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Topic: Average # of units per maintenance technician

H. Jackson Wallace's Avatar Topic Author
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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?
Posted 13 years 2 months ago
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Kyle's Avatar
Kyle
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.
Posted 13 years 2 months ago
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Rick Hevier's Avatar
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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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Posted 13 years 2 months ago
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Brent Williams's Avatar
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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?
Posted 13 years 1 month ago
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H. Jackson Wallace's Avatar
H. Jackson Wallace
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
Posted 13 years 1 month ago
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Mindy Sharp's Avatar
Mindy Sharp
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.
Posted 13 years 1 month ago
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Jen Piccotti's Avatar
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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!).
Posted 13 years 1 month ago
Last edit: by Brent Williams.
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Will Clark's Avatar
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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.
Posted 13 years 1 month ago
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Rose M's Avatar
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We have one Maint. tech for 83 units. He handles all turns, maintenance requests, grounds (except lanscaping), and pool care.
Posted 12 years 11 months ago
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Lawrence Berry, CPM's Avatar
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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.
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Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Tracie's Avatar
Tracie
We have recently downsized from 1 maintenance technician per 300 units to 1 per 500 units, apartments ranging in age from 47 years to 1 year. We have multifamily units in a small college town, and the vast majority of our tenants are between the ages of 18 and 30, and yes, they want everything done "now". So do we. Although it is still early, I have found no drop in quality or quantity of work done by our maintenance techs. I expected this downsizing would affect our turnaround time from same-day to perhaps 3 days, but so far we've been consistently hitting the same-day mark. Although a smaller team, the maintenance techs are pulling together and getting the work done, and all 3 have reported greater satisfaction as more work makes the day go by quicker. Having a smaller staff also makes the communication between them, management and office staff easier. Everyone's still smiling, and we have the "big" work ahead of us as school gets out and tenants move on (we completed 850 apartment turnovers last summer alone). :blink: So far, so good.
Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Rose M's Avatar
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Wow that's amazing! We have one full time maint tech for our 83 units, plus one full time manager and one part time assistant.
Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Nancy Wittenberg's Avatar
Nancy Wittenberg
Thank you for the validation! My partner keeps insisting we need 3 techs for 173 units. She needs to hear from others what they are doing and this is a fantastic place to send her!
Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Rick Hevier's Avatar
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@Tracie:

My first reaction to the 1:500 ratio was "holy cow!". Lawrence Berry's previous comment was appropriate - essentially that there are a multitude of factors and anomalies that affect so-called rule of thumbs; these rule of thumbs can also be analogous to the old adage that a 6 foot tall person can drown in a lake with an average depth of 2 feet.

Having a mere 1 maintenance tech per 500 units seems to indicate that something out of the ordinary is occurring in this circumstance. Perhaps a ratio of 1:500 is sustainable in the long term, but it is hard to imagine how the fundamental mathematics of maintenance work escapes this situation.

Example: for a 40 year old property with 346 apartments and townhomes on more than 30 acres and a 5 person maintenance staff, we perform about 2,500 service requests a year, partly because we ask our customers for service rather than wait for them to ask. We have a turnover rate of about 28%, with about 90+ turnovers a year.

Maintenance work math might be a formula like this:
labor for annual service requests + labor for annual turnover work + labor for annual in-house common area maintenance = "X" number of annual manhours.

With 5 person maintenance staff, we average about 32 hours of labor per unit (we also have to plow and shovel about 18 feet of snow a winter). A single maintenance tech for 500 units means performing about 4 hours of annual labor per apartment. Our 32 hours per apartment is 8 times more than the 4 hours per unit that you expect, or, put another way, you are able to achieve "mission accomplished" with 1/8th the effort.

Perhaps I'm missing something.


