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Mastering Property Maintenance: How to Stay in Control of Every Detail

Mastering Property Maintenance: How to Stay in Control of Every Detail

Ask the average single-family property manager to name their biggest headache and chances are they’ll say “maintenance.” It also happens to be the #1 factor in keeping residents happy. The bottom line: get maintenance under control and your life is infinitely easier.

The key is to consolidate everything that has anything to do with maintenance with easy-to-use property maintenance software. This becomes your command center, allowing you not only a bird’s-eye view of everything going on with every job, but also the ability to manage maintenance requests, assign work orders, handle billing and payments, track time and expenses, invoice residents and owners, and all the other functions associated with maintenance.

There’s no need to jump around between different applications, dig through piles of sticky notes on your desk or field endless phone calls back and forth – the way maintenance has traditionally been handled. What once was an endless parade of hassles becomes smooth sailing.

Propertyware Maintenance software gives you the ability to do all this and more within a single, simple system:

  • Accept and log requests from tenants and owners
  • Distribute work orders to maintenance professionals
  • Manage vendors, including work orders and billing
  • Keep owners notified of progress and costs
  • Manage and route estimates, invoices, approvals
  • Track time and expenses per job
  • Create bills and charge tenants and owners where appropriate
  • Add management fee markups
  • Track assets such as appliances, including warranties and repairs
  • Schedule and monitor recurring or seasonal maintenance
  • Reduce inspection time by up to 50% using mobile devices
  • Keep up with move-ins, move-outs and associated repairs

Working wonders with work orders

At the center of maintenance are work orders. Get an efficient system in place for managing them and you’re well on your way to cleaning up the entire maintenance function. Propertyware Maintenance software pulls everything to do with work orders together into a centralized, seamless system with a natural workflow. You can create them, assign them, monitor progress, take care of the associated billing and file them electronically for future reference.

When a job involves multiple vendors, you can dispatch, track and invoice based on a single work order, so all the work and expenses involved with the job are documented in one place.

And, you can create a list of standardized jobs with associated pricing, so jobs done on a regular basis can be assigned quickly and easily.

Communication is key

Traditionally, communication involving maintenance has been a tangle of phone calls, voice mails, sticky notes, emails and texts.

Propertyware Maintenance centralizes communications with vendors, maintenance staff, residents and owners. Maintenance techs always know exactly what they’re supposed to do without being bogged down with phone calls and paperwork. They can check on assignments and report on job progress, completion and expenses, then move right on to the next job without any wasted time.

“Propertyware lets me feed information to my maintenance vendors in the field, streamlining my work order process and distributions. It gives my vendors all the information they need to complete and log more jobs in a day, increasing my tenants’ satisfaction.”

Robert Gilstrap, Owner, Title One Management, Kennesaw, GA

Owners and managers can monitor job progress and expenses and pull reports at will. And even tenants benefit since they’re kept informed about the status of their maintenance requests.

property maintenance software

Inspections go mobile

With our mobile inspection solution and a cell phone, iPad or laptop, you have everything you need to get inspections done far faster and more accurately, without a trip back to the office to re-enter all the information you gleaned at the property. You can even create work orders directly from inspections, addressing any problems right on the spot.

You can easily customize the mobile app with checklists and fields that fit the unique inspection criteria for each of your properties. When it’s time for a move-in or move-out inspection, you simply progress methodically through the checklist. There’s no opportunity for oversights, so not only are you saving time, you’re reducing the possibility of errors. And the system enforces consistency, an important consideration for property management companies with multiple leasing agents performing inspections.

As you’re working your way through the checklist, you can take supporting photos and videos, as well as add notes, and append them to the inspection items. In one place you have a complete record of the inspection, ready to report; no more patching together inspection reports and overlooking important details.

Compare this to the clipboard approach, where you end up with a written checklist and handwritten notes, along with photos or videos taken with either your cell phone or digital camera. The photos aren’t even associated to the items in the checklist. It’s up to you to go back to the office and put everything together in a report: not only time-consuming but full of opportunities to overlook or forget something.

Another benefit of using our mobile inspection solution is the reduction of misunderstandings that can lead to trouble between tenants and landlords, and between landlords and owners.

If you’re like most property managers, one of your least favorite tasks is dealing with damage or maintenance problems where there isn’t agreement about who’s responsible. The fine details you capture with a mobile solution since it’s so fast and easy to include them, resolve a lot of issues that otherwise might turn into trouble.

Among other things, you’ll be more likely to include and compare “before and after” photographs and notes that can bring a heated discussion with a tenant to a fast close. As a side benefit, you can often head off potential maintenance problems. A water stain on a ceiling that wasn’t there in the “before” might indicate a recent leak that can be addressed in advance of its becoming a big problem.

“The RealPage Mobile Facilities App has eliminated the busy work from make-readies, inspections and service requests, and our maintenance folks love it. The paperwork and data entry have vanished. Now everything happens on iPhones: logging jobs in and out, making notes, taking inspection photos, communicating with supervisors and tenants, all of it. No more time wasted on trips to the office. This app is paying for itself over and over in big time savings, more responsive maintenance and happier residents.”

Travis Oden, Director of Asset Management, Camden Property Trust, Houston, TX

Owners love the new mobile inspection solutions because they’re so complete and informative, allowing them to keep up with every detail of their assets and get a heads-up about potential maintenance issues. Owners don’t like surprises, and detailed reports documented at the site, with photos and notes attached to each item, are a huge selling point in getting and keeping new owner/clients. There are plenty of anecdotal reports of property management companies using our mobile inspection solution as the key element in winning new business. They’re a differentiator that’s clear for owners to see, and clearly superior to what they might have seen from other property management companies competing for their business.

Call on the Contact Center

You’ve got better things to do than answer phone calls and emails about maintenance from tenants. And there’s not likely to be anyone in the office when that pipe under the sink breaks at 2 a.m.

Many Propertyware clients let our 24/7 Contact Center handle the burden, staffed by professionals trained to handle tenant concerns, and where necessary to dispatch the right technicians and enter the job into your work order stream. They act as an extension of your staff. In fact, most tenants have no idea they’re not speaking to someone at your company.

The Contact Center, Propertyware Maintenance and mobile inspection capabilities are drastically reducing the time single-family property management staff devote to maintenance-related chores and paperwork. That’s time they can devote to core responsibilities that help grow their businesses and build their bottom lines. If you’re not taking advantage of them yet, talk to one of our reps about how you can master maintenance today!

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