Property Maintenance 101
The most difficult test that a property management company must face is not how well they run things when there are no issues, but how they respond during an emergency or crisis. Therefore, proactive maintenance programs are crucial to the operation of any building or facility.
For many property managers, the plan is to simply react – wait for things to go wrong and try to fix them. This can cost a great deal of money, and even briefly put you out of business. In addition, if a building looks unkempt, people will likely assume the worst about all aspects it.
So how does one get from a reactive to a proactive maintenance strategy? The sheer volume of tasks that this involves can be overwhelming. It will require diligence, organization, patience, and hard work. Taking full stock of your present situation and understanding where you truly stand is the first step.
Utilization of tools such as customer satisfaction surveys, and general information from inspections, will enable you to get a grasp on the situation. Staff inclusion is also an imperative element in painting a full picture of the situation.
That’s why employing a competent property manager is crucial. To constantly keep a grasp on your building’s maintenance situation you need inspections to be scheduled as part and parcel of the maintenance schedule. One good gauge of success is consistency, which means continually achieving positive results or meeting the determined standard.
The inspections will not just tell you what is going on in your building, but also specify other areas that need consideration or adaptation.
- Pay Attention to Detail – Switch out burnt-out light bulbs immediately and check them daily. To customers’ interpretations, a lack of concern for details translates into a lack concern for what matters.
- Keep Lists of Standards – Keep a laminated list of standards and tasks with every work crew for easy, familiar reference.
- Service Industry Workers – Hire maintenance staff from the hotel industry. They tend to be service-oriented.
- Use Existing Models – Before choosing a vendor; ask if there is a vendor-predictive maintenance model to learn when services for specific equipment are typically needed.
- Work at Night – Do major cleaning at night to avoid customer disruption.
- No Out of Order Signs – Get broken equipment off the floor within one to 24 hours. Better to have an empty spot than a sign that announces poor maintenance.
- Diligent Staff – All staff should be in the habit of picking up trash as they go from place to place.