Frustrations, upset and uncertainty that apartment community residents can experience due to property maintenance management issues all too often lead to broken leases. This serious outcome can mean serious, sometimes even financially devastating losses of revenues for many multi-family real estate investors. And, the situation frequently ends in replacement of property management services firms.
Using appropriate property maintenance and work order management software to coordinate tasks can alleviate tenants’ concerns and reduce complaints about response times and services.
Below is information to help clarify important differences between traditional manually organized maintenance programs and today’s state-of-the-art digital property and facilities maintenance management systems, also known as computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).
Challenges for Property and Facilities Managers
Common difficulties with which busy property and facilities managers struggle daily can, by extension, become residents’ problems as well. These include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Poorly Structured Maintenance Workflows — Employees or contractors lack complete and accurate information to get work done, or do not have deadlines that prevent procrastination and ultimately rushing to complete work for upset residents.
- Worker Distractions — Maintenance workers or on-site office admins become distracted by other tasks or interruptions, and consequently delay giving attention to higher-priority tasks.
- Incomplete Work — For a variety of (sometimes unavoidable) reasons, maintenance and office support staff or outside contractors often don’t finish the work they start, without additional prompting by management.
- Incorrect Judgement by Workers — Employees sometimes do not correctly recognize that they have reached a point at which a task or project is not progressing well. They fail to stop work, ask for necessary help, and meanwhile move on to a more productive use of time on other projects.
- Disorganized Employees — Employees may feel over-burdened and over-whelmed due to a chaotic system of maintenance task management that is incomprehensible to them. They are left unclear on priorities and time management requirements for specific tasks.
Tenant Complaints and Maintenance-Related Tenant Turn-Over
The extent of the problem of insufficient maintenance management for residents and property managers may shock the uninitiated. As just one example, the Better Business Bureau® of Minnesota and North Dakota reported the agency’s total complaints for 2017 placing the property management industry as the 4th highest in consumer complaints and inquiries, following only auto dealers (new), newspapers, and auto dealers (used). And, property management ranked 14th highest in total complaints received nationwide by the BBB in 2016 (exceeded by telephone companies, auto dealers, collection agencies, insurance companies and others).
Experienced property managers are all too familiar with the kinds of common maintenance-related complaints by tenants that can escalate to lease-breaking and costly premature turn-over, including the following, among others:
- HVAC not heating or cooling sufficiently.
- Plumbing leak, or no water.
- Toilet line backup.
- Insect or rodent infestation.
- Refrigerator or kitchen stove not working.
- Door locks malfunctioning.
- Broken window safety hazard or air leaks.
- Exterior lighting out, creating insufficient security and/or safety condition.
In the majority of cases, tenants’ frustrations could have been alleviated and turn-over avoided by more prompt and adequately responsive handling by on-site management and maintenance management leadership and work teams.
Tenant Retention Through Work Order Management Software Solutions
Effective work order management software can provides a wide range of essential benefits for property management industry professionals and the valued residents they serve at the properties they manage.
- Complete Information — All parties have full access to complete information necessary to get a work order done properly. Team leaders are thereby empowered to help shape problem-solving strategies, instead of being limited to motivating maintenance repair personnel by imperatives, warnings, and threats.
- Clear Understanding — Ensure employees clearly understand required task, objectives, and completion deadlines to make it much easier for them to stay on track.
- Practical Organization — Facilitates better organization of workers’ time, and promotes orderly blocking of time, enabling a worker to focus on one work order at a time, vs. resorting to less efficient attempts at multi-tasking in maintenance work.
- Optimal Time Management — Maintenance workers can easily report issues with completing tasks, enabling site managers to quickly identify more serious issues, promptly communicate with tenants and redirect workers to complete other work orders while awaiting intervention by outside contractors or other solutions.
- Staff can easily prioritize and allocate work in small increments, based on level of urgency.
How the X1 Work Order Management Software Works
Landport’s highly-talented web design team will build a website that both promotes your business brand and facilitates optimum organizational management of on-site general management and maintenance teams. Maintenance service requests can then be conveniently submitted through your website, around the clock, by apartment residents, on-site management office employees, leasing, maintenance, housekeeping, landscaping or other employee. When a requestor submits a maintenance service request:
- The user simply logs into the maintenance request system on your company’s website.
- The user easily and quickly creates and submits his or her streamlined service request, with only a few mouse clicks and entries of a few details, including:
- Location where service is needed.
- Type of service being requested.
- Urgency level of the request.
- Preferred hours for service call.
- The residential site manager is instantly notified of the request.
- The requestor can begin monitoring all updates to the status of his or her work request throughout the work order completion process.
- The manager (or designated work order coordinator) creates a work order.
- The manager sends the work order to the site maintenance team leader.
