technology. Mishandling any one of these three aspects can seriously upset management of the project, and could result in increased costs, poor turnaround time, dissatisfied tenants, and can ultimately detrimentally impact the property’s bottom line.