Rick Hevier
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Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Tracie's Avatar
Tracie
@Rick. It is probably me who was "missing something" when I answered this. 1 maintenance technician per 500 units may be misleading, as my definition of maintenance tech is the guys who respond to tenant requests for plugged toilets and dried up dishwasher pumps. We do not have common areas or swimming pools, and we do have a grounds crew of 4 people who take care of the appearance of the property - kind of our rule of thumb, if it's under a roof, it goes to maintenance, if it's outside, it goes to grounds. No maintenance shop is located more than a couple of city blocks distance from any unit, and we keep the shops stocked so there is minimal need to "run to town" for supplies. We receive an average of less than 30 work orders per day, and many of these are relatively routine and quick fixes. When it comes time for the turnovers (summer), we hire a couple of extra unskilled labor workers. My decision to go with 3 maintenance techs was based on the number of work orders, as with all 5 guys we were averaging about 7 labor hours per work order! Most work orders take between 30 minutes and 1 hour to address. We have almost no deferred maintenance. I think over time you just look at the demands of your individual properties, the skill of your techs, the availability of resources for them to do their jobs efficiently, and find the formula that workls best for you. It's not so much the number of maintenance techs as it is the skill, efficiency and work ethic of each tech and your company's ability to keep them well-stocked and supplied.
Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Rick Hevier's Avatar
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@Tracie:

I think your last sentence summed up the challenge that boots-on-the-ground managers face. This is why I feel that industry rules of thumb are interesting, but probably not actionable, until there has been a sufficient, detailed and real-world analysis for a particular property.

The more experience that a manager has with a property, the easier it becomes to assess necessary staffing levels. Additionally, massaging the mix of in-house and contracted labor through what-if analysis can arrive at different costs and outcomes. For example, in Syracuse, it's difficult to achieve a successful outcome with snow removal using contractors, which is why we perform it in-house.

I applaud your efforts of working towards finding the optimal level of staffing and the best mix of contract labor/in-house labor.

Rick Hevier
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Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Richard Berman's Avatar
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It’s variable depending on the acreage. The larger the community and the more spread out the buildings are, the more staff you’ll need. Also the age of the property and differed maintenance issues can be a significant contributing factor.

I find that typically 1 person for each 75 units is acceptable. This should include grounds, service requests, and turnover of vacancies as well as typical preventive maintenance work.
Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Frederic Guitton's Avatar
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It seems that defining the role of the person is a major factor in how many unit they can take care of. Based on your comments it seems that the turnovers are over a short period which create some labor economy since you can execute the tasks with a pattern.
In my first apartment we had one person for 283 units, he lived on site and was excellent so it seems that it can be done (he was not taking care of the grounds).
I would be concern about how much proactive maintenance gets done when reducing staff at these levels and that can create long term maintenance issues that cost more than the saving realized. It's all a matter of balance.
Posted 12 years 5 months ago
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Haley's Avatar
Haley
Wow! Just a concern or question I have about this, do you still have time to do all of your preventative maintenance and do everything that really needs to be done from an on-going maintenance standpoint? In my experience, there is always a constant with maintenance, (or seemingly so at the properties I oversee)the grounds still have to be picked up, the laundry rooms cleaned, the buildings powerwashed each quarter, someone has to walk with pest control and change A/C filters, exterior lights replaced, compact the trash compactor twice a day due to overflow, and various other "tasky" items. Yes, this person does not have to be a well paid maintenance technician and would be a lower paid employee, but one person for 500 units, could not handle make-readies, workorders, and the above, could they?

Of course, work orders are a good way to measure the amount of time maintenance technicians are actually working at 100% capacity, but in my opinion can not be the only indicator that having drastically less staff still works the same.

