SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN... AND HE'S BRINGING A TOOL BOX?
Is Quality Maintenance The Secret To Pro Longing Tenant Retention?
There are a few ways that an owner can improve their tenant retention. One way is improving your building maintenance routine. In 2012, a research group published an EBook, Getting Inside The Head Of The Online Renter, which stated “Maintenance services and customer service delivery by the office staff have the most dramatic impact on the renewal decision.” Other crucial factors that affect tenant retention are safety, proximity to their job, and space.
Fix Problems Before They Happen
The First step to bettering your maintenance in your building is establishing common maintenance requests. Establishing common maintenance requests prevents a tenant’s need to generate them. If you are aware that plumbing becomes an issue during the winter season, send maintenance to inspect the units before the season begins, and detect issues that will become a major problem in the coming future.
Help Tenants Help Themselves
You should also supply your tenants a list of simple fixes. A few problems can be easily fixed without the need of maintenance. Usually the case revolves around the tenants lacking the knowledge of simple repairs. This can be solved by giving your tenants a list of simple fixes and instructions when they move in. The simple fixes should include the following items:
• Relighting a stove pilot
• Snaking a drain
• Changing a light bulb
• Changing the batteries in a smoke alarm
• Resetting a circuit breaker
• Resetting garbage disposal
Now this isn’t to say that supplying your tenants with instructions of simple fixes will stop them from calling for the exact items listed on your list, nonetheless this should at least lessen the maintenance requests and can potentially help the tenants to help themselves.
Increase Speed and Efficiency
After establishing preventive maintenance, problems can still occur. When your tenant composes a maintenance request, respond to it immediately! Even if the repairs can’t be fixed the same day, the tenant should be notified within 24 hours that their request was received and notify them of when you plan to move forward.
After the repairs are completed, follow up with the tenant and verify that the job has been completed to their satisfaction. They’ll appreciate that you did. If it turns out the problem is not completely resolved, you’ll have lessened the blow by following up rather than them having to contact you again.
Lastly and of utmost importance is the quality maintenance staff! The maintenance staff that you hire should be quality licensed workers. The cheapest worker is not always the best to hire on the team. If you care about great customer service, you’ll pay close attention to who you hire to these roles. The quality of their work should be outstanding and their work ethic should be superb.
Try to introspect as well. Is there something more that you can be doing as a manager that will increase you maintenance staff’s motivation and efficiency? If you are implementing anything new from the above, you will have to work with and train your staff accordingly. It might take more than one meeting before the change is successfully implemented.