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Maintenance Doesn't Take A Summer Vacation

Maintenance Doesn't Take A Summer Vacation

May 02, 2018 | Nat Kunes
AppFolio is an IREM President Level Industry Partner. This article is published on the IREM Blog as part of that partnership. Property maintenance doesn't take a vacation, and this is especially true during the time of year when many people opt to get away on vacation for a while: summer. Unlike the other seasons, summer brings its own set of common maintenance issues, many of which have the potential to greatly inconvenience residents. Some of the more common summer maintenance issues include:

 

  • Air conditioning repair: In the boiling hot weather that occurs in some areas of the country, broken AC can become a legal issue for landlords.

 

  • Pool issues: When the weather heats up, so does the popularity of the pool on property.

 

  • Exterior building maintenance: Now that winter is done, it's an ideal time to have roofing and siding work (among other services) performed.

 

  • Parking lot maintenance: If your property endures long winters, then you're well aware of the toll Mother Nature can take on your property's parking lot. Hence, summer is an ideal time to have it repaved or repaired.

 

  • Outdoor maintenance/landscaping: This may consist of both weekly maintenance (i.e., grass cutting and trimming) and seasonal maintenance (i.e., planting flowers, trees, laying fresh mulch in flower beds, exterior painting, etc.).

 

Making Maintenance Go Smoothly This Summer

Though this post focuses on summer maintenance, all of the tips in this section can apply to any time of the year. Here's a look at how to ensure you’ve optimized your maintenance process:

 

  • Timely communication: Good communication can solve a lot of problems before they occur. If any potentially disruptive maintenance is scheduled on the property, be sure to let renters know well enough in advance so they can plan accordingly. Do this via email, text message, a property newsletter, your property's social media channels, etc. If the maintenance is spur of the moment (i.e., a failing air conditioner), be sure to respond to the initial call with empathy, and apologize for the inconvenience. It’s important to communicate when you expect it to be repaired and then follow up with the renter a day or two after it's fixed to ensure things are working as they should.

 

  • Compensation: If you want to go above and beyond, you can offer some compensation or consolation to renters when unexpected maintenance is required, especially if repairs aren't able to be made immediately. While each situation should be judged differently, some nice gestures include a discount in rent, a gift card to a restaurant, discounted utilities or even just a card with a handwritten note apologizing for the issue and thanking the renter for choosing to live on your property.

 

  • Regularly assessing vendor contracts: If services aren't up to snuff or you discover you're paying way too much for a particular service, you should be reassessing that vendor contract. Doing this can save you money, ensure better service for your renters and possibly even save your renters on rent (if you choose to pass any cost savings on to them). Hold vendors accountable, as this should be a partnership. .

 

  • Streamline efficiency by taking maintenance online: We've all been there before. We need something fixed and play the waiting game. All we know is that the technician will be out between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. So we wait. And wait. Wouldn't it be nice to have real time updates on maintenance issues, a more accurate estimate of when a tech will arrive and the knowledge that the issue was resolved? That's what you can give your renters by taking maintenance online. Doing so allows them to make requests online and monitor their requests until they're fully resolved. It's easy, efficient and a win-win for both renters and property managers.

 

Maintenance issues don't take vacations. Are you ready to handle what comes your way this year?

 

About the Author Nat Kunes is the Vice President of Product for AppFolio. He works on a daily basis with property management professionals to identify industry trends and product features that are included in AppFolio's property management software.

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