In my experience the "1 maintenance staff member per every so many units," would include the entire maintenance team and not just techs that respond to service requests. Same as you would say, "1 office member per every hundred units," refers to the entire staff and not just the manager. I would hope when using this as a guide, it also considers the painter, housekeeper, groundskeeper etc. With all of those positions included, how many maintenance staff members do you really need per every hundred units? There are too many variables to say for sure in my opinion, and instead it should be a different rule of thumb such as "1 full time maintenance technician per every 20 workorders submitted per day. " Maybe not this exactly, but quantitative workload may be a better way to measure how much staff we really need.
Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Lawrence Berry, CPM's Avatar
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I agree, I do not see how one per 500 can provide exceptional service even under the best of conditions and a newer site. They must contract a lot of work out or we are missing something. After seeing this I called a friend who is a manager of an "A" proeperty of 240 apartments, and the site is about 7 years old. She said they get anywhere on average from 10-15 service requests per day. Take that equation to an older site (and I believe they said student)and double the units and there is no way Superman could do that many requests with quality service in a day. Maybe I'm missing something.
Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Tracie's Avatar
Tracie
I'm not pleased with the way this discussion is turning and the implications that I and my company must be providing inferior service or letting the our properties suffer in terms of ongoing maintenance. I have already clarified that our 1 to 500 ratio was to handle daily work orders. I have a staff of 3 highly skilled and experienced individuals who do this for 1500 units, we are completing those work orders same-day, and we are keeping our eye on the total upkeep of the properties, and 4 exceptional grounds people, which in these terms would bring our maintenance-to-unit ration closer to 1 to 200. Originally, I was not including my grounds workers in that formula, or the specialists we bring in to handle roofing, siding, window casement replacement, large-scale plumbing issues (clogged sewer lines), electrical upgrades and flooring replacement. I did say we hire a few unskilled workers for our turnover periods, which are in December and May-August. What really ehlps during this turnover is that we also outsource our full-unit painting. We do not have common areas such as pools or community rooms. Our properties are grouped closely together and our shops are stocked, minimizing time off-site obtaining supplies. As property managers, we each of us have our own data and experience to go on to find that right balance of payroll with high quality standards - we are all smart enough to find the balance that works for each, we do not also have to assume that any of us is willing to sacrifice quality to reach that number.
Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Brent Williams's Avatar
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I think you are right that we are essentially comparing apples to oranges, Tracie. You utilize outsourcing as well as categorize your grounds people differently, so you can't really compare the measure.

And ultimately, it doesn't really matter what sounds like bad service. The proof is in the pudding, to use a cliche, and if your resident satisfaction relative to maintenance is high, your employee satisfaction is high (i.e., not overwhelmed, overly stressed, etc), and you are providing preventative maintenance, then there is no reason to say that your strategy is wrong in any way. I guess my only question (unless you answered this before), is whether you track resident satisfaction and employee satisfaction, and what preventative maintenance you employ. (Or with employees, some other way to gauge their reaction by ensuring they give you an accurate answer rather than the answer they think you want to hear).

And please know, even though some on here might be surprised with your results, you sharing your experiences is greatly appreciated! In fact, trying to establish a "rule of thumb" can be detrimental as it stifles innovation, so your input helps break that cycle.
Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Nicholas Dunlap's Avatar
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We try to assign a Maintenance Technician no more than 100 units for routine maintenance. However, this depends on the age of the building and it's electrical/plumbing systems. Vintage buildings without upgraded systems can often incur more problems and require additional maintenance and repairs than say your newer construction. As such, some of our Maintenance Techs might be responsible for as many as 150 units, but no less than 80.

Responding promptly to property and tenant requests has always been our practice and with these allowances per Maintenance Tech, we are able to do so. Alot of this depends on time management and skill-set as well, so it is important to make sure you are entrusting the work on a staff who works to solve problems the first visit and minimize re-visits.

When we have turnovers to complete, we typically send a crew of two maintenance techs to do the job over a 2 to 3 day period. This works great for us. And by sending out a crew, our resident's needs for routine maintenance are not interrupted or unsatisfied.