- The site manager views interim reports that may be submitted by maintenance team workers, and monitors progress. (All parts of the process remain fully visible.)
- As necessary, the site manager creates additional work requests as necessary to resolve all related maintenance problems that may be discovered during the work in progress.
- The site manager contacts appropriate outside contractors.
- Bids are obtained for additional work.
- Property management reviews bid, accepts, and confirms updated orders.
- The site manager communicates updates directly with the resident and all involved parties.
- Outside service provider(s) performs more extensive repair work, if needed.
- The contractor(s) provides invoices.
- All parties automatically receive work status updates at each step of the seamless communications process.
Tenant-Retention Features of the Landport X1 CMMS
Replacing the outdated conventional paper work order system to digital invariably increases efficiency, reduces labor costs, and increases tenant confidence in necessary on-site maintenance systems. And, a modern online system of seamless staff/resident communications alters the dynamics between residents awaiting services, maintenance workers, and property management staff in a very positive way. Doubt and worry that tenants experienced while waiting too long for information updates are eliminated.
Landport Property and Facilities Management Software provides an incomparably efficient system for completing maintenance tasks and delivering critical communications. These tools keep residents in the loop, helping ensure that they are clearly informed on what is being done—and when it is being done—to resolve any maintenance problem that is affecting their use and enjoyment of their apartment home. This essential seamless instant auto-communications component cannot exist in paper-driven communications systems, due to the very nature of paper transfers, (carrying paper from place to place, paper inbox queues, etc.).
Landport’s patented X1 system (U.S. Patent #8,180,661) has been providing a proven solution for property and facilities managers and apartment community residents for over a decade, including game-changing features to enhance residents’ customer experience, such as:
- 24/7 Online Service — Residents are not stuck trying to track down on-site property management or maintenance personnel by phone at late hours, or resorting to knocking on doors of resident staff members for urgent maintenance help.
- Instant Auto-Notifications — Residents stay apprised of work order status updates. They’re not left wondering what is being done to resolve their problem.
- Pre-programmed Preventive Maintenance — Problems are discovered and addressed through automatically scheduled routine safety and maintenance inspections before they become more serious for residents and property staff.
- Rapid Maintenance Staff Deployment — Urgently needed repairs are automatically prioritized by the system, allowing staff to quickly begin service to help residents who are experiencing serious inconvenience, or health or safety issues due to emergent problems on the property.
- Smart Phone and Tablet Accessible — State-of-the-art connectivity and user interfaces make the work request X1 system intuitively easy to use for residents unfamiliar with the process.
- Wireless and Paperless Workflow — The digital system is incomparably more efficient than forcing residents to wait until a traditional paper work order process can be launched. And, it prevents errors as well as loss or misplacement of critical documentation that can unnecessarily delay start, or prolong steps toward completion of residents’ work requests.
- Resident Handbook and Portal — Residents are afforded peace of mind in knowing they are fully informed in writing of all policies and procedures for obtaining needed maintenance help and how to obtain timely resolution of related issues.
- Unlimited Scalability — The X1 system capacity accepts, organizes and auto-manages unlimited work requests. Residents never find themselves in a frustrating, upsetting status of having their work order languishing in a back order queue. And, site management can immediately and clearly see staff workloads as these approach thresholds, and can promptly appeal to supervisors for appropriate reinforcements, and/or offer alternatives, consolation, compensation, incentives, etc. to affected residents.
Property Management Advantages of the Landport X1
Just some of the critical advantages that X1 systems provided over the past 10 years include built-in bid solicitation, patented, tested and proven automated process, contract-free service, auto-scheduling of shared conference rooms and equipment, digital tracking of site visitor entries, warranties tracking, detailed maintenance costing and customer satisfaction reports, auto-routing of requests to vendors for quick response, report sorting by date, service type, vendor, etc., and much more.
Landport Systems, Inc.
We are the leading provider of customized software systems for property and facilities management teams. Landport property management software designers have been delivering state-of-the-art customized systems to improve tenants’ customer experience and improve financial performance for property management companies and the investors they serve for more than 20 years.
Landport’s digital solutions enable fully automated communications for residents, maintenance employees, and facility and property managers. For the past 10 years, our X1 has additionally provided powerful tools for various operational analyses, including general property management systems, on-site maintenance staff efficiency, and vendor effectiveness.
Landport client companies include small to large properties in domains including commercial, retail, residential and industrial real estate, city, county, state and federal governments, corporate facilities, restaurant facilities, hotel & resort facilities, banks, healthcare facilities, public venues, libraries and many others.
For More Information
For more information about systems to significantly improve your organization, efficiency, quality of property maintenance and service cost management, and boost your branding efforts, contact Landport Systems for your free tour of our revolutionary, customizable software.