The One Critical Piece of Communication Your Maintenance Team May Be Missing

Image of Friendly Maintenance TechnicianAccording to the 2011 national resident study, “Getting Inside the Head of the Online Renter,” the number one factor in a resident’s decision to renew is “Quality of Maintenance Services.” Additionally, the current SatisFacts Insite® Index for Work Orders indicates that 18% of all service requests are not completed right the first time. And of those, only one-third of residents received notification that there would be a delay in completing the request.

Thinking of one property that had 100 service requests: that would mean 18 residents have an issue that was not resolved after the first visit, and of those, 12 are still wondering if the job is finished or if there is more to come.

Communication is the foundation for all service, so one critical element to add to your standard communication is updates on ordered parts for a specific repair, on the vendor that needs to be called in, the warranty issue, or just the fact that the resident needs to wait until the property’s internal HVAC expert, Joe, comes back from vacation on Thursday. This critical piece of communication can come from the maintenance team or from the office team, but it needs to come from someone – and it needs to happen as soon as you know there’s going to be a delay!

Letting a resident know what to expect is one of those little things that makes it “easy” to be a resident in your community. If Mrs. Jones knows the part for her dishwasher won’t be in until Friday, that’s one less thing she has to think or worry about for the time being. The other important component, however, is that if a delay is communicated, the resolution needs to happen when you say it will.

The more your resident knows, the easier it is to remain a resident in your community.

 


Senior Vice President of Education and Consulting, SatisFacts Research

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Jen Piccotti, Senior vice President of Education and Consulting at SatisFacts Research, has over a decade of experience in customer loyalty, quality assurance programs and process efficiency, and has worked in the apartment industry since 2000. She heads up special projects for SatisFacts, including satisfaction survey action planning, work-time analyses, special studies, quality assurance, process evaluations, and educational services. Jen holds a Master of Science – Quality Assurance degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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