Nicholas A. Dunlap, CPM
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Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Lawrence Berry, CPM's Avatar
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Tracie:
I apologize if you took my comment the wrong way. I in no way was trying to imply you were sacraficing service, which is why I finished by saying "maybe I am missing something." As you can see by some of the other posts, the boilerplate for the number of service to apartments seems to range anywhere from 80 - 150 on average. I have had in my career some exceptionally talented service personnel, and even the most experienced in just handling general service requests would suggest a 500 to 1 ratio would be out of the norm. I again apologize and can tell by your response you are very proud of what you and your staff accomplishes.
Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Ray Braccischi's Avatar
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So here I go, I am Sr Tech at our property. 504 units on 40 acres, Built in 1968, poorly maintained over the years,A good Tech could do avg 6-7 requests a day
due to age issues,ect. (water heater replacement, faucets, toilet issues,drain issues, Dish washer issues, appliance issues, you get my drift. Then there is the HVAC issues I deal with(replacing 10-20 systems a year and ressurecting dead heat/ac systems that should have been replaced 15 or so years ago. We gave a staff of 5, A working super,Me, 2 make ready techs(cleaners) and a painter, we do grounds clean up but not grass or pool,
we clean our own carpets,and Paint our own (blue) Tubs, also now renovating our
11 laundry rooms(inc new water heaters.
We average 15 makereadys a month, also,
so am I wrong in thinking we are short
staffed. Or is it me?
Posted 12 years 4 months ago
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Bob Warner's Avatar
Bob Warner
We have a student housing complex we are looking to sell. Are you looking to add to your portfolio? and what state are you located in?
Posted 12 years 2 weeks ago
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Jordan's Avatar
Jordan
I think there are just to many factors to put into affect to actually create an industry standard. At my property we have 8-15unit turns per month, and 70 workorders. Our property is only 4 years old so some may see this and say well thats very little. Well, we do all the prep work for those units (covers, vents, toilet seats, drywall repairs, recaulk all counters and tubs etc.) but we also paint half of those 1200sq ft units in house. We also have pms and everyday "maintenance" (exterior bulbs, compactor every 2-3 hours, doggy stations, furnace filters quarterly, power washing quarterly, picking up grounds, trimming trees and bushes, filling in low/dead spots with dirt and seed). It is myself and 1 other guy and we do everything in house except painting everyonce and a while. The community is a 144 unit top notch luxury community. We make sure everything is perfect on unit turns, grounds are great condition and improving. We do things a lot of other guys miss and probably don't see or care about. Unfortunately, upper management never sees that part.

The 500 unit/tech ratio in impossible. Grounds, seasonal staff, maint. manager etc should be included in that ratio and the extent of the work is only so good with that bad of a ratio.

Managers should know they get what they pay for. Our ratio is better then yours (70:1) but because of that the grounds are top notch and when the unit turns are done, the apartments are better then original construction by far!
Posted 9 years 7 months ago
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Mic's Avatar
Mic
Hi i am a maintenance lead and have 360 units on three seprate sites. My first roperty are about 70 years old, my next is 50 and then 30, the 30 unit is pretty easy the tech there is not HAVAC certified but can do the make readys and tickets. Next two properties i have myself and a tech that dose pretty much make readys and one grounds keeper, the last two maintenace were terminatted because they just could not keep up or did nothing ...I got 25 years on my belt but i cant seem to get caught up,we dont get much budget and cant call venders to help out other then are paint ,floor and cleaning venders. I have a family to feed and dont want to get caught up in micro management calling the shots but not doing the work and i also will be a grandfather so my youngiest daughter is having her first child she is here at home .Is there anything you would be willing to advise please ,please tell me your secrets.God bless sincerly Mic. 816-812-1959
Posted 9 years 5 months ago
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Ac's Avatar
Ac
Don't apologize. 1-500. Not out of norm. It's just goofy. Lol
Posted 8 years 11 months ago
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Rick Graham's Avatar
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1 maintenance tech for 500 units...if he only does the workorders and nothing else. Still, I think this is a stretch.
Posted 8 years 11 months ago
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don's Avatar
don
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I always hear 1 guy for 60-120 apartments, but there are soo many factors involved I don't think there can be a standard.
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Posted 8 years 10 months ago
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samuel mccord's Avatar
samuel mccord
:( units are 70 years old executives have no idea what a treated 3/4 treater plywood is and couldn't find their bottom with both hands and is very suspect in business dealings I have proof maybe prison time pictures and recordings
Posted 8 years 4 months ago
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don's Avatar
don
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100 apartments is plenty for one worker, as long as they don't have to be a janitor of a painter, as those are different jobs altogether, though some lump them together.
Posted 8 years 4 months ago
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manuel delacerda's Avatar
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Hello Wallace, its been 4yrs 10mos since you posted the question of how many maintenance tech's you need for 200 units. I have a question for you, do your 200 units resemble the model you show to renters after almost 5yrs?
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Posted 8 years 4 months ago
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Number of units. Define a unit. Are they all identical?

