TOPIC: Average # of units per maintenance technician

Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 4 months ago #969

Hello Everyone, just a quick poll to see how many maintenance technicians your properties have. We're currently at 1 technician and 1 groundskeeper per 200 units. I think that's pretty thin, but would like your input. Thoughs?
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 4 months ago #974

1+1 I would say is typical for a C class asset, with non-instutional owners/investors.

Well it is that wonderful, "It depends". One would need to look at and consider many factors when making this decision. Age of assets, usual annual amount of maintenance needed(both in terms or dollars and call volume), any deffered maintenance needed, the quality of service provided or want to provide to residents. Just to get the list going.

Have the groundskeeper trained to handle less important maintenance issues and bump pay a bit, and presto. you have accomplished something for an extra 8 to 12 dollars per day, for a dual trained employee. Now you are hitting the maintenance issue from both sides the MOST important and the secondary. Thus residents are happy, they tell their friends, Occupancy goes up, rent goes up and you smile all the way to the bank.

Or use E.O.S. run an analysis of maintenance call volume, you need to break it down to a small as level as possible. (i.e. each property on a per week basis get 17 maintenance calls) Then figure out how to arange the orders, for each property. Have a maintenance guy from a less active property for the week go and help on the real important issues at the other property with the regular guy. Just don't let you service go down at property giving the help. Or just hire one that floats from one asset to the next helping on the MOST important jobs.
  • Kyle
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 4 months ago #1032

For us, service is just another part of our marketing program. 25% of our leasing is derived from referral leads traffic (current customers, previous customers, friends, relatives, Realtors). Our service expectations are "same-day" service and we do not differentiate between emergency and non-emergency service after business hours - if a customer needs a light bulb changed on Christmas Day, we will do so. We even pick up trash throughout the property twice a week and take it to a central location.

Frankly, everything in the apartment business is marketing - mowing the lawn, maintaining the pool, plowing and shoveling 18 feet of snow. In the end, each maintenance person is essentially a leasing person. Many of our customers have stayed 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years or more.

In staffing there are multiple variables to consider, which requires an individual analysis for each property:

1. Delineate the work the performed in-house, or contracted services.

2. Age of property and condition of primary components, particularly plumbing and electrical.

3. Service expectations.

4. Specialty concerns. In upstate NY, 18 feet of snow is a specialty concern. Snow plowing and shoveling does not lend itself well to contract services.

On a property with about 350 apartments/townhomes, we have a maintenance staff of 5: one person performs customer service requests during the work day (we perform about 2,500 customer service requests a year), two persons perform "make-ready" work in vacant apartments, one person helps in the "make-ready" plumbing PM updates, while also performing general PM of A/Cs and repairs to bathroom ceramic tile floors and walls, and a supervisor who coordinates and troubleshoots the variety of issues that can arise on any sizeable property.

Our property is about 40 years old that is near 100% occupied, we turn down more than a third of applicants. We have been raising rents and have a 10-year relatively low turnover rate of about 28%.

Rick Hevier
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Last edit: by Rick Hevier.
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 3 months ago #1132

After seeing this question, and a similar discussion on Twitter, we posed the question in a poll on the site. The poll asked, "Across your portfolio, how many maintenance techs do you have per 100 units?" We didn't get an overwhelming number of responses, but considering we asked about the entire portfolio, we think the results give us reasonable results. The results covered the entire poll range of 0.7 techs/100 units to 1.3 techs per 100 units, but 42% of results were for 1 maintenance technician per 100 units, and also happened to be the average across all the results. So it seems like 1 tech/100 units is the "rule of thumb", but obviously exceptions exist.

Did that help?
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 3 months ago #1133

Brent,
That helped tremendously! That's really where I expected the average to be. Thanks for your help. This site has been a great resource.
Regards,
Jackson
  • H. Jackson Wallace
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 3 months ago #1137

My rule of thumb happens to be - Depends on the talents of the maintenance tech! I always have at least two techs on a 100+ unit property. That way I always have back-up to handle any Resident request. I cut down on the administrative help in order to meet my budget. Maintenance makes or breaks a property.
  • Mindy Sharp
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 2 months ago #1285

Food for thought on this topic - this is an area that can really benefit from bring on part time temp help in heavy turnover months. I wrote a blog post on this just a couple of weeks ago: www.multifamilyinsiders.com/home/multifa...Girls-of-Summer.html

While 1-per-100 may be the current rule of thumb, it shouldn't necessarily be the same rule of thumb throughout the year. Maintenance load can be heavier and lighter at different times of the year and it can be very useful to factor that into the budget (budgeting season is not too far away!).
Last edit: by Brent Williams.
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 2 months ago #1304

The general rule of thumb I use is 1 per 100. However, think about these variables:

1. Age of property
2. Proximity to other properties for temporary assistance
3. Size of property (how far away is the maintenance shop? how many acres does the site cover?)
4. Operating hours (time present vs. time available)
5. Turnover

Beyond that, it gets very personnel specific. An experienced SM with a good PM relationship can easily cover a 10 year old 100-unit property. I wouldn't expect a tech to be able to do the same, nor would I expect an inexperienced PM to work well either.

I had a 10 year old, 105 unit property in the Shenandoah Valley that operated 5 days/week with a PM, SM, and .5 APM. They worked very, very well and were a good 20 miles from our nearest property. Turnover was low (<40%) and they were well paid for the job. It worked because they had experience and planned everything together.
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 12 years 1 month ago #1602

We have one Maint. tech for 83 units. He handles all turns, maintenance requests, grounds (except lanscaping), and pool care.
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Re:Average # of units per maintenance technician 11 years 6 months ago #2895

Here is the delemia. If you ask an owner he will say 1 per 200. If you ask a managment executive he will say 1 per 150. If you ask a manager they will say 1 per 100. And of course if you ask our valued resident they will say, "I don't care, what ever it takes to fix it."

The old boilerplate of 1 per 100 in my opinion is out the window for two reasons.
(1) Resident services are at a much higher level today than they were 10-20 years ago. Our residents live in an age where everything is "now," including when they want things done. Studies still show the number one reason a resident leaves is because of lack of or poor service. I don't think that will ever change.
(2) Not every property, property age, property size, property amenities, property construction, etc., etc, is the same. Why would we think a 40 year old "experienced" property of 200 apartments will be maintained at the same needs and requirements as a 200 apartment community that is 5 years old?

Everything in our industry has changed dramatically over the past 10-20 years, so why would be expect the demands related to staffing to stay the same. Just does not make sense, but that is how some people look at it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jim West, Lupe Gomez
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