Property Maintenance is a puzzle for many owners, and one that often leads to unhappy tenants. Between experimentation with different technicians, a surge in demand for those in the repair trades, and a lack of skilled employees, ineffective maintenance practices put financial and practical strain on everyone. It is necessary to make this problem a priority for a number of reasons. The good news is that the right resources are available. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for timeliness.
A Lack of Wiggle Room
Tenants may only have one repair during their year-long lease. If that repair is unsatisfactory it can jeopardize the likelihood of renewal or any referrals. Residents want to be able to report a problem and have it fixed in a timely and professional manner. Knowing that turnover in the maintenance industry is high, it’s no surprise that truly skilled workers use their leverage in the current economy to hopscotch between jobs before finding the right one. The best of the best understandably don’t want to work the odd hours that are sometimes necessary in this field. It makes the task of matching expectations of incoming talent and the reality of what the property and budget allows for difficult, but fortunately not impossible.
In this case, achieving fast and quality repairs is not all about shelling out money (though that’s certainly one component.) For the most part, you’re working in an employee’s market so remember that your postings can be easily ignored if it is vague or too demanding. Start by posting the specific requirements on major websites that are local to your area (job boards like Craigslist or other classified ad services are great resources). Give referral bonuses to tenants who know of a qualified repair technician, and ensure that you do everything possible to build up your relationships with as many technicians as possible.
Taking the time out now to cultivate a great team of people will pay off handsomely in the future. If you have 10 people apply who meet all the criteria, you should be keep in touch with the other 9 who were not chosen. This gives you the opportunity to reach out to them in the future should a position open up. This also allows you to tap into their network, inquiring if they may know anyone who would be a good fit for whatever opportunities you have.
A multi-family building has specific needs, so whoever you choose should have the know-how of working in this environment. Successful prior experience should signify that they understand which repairs take priority, and how to work within the framework of any given community. Always provide as much detail as possible to the technician about what you need, and double check their references to increase the chance of success for everyone. Technicians need to know how to conduct themselves so ensuring that tenants have a good experience when interacting with them.
No matter who you hire, you always take a bit of a chance. The Liberty Group can help drastically reduce the risk incurred. For example, the RapidHire payroll program allows you to hire workers temporarily to learn more about their performance before making final decisions. Owners don’t have to pay fees if they choose to hire someone nor do they have to go through the process of firing if the employee is not a good fit. To find out more and to let The Liberty Group help you with your next Maintenance Solution, contact us at 855-961-7666.
Once you’ve found the right person, you’ll need to be vigilant about ensuring they are happy in what they do. Smart property managers are not above asking employees directly for what they want, nor are they above providing extra considerations that keep them comfortable when on the job.