In an HOA that could have 300 homes/units, all are luxury remodeled to the homeowners design and vary in plumbing, appliances, heating systems etc. The maintenance staff required to perform maintenance requests that fall within that particular associations maintenance matrix of responsibilities cannot be determined by unit number only, but by those requirements also.

There are the common areas and the size of acreage to the property. Common areas can include things like- Guest Units (small motel), Clubhouses, indoor pool and spa facilities, restaurant, fitness center, arts & crafts building, laundry facilities throughout the property. Then there is the infrastructure of the facility that may have such things as a sewage station, water pressure pump station, generators, irrigation stations, well pumps etc..
There is also the maintenance matrix that needs to follow the CC&R's of that particular association. It may also have a personal maintenance services contract built into it to provide a variety of maintenance services to the residents. The association may have elderly residents that require more personal maintenance services to be performed.

So in conclusion it is not always possible in most instances to base the amount of maintenance staff by the unit number. If the complex was similar to the operation of a hotel or apartment building with near identical units maybe.
Posted 7 years 11 months ago
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
I'd say on average 80-100 per maintenance man. of course there are variables, but that's a good baseline. And the Matrix was a good movie, at least the 1st one.:)
Posted 7 years 11 months ago
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Andrea Dunmire's Avatar
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I'm assistant manager for a 896 unit property and we have two "sides" a north side and a south side. We have a total of 3 maintenance techs that only do maintenance calls. We also have a make ready staff too that will assist with floods or emergencies. :)
Posted 7 years 9 months ago
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Whitnall Pointe's Avatar
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If the property is older it will require more maintenance. Although on an average there should be 1 to every 80-100 units. That does not include Housekeeping and Grounds Keepers if you have that in house.
Posted 7 years 9 months ago
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manuel delacerda's Avatar
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Hi Andrea, 3 maintenance techs doing only maintenance calls is adequate for a 896 unit complex. That's an average of 298 units per tech. When I say adequate; I mean they have to be full line maintenance techs skilled in all phases of maintenance. Utilizing team work and time management, you should have near perfect service for your tenants.
Posted 7 years 9 months ago
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Andrea Dunmire's Avatar
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That's correct. We have very qualified techs, we do everything in house, plubing, hvac, pretty much everything!
Posted 7 years 9 months ago
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manuel delacerda's Avatar
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Good to know Andrea, there's nothing better than having your own in house crew. I like the size of property that you have; which allows salary expense for 3 techs.
Posted 7 years 9 months ago
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Cheap people, still want slaves, so they can control them, all the unit's for two techs, hell no, hire more, like two, more, also pay them what there worth, why!!! If it wasn't for them your property would look like some old run down barn..I'm keeping it real, well to do people some of them are a*******, they need to be checked,
Posted 7 years 1 month ago
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Rick Graham's Avatar
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Edit post. Deleted content.
Posted 7 years 1 month ago
Last edit: by Rick Graham. Reason: Personal reasons.
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Are you freaking kidding me? 1 day turn? What are they one room studios? Typical 1 maintenance tech per 100 units and a supervisor.

Turns. One day maintenance. One day paint. One day countertop and flooring if needed.

You must not be doing family units. Sounds like campus housing to me. If you are a family complex doing 850 turns a year then you must not have many satisfied residents.

You still need porters and landscapers.

