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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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Maintenance Tracking Via Mobile Devices Continues to Surge

A continuing trend over the past 12 months is the adoption of mobile devices when tracking service requests, as shown in our most Maintenance Strategies Research Report (download for free here).  24 months ago, 33% of responders within our maintenance strategies research reported using mobile devices to track service requests, but in 2018, that number has increased to 47%, and we do not see that trend subsiding anytime soon. 

On a related note, we also asked professionals how they accepted service requests at their properties.  Phone calls remained the most common method of receiving service requests, but what was interesting was the rise of text message based service requests, which grew to 33% of companies responding. 

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Learn How Streamlining Your Maintenance Service Requests Leads to Resident Retention

Streamlining your maintenance requests helps create a hassle-free experience for your residents. This leads to an increase of perception in value of the community and staff which helps increase renewals!   Here are 5 KEY Ways to Streamline Your Community’s Service Requests: 1. Contact the resident – According to our 2017 Today’s Online Renters Study, 75.9% of residents use their apartment community’s online portal to submit service requests. If service requests are received via the community portal, contact the resident to gain more information if needed. Providing as much detail as possible will help the maintenance team complete the service request in the most timely and efficient way possible. 2. Be Transparent & Communicate – Notifying resident of a delay in service; such as a part is on order and the expected delivery date, in addition to the time frame maintenance will return to the resident’s home. Leave documentation in the apartment home and personally communicate the information to the resident in the manner they like to receive communication; email, text, or phone call. 3. Immediately Record into the PM system – Enter service requests directly into the Property Management Systemand repeat the request back to the resident. This allows for accuracy of the resident’s service request and for the maintenance staff to prioritize service requests as they are received. Always verify contact information; ensure email and phone number are current as this allows the resident to receive notifications as soon as the request is complete. 4. Maintenance team trained, equipped to carry out the request – Know your maintenan......
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Carbon Copy Paper Cuts

Carbon Copy Paper Cuts
The millennial generation may not even realize “CC” on an email actually stands for “Carbon Copy,” let alone have ever put their hands on an actual carbon copy piece of paper. So why are maintenance work orders still managed on these paper forms? If you’re reading this and you think that you’ve upgraded your process just because you got rid of those old white, yellow, pink forms a long time ago, think again. My guess is the replacement is simply printer paper, still not quite the ultimate solution we are looking for. In today’s technology landscape, so much focus is being placed on pushing residents towards paperless payments, completing applications online, and signing leases electronically, but what about maintenance? Isn’t there an app for that? Why are we still using carbon copy paper or printed service requests? Most apartment community websites now have forms for residents to enter their service requests electronically. However, some of them simply send an email which is then printed out. Worse yet the request goes into an online system to track the work, but the very first thing the leasing office does when it's received is print it. In my opinion, the persona of the typical maintenance team member might be playing a factor in resistance. These individuals work with their hands and prefer tangible problems they can fix. They are attached to the idea of tearing off the pink copy (that's the one they give to the resident, right?) of the form and leaving it behind as a show of “my w......
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Maintain to Retain

Maintain to Retain
Renewal rates continue to climb upward1, but there are still many enticing options out there for renters to consider as their lease term comes to an end. New trends in the multifamily market are raising the bar on what an apartment can offer. Amenities are becoming more crucial, as is the involvement and connection between tenants and staff. When it comes time for a resident to decide whether or not to renew their existing lease, you need to remind them why they want to stay, and you can do that quite easily with some tools you already have on hand: Your onsite employees. Your property's greatest asset in resident retention is in the personnel who help run things day-to-day, and no group stands to have a bigger impact on tenant satisfaction than the maintenance team.  You’ve hired the best folks to care for and maintain your property and its residents, so why not capitalize on it?  Here are some tips to incorporate your maintenance staff in your renewal goals to help incentivize your residents to sign a new lease. Communication Comes First Start by making your maintenance staff a part of resident retention efforts from day one. Introduce prospects and new tenants to the crew, give background on how long they've been caring for the property, and make sure they know that you are always there to respond to their needs. Online services for work order submission and resident information can help keep the lines of communication open after move-in day. Be T......
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On Maintenance and Retaining Residents

