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Are you doing this for your Service Team in the summer?

A/C service calls and work outside in general are at an all-time high and very often your technicians have to work outside in the sun, on rooftops, in attics, crawlspaces and very unhospitable places to make sure their customers, the residents, have air condition and can enjoy their home at a comfortable temperature. Too often though, nobody regularly checks on the technicians throughout the day to make sure they haven't suffered from a heat injury or show any signs or symptoms. It can be as simple and make sure there is water and healthy drinks available all day and that they have to let their supervisor or manager know they are staying hydrated. The last thing you want, is to find a technician that suffered heat exhaustion or heat stroke because someone didn't think to check on them or have water and fluids available.  If someone is going to work on a rooftop or in an isolated area they should check in every so often (15 minutes) to let someone know they are alright and doing well.  The surface temperature of many rooftops is over 140 degrees, an attic can be just as hot, and it is already hot enough outside in the sun and shade. Even just walking around on the hot asphalt exposes a technician to much more heat than walking on concrete or grass. If you measure the difference with a thermometer, the temperature difference between, grass, concrete, asphalt and a rooftop or attic is significant. Often times the difference ......
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Technicians are Exhausted

Technicians are Exhausted
Technicians are exhausted, burnt out and need time to replenish, recover, and re-energize. If you don’t do something about it the shortage of techs will only get much worse. It is time to make changes that matter. We all know that our technicians are the heartbeat of our service and commitment to take care of our residents and make our properties as successful as possible. The pandemic and the past year have taken a serious toll on everyone on site that cannot be overlooked, and it is evident by employee turnover which specifically includes our Service Team members. More than ever before, good technicians are hard to find, and the great ones are even more of a rare find. There is such a shortage, that when a great tech is available or looking for a new place of employment they are inundated with offers, messages from recruiters and almost always have a new place of employment immediately. Far too often, technicians genuinely don’t feel as if they are valued and respected in the workplace. They hear it often, but don’t feel they experience it nearly enough, if at all. It is one thing to tell an associate they are respected but it is an entirely different matter for them to experience it from their own perspective and feel as if it is true through deeds not words.  What does this mean? Techs want to be spoken to with respect, they want the support of their team, and they do not want to be......
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"Does your company require technicians to do HVAC work outside once it is dark out?"

Below is a video of some of my thoughts on "Does your company require technicians to do HVAC work outside once it is dark out?"

What is expected where you work?  

 

 

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What advice would you give to an individual who is just beginning his or her Maintenance career in the industry?

What advice would you give to an individual who is just beginning his or her Maintenance career in the industry?
This industry gets in your blood and you’ll know if it is right for you within the first few months. Often industry veterans will say something along the lines of, “I can’t imagine working in any other industry” and the constant changes and variety of challenges can make it more unique, fun, and entertaining than anything else I have ever done.   When you are new to the industry there are few things to consider if you want to get ahead and increase the chances of success and how well you compliment the team and industry you have just joined. The industry is unique in many ways but the most simple and universal “must do” rules apply first. Be a few minutes early or at the very least on time every day. Some of the biggest impressions you will make will be during your first few weeks so make sure they are all good ones that employers and teams want and hope for in a new team member.   The first few will be your ability to consistently show up on time, how positive or negative your attitude is, and how you dress for work. All of these are a true reflection of the pride you have for yourself and the priority you put on working with your new team in a new industry.   Then, a little further in the beginning of your career your technical ability and willingness to learn will become a very large determining factor for your success. Are y......
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Why golf carts are such a good investment and so important for timely service

Why golf carts are such a good investment and so important for timely service
  The topic of golf carts tends to stir a lot of debate, but having golf carts is hands down one of the best things a company can do to provide top notch service in a timely manner. But let’s look at the decision to provide golf carts from a purely quantifiable and productive standpoint and you can decide for yourself. As an owner you have a choice; pay someone by the hour to walk from point A to point B at approximately 3-4 miles per hour, or pay them to drive a golf cart at approximately 12-20 miles per hour.  So let’s look at the cost of walking compared to the cost of driving. If a technician gets paid 10.00 per hour, that is 16.6 cents per minute; so every time a technician spend 10 minutes walking it costs you $1.66. Multiply that by the number of your technicians and you can figure out exactly how much you just paid a person to walk from one place to the other without producing work or providing service. So, if 4 technicians waste 10 minutes a day by walking back and forth for service requests for 350 days, that will equal $2,324 per year in payroll at a conservative $10.00 per hour. Most technicians get paid much more that that but this is just to further prove the point. What does a golf cart cost? In my experience, a decent used golf cart can cost between $2,000-$3,000, so let’s say it cost $2,50......
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Why do Managers say this to their technicians?

I just got back from traveling all over the country speaking to different groups on several topics and conducting maintenance certification seminars. At the end of most certification courses such as CPO, CFC, HVAC and each student has to successfully pass an exam to get their certification.

This year, noticeably more than the past few years, I have had quite a few technicians come to me and say "My Manager told me if I fail I need to look for another job". “What can I do if I fail and can I take the test again?”

Now I am a huge believer in setting goals and holding people accountable but I find it hard to believe how anyone can think threatening someone with their employment is an effective way to motivate someone to pass a certification exam right before they go to the class.

Imagine if the roles were reversed! I would like to know your thoughts on this and what you have found to be effective and how you approach and handle it.

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How To Reduce Last Minute Service Requests During the Holiday Season

The Holidays will be here soon and here are a few tips that will not only reduce service calls but ultimately help your residents enjoy having guests over. Often times a resident may only use certain appliance a few times a year or less and they do not want to find out at the very last minute their oven or broiler doesn’t work.

Below is a list that can be put into a letter and sent to each resident several weeks before their guests arrive. This way, if something does need to be repaired your team will have plenty of time to do it and order any parts if necessary. Most importantly your residents will know you are looking out for them and want them to have a good experience while they live at your community.

Here is a check list:
Stove burners
Oven
Broiler
Microwave
Dishwasher
Garbage disposer
Kitchen and Bathroom Drains
Anything else you don’t use often that a guest may need.

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