Would be interesting to see your property.
Posted 6 years 10 months ago
Last edit: by Brent Williams.
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Pamela Crowell's Avatar
Pamela Crowell
I think you are not looking at this correctly. They do not have 1 day turns.....it says 1 day for maintenance, 1 day for paint, etc. They are at approximately 3 day turn.....if no glitches. And there was no mention of cleaning....unless their residents leave them spic and span which most of ours don't.
Posted 6 years 10 months ago
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Larry Berry's Avatar
Larry Berry
Looks like we have touched a nerve. I believe there are several key factors here when looking at this topic.
1. One size does not fit all as the saying goes. Older apartments need more TLC. Not all apartments are the same size. Turning a 700 square foot apartments is not the same as a 1200 square foot two and a half bath apartment.
2. If you are factoring in painting and cleaning in house, all bets are off for 1 per 100 and in the time required to turn an apartment.
3. Is your team performing PM along with the turn. Flushing a water heater, cleaning coils, and changing out faucet aerators because your water is not the best makes a difference.
4. Is your turn person just a turn person, or are the a maintenance tech that must perform turns? If they are techs don't tell me they will not have several interruptions during that turn. Mrs. Smith A/C is not working or a water heater is leaning in the third floor in one of the buildings.

We know the number one reason for non renewal is lack of or poor service. Ladies and gentlemen it's not a rent increase if your residents perceive value in the service they are receiving. Yet, we seem to think we should tax our service team to exhaustion and push them to the limits while holding a debate over number of units when there is no one right answer. I could have two communities of similar construction within a couple of miles of each other and have two resident profiles and two different sets of needs. Apartments are non-homogeneous, which means no two properties are exactly alike because they cannot be in the same place and everything be exactly alike. Ingress, egress, construction, unit make up, school district, county, city, amenities, and yes even down to the landscaping and parking configuration can be different. And don't forget about the team, as they can have a huge impact and influence on occupancy, marketing, and resident retention. Don't mean to be the spoiler here, however, if it was that easy...we would have the answer six pages of replies ago.
Posted 6 years 10 months ago
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Tom D's Avatar
Tom D
As profits go down the demand on labors goes up! I have been doing maintenance work for over 20 years now in Florida, from Gainesville to Sarasota, and am seeing a trend in the multi-family housing industry which recons these companies to "Flydubai"...putting profits before everything else...while quality and safety go down.
Posted 6 years 4 months ago
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Rose M's Avatar
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I've seen this at my last several positions and not just with maintenance. 400+ units and one manager for over 500 residents. I worked 80 hours a week but still could not manage to keep up with the work load of move ins, move outs, and resident issues even with a maintenance supervisor and two techs that did service requests and turns.

My last position was 300 units, one manager, one assistant (me,) one tech, one porter, and one maint supervisor. Over 500 residents on 5 properties. Most of the residents were extremely low income or recently homeless. The language barrier was so great I left the industry and career I loved (even though we were all speaking English.)
Posted 6 years 4 months ago
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JB's Avatar
JB
I co-manage a maintenance department for low to moderate income families. We are a large company with 2000+ units over multiple counties. We are as well a non-profit in northern New England.

Just the short description above has multiple variables. It would be great if there was a spreadsheet with a row of in house services offered, total units, average age of housing stock, counties served, and minimum standards with the last row total maintenance staff and their breakdown.

If someone has any likeness to that, I would love to know about it.
Posted 5 years 10 months ago
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Perry Sanders's Avatar
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65. From a long time maintenance guy, 65 units per maintenance person. That excludes cleaning. Maintenance and cleaning are two different mindsets. I think it is wise to hire two different people. It will save a lot of money in the long run. The chrome will sparkle and everything will work. The place will rent itself.

I read all the way through this thread. I don't know where you would find these "trained" maintenance people. I don't understand how anyone would hope to find a skilled maintenance person if those who in charge of hiring have no understanding of exactly what a maintenance person does. It is impossible to judge by a resume, just because a person has been doing it for 30 years doesn't mean they have been doing it well for 30 years.