On Maintenance and Retaining Residents
Thinking about the apartment my wife and I lived in right after we were married brings back a broad spectrum of emotions and memories.  Even though it wasn't what you'd call a class A property, we loved it for the simple reason that it was our first home together and a place where many great memories were created.  Between infestations, ceilings that leaked, appliances that didn't work, and an HVAC system with a mind of its own, there was always a new adventure waiting for us around the corner.  Eventually, things did get bad enough that we ended up demanding (and winning) an early release from our contract. As I look back on that experience, I wonder if there was anything the property could have done to retain us.  Given what we were paying (next to nothing) and the age of the building (ancient), should we have really expected anything different?  At work, we handle hundreds of maintenance requests every day and have a unique opportunity to see how apartment communities respond to them all over the country.  Based on these experiences, here are a few ideas for ways we can better serve our residents and, in return, earn their loyalty. 1. Set Clear Expectations Up Front. If your residents have unreasonable expectations about how quickly their maintenance items should be fixed, what constitutes an emergency, or even what falls within the scope of your maintenance team, you are likely to disappoint them. Make sure your residents know what to expect from day one. 2. Provide......
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Prevent Maintenance Workflows From Freezing Up

Prevent Maintenance Workflows From Freezing Up
This week I learned the hard way that I was completely unprepared for a dead-of-winter cold front. I walked out the door, ready to return to work following a nice holiday break, only to find that my car wouldn't start after sitting unused in my garage for a week. January is officially here folks, and with it comes the icy sting of freezing temperatures. Much like with my car, the bitter cold can also wreak havoc at apartment communities. Winter’s harsh conditions inevitably bring reports of frozen pipes, leaky windows, icy parking lots, and broken heating systems. It’s easy for maintenance teams to quickly become overwhelmed by an endless list of work orders. With an increased number of maintenance requests, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re prepared to effectively respond to residents’ needs. It may be time to evaluate if there are inefficiencies that are putting a freeze on your maintenance workflows. Here are a few tips to keep your maintenance efforts moving: Plan and Prepare with Inspections A little preparation goes a long way. Get ahead of the game by pre-scheduling seasonal maintenance work with your landscapers, HVAC specialists, or other vendors. New online inspection tools make it easy to record inspections and get an overview of every unit, building and amenity. If something requires service during the inspection process, you can automatically create work orders that go directly to the maintenance staff. By inspecting and addressing any issues early on, you’ll clear up more time to deal with the unexpected ......
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Top 10 Apartment Resident Customer Satisfaction Complaints

J Turner Research, a leading marketing research firm exclusively serving the multifamily industry, today announced a ranking of the top 10 apartment resident complaints, as revealed in an analysis of 10,000 customer satisfaction surveys completed over the past two years at communities nationwide. Results from the survey analysis were released last week at the National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition in San Diego. According to the analysis, apartment residents are most likely to complain about rental rates more than any other issue. In fact, rent rates were more than twice as likely to be mentioned compared to concerns over pet waste, which perennially rank high in renter dissatisfaction. Additionally, rent prices were almost three times more likely to be highlighted by disgruntled residents than noise, which did not even crack the top 10:             Top 10 Multifamily Apartment Resident Complaints: 1)    Rental rates 2)    Poor grounds / common area upkeep 3)    Disorganized staff / lack of communication with staff 4)    Quality of response to maintenance requests 5)    Overall customer service of management staff 6)    Quality of parking / parking availability 7)    Concerns over security / safety / lighting 8)    Lack of upgraded amenities 9)    Pets not on leash / poor pet waste removal 10) General lack of preventative maintenance Renter complaints regarding rates could signify a broader softening in rent fundamentals, which have enjoyed a relatively steady rebound since the beginning of U.S. economic recovery from the Great Recession. Following rental rates, residents are also most likely to be concerned with......
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