The idea that an older building will take more maintenance than a newer one is bogus. This is not always the case but newer buildings I have found tend to suffer from the "Built by Monkeys" syndrome. Just because something is up to code doesn't mean it's a good idea.
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Posted 5 years 9 months ago
Last edit: by Perry Sanders.
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
45 year old poorly maintained 300 unit property would require 4 maintenance dudes. Period.
No amount of buzz words (time management, work ethic, etc) will change that.
Posted 5 years 3 months ago
Last edit: by Brent Williams. Reason: Keeping it civil
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
Average is 1 Tech per 100 units. If your groundskeeper also does maintenance that would be 2 Techs.
Posted 4 years 11 months ago
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Brian G.'s Avatar
Brian G.
I have been a sup. in the Navy in charged with the safety and production of several hundred men rehabbing ships in a naval shipyard, and we made historical records with the work we accomplished, I have never been prouder in my life. I was an enlisted man given a rare opportunity, also was apart of a navy educational pilot program of total efficiency and quality assurance control and execution, material and man-hours projection, safety assessment and execution, the 5 levels of preventive maintenance, The 5 Phase of becoming proactive, and utilizing the 5s's. I have been trained by people a lot smarter than me. With that said here is some input I may offer.

Being a property manager, I had the experience of both sides, a third line supervisor to CEO executive assistant, I have seen the corporate V. maintenance battles. It is very difficult for either side to see what the other goes through, there is no understanding unless you really walked that mile with the boots on the ground. It becomes a self-defeating process of drawn-out battles which result in a revolving door of losing well-trained personnel and a litany of costly failures.

it is great when you calculate man hours but you must take in consideration, the builder of the property, materials used, the age, and prior upkeep these usually unseen factors should be calculated in. I work in a place where, not only do we not have the proper tools or equipment to do our job, we don't have the manpower for the near 600 units that require great maintenance. We have huge common areas that need to be policed, septic tanks, which have never been properly maintained and have not been cleaned out in the last nine to ten years, a water treatment facility, and placement of new homes. We have two people to do this, including the super. I basically work for a company that just wants new homes put down, their motto is "Sales before safety and death" they have actually said that. Having the loss of men under my command, I took great offense to that and don't subscribe to it. We have been at odds ever since. Many attempts have been made to the corporate type, we need tools, time, and a little respect we will get this done. There is no listening, many times I have been told: "Don't want to hear it, just get it done." Well, I live here too so guess what I do the right thing regardless of what they say, I have been in worse trust me.

The shame is, the men and I are military vets, we adapt, overcome, modify, improvise, prepare plan and attack, the residents loved us, who made several nice notifications to cooperate and we never had one positive response in reference from corporate. This long-winded background comes to many informative conclusions, the most important, listen to the boots on the ground, they are probably beaten up by the residents, and the managers, but put on the bum and crying filter (for some people), and listen to the needs of the personnel that are literally chested deep in human excrement. The job is hard enough without being blamed for the failures of being micromanaged and then blamed for management failure. Please never make the lack of someones managerial skills become maintenance's emergency. Very difficult to become proactive when everything is the "end of the world priority." Also, just don't focus on the failures, also focus on what went right, and how can we learn from that and improve.

There is much to be calculated and much to be understood before calculating or projecting man-hours, and many easy ways to accomplish this. Communication, teamwork, daily, weekly, short term and long term goals should be established. Plan and simple. BTW mistakes will happen, if we don't make mistakes then we are not working, errors, on the other hand, example, using duct tape on sewer lines, an electrical conduit for pressured lines, etc etc. that is obviously an error.

I love the challenge of this job, but unfortunately, when you work for people that just want you to hear them and don't want you to be heard, it is a recipe for failure. So I hope this insight can give you a better understanding that many times we make the job harder, lose many man hours because of simple errors such as communicating objectives properly and spending the little money to do the job right the first time. Sorry so winded I have so much to say in reference to the subject that I love so much. Be well.
Posted 4 years 10 months ago
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Agustin Serrano's Avatar
Agustin Serrano
I was reading the last part about the 2 techs being fired,I have at my job over 4 years 180 units since I have worked there I have seen dozons 9f employees either fired or let go or just quit. Regardless of who is hired super or tech they have no clue on how to repair a/c's or any appliance repair,nor are they cpo certified I've trained them,but they won't admit it,I have done the work of 2-3 guys for two years On seperate times had to work by myself from 8am to 12-2 pm detailing grounds then the pool leaf scrub chemicals,then the main emergency calls then make readies then maybe some work orders,I have asked time and time again when will they hire someone to help me and there is no direct answer,at one point the reginal actually threatened my job saying if your tired and burnt out man up and put your keys on the desk,mind you this person took over the property for 1 and 1/2 days out of the 4 years I worked there,was upset that I only completed 2 out of 3 work orders,she started raising her voice,I said you know what I'm going to write down everything I did from 8am to 5pm she realized all the work I was doing,next day was when I was told not to have any interaction with any vendors and these work orders will get done or so help me ill fire you,so I've stayed after hours to finish work sometimes late,thank you your so dedicated,next day your not doing enough work,sadly to say the let me go 2 weeks ago say we're leting you go and bringing in some ppl to see if we cant get this property up and running, they gave the lead tech to the new guy and hired 2 more guys,what gets me is I've needed help since day one someone who new what they were doing and struggled all those years,came in friday 8 am left Saturday 7 am you know what I got in return for staying awake almost 24 hours???? A freaking 50$ gift certificate on top of that I slept 12 hours and missed my sons birthday party........I know sorry to lay this on you all but I'm venting, all I know is I bent over backwards,shirtoff my back missed family functions for what your no doing enough work.......oh a week later they fired the super,as far as the offce goes they were in fear of there jobs also so that 100% back you up theory went down the toilet if you do post this it would be greatly appreciated if not I'll understand,pp not all jobs are bad but I know a few that pass those qualities
Posted 4 years 9 months ago
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Brian Clarke's Avatar
Brian Clarke
Good evening.
Your question has variables. Size of property, age, management ranking. My experience has shown and proved that one tech per 100 units is as far as you want to stretch them. Stresses from management and leasing agents will take it's toll. Not to mention regional and ownership expectations can in some ways seem unrealistic. Sorry for rambling...1 tech per 100 units is thin enough without pushing the stress limits that counter act productivity.
Just saying.
Posted 4 years 5 months ago
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Danny McNabb's Avatar
Danny McNabb
One maintenance tech per 300 units and now one per 500 ? As a regional maintenance director with 30 years experience I can tell you running a property that low on maintenance staff will have an undesired affect on the property. In my years of experience I have seen managers over staff “pad their office” and take away from maintenance staffing budget wile burning out the maintenance team, It’s not if it’s when the effects of running low manpower shows itself in a devalued property because maintenances had to cut corners.
Posted 4 years 5 months ago
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Teresa Swift's Avatar
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I believe that the number of maintenance staff really depends on the property. It sounds like you are a well trained person who is being taken advantage of and getting burned out.
I have a maintenance person who can do it all. A/C, gas or electric furnaces, all appliances, etc.
First off, we manager 2 properties. Each one is getting old so more problems, built in the early 80's
I can not run the properties by myself, I consider my maintenance person my partner and we run them together. Each morning we discuss what is going on, move outs, move ins, all of it. When a unit turns, I get up and go look at the unit. We discuss what needs to be done. One property has a pool, throw that in the mix. These total about 200 units.
He does carry a emergency phone and gets no breaks. I will take it every other month to give him a break. I still have to call with real emergencies, but can trouble shoot most others. Any lock outs are $50.00 cash on spot and he gets that for the trouble of having to go let someone in.
Sorry this is so long. You also have to have an owner who will spend the money to keep things running properly. With that being said, 1 maintenance, 1 property Manager. No one else.
Posted 4 years 4 months ago
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Danny McNabb's Avatar
Danny McNabb
This is in accurate!!
I have spent 20+ years in the industry there’s no doubt in my mind that this is written by office workers and that is a problem with this industry! I will be going more in depth in the future about this. Also note I was a regional maintenance director for two separate management groups
Posted 3 years 11 months ago
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Anonymous's Avatar
Anonymous
As a maintenance supervisor I think the more you cut your team the less your caring for the investment, I take care of a older property 125 doors, it is a non stop day, if I did not have help I could never honestly protect the investment I guess what are you looking for? A cash cow of a property or residents that are happy bc the place is maintained
Posted 3 years 3 months ago
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