Property Managers need a variety of contractors to fulfill a range of repairs and maintenance work. Whether it’s routine maintenance work like gutter cleaning, gardening or lighting in communal areas or emergency repair work or repairs to the building or roof, the amount of work that has to be done to care for buildings and communal areas is extensive. This amounts to a huge number of jobs being carried out across even the smallest of portfolios. So what are some of the issues that face contractors and property managers when navigating all of this? We’ve chosen five common daily challenges faced by contractors and property managers who work together. And what you can do about them…
Submitting and receiving quotes.
Phone calls, email, text? When different contractors send in quotes, property managers often receive them in varying ways. Getting quotes in from different directions means that property managers have to ensure they’re collated together in one place in a standard format that makes it easy to read and then present to customers for selection (if required). And for contractors this means that you need to wait to hear about any work due to the extended timescales from having to collate of this information. Not ideal.
The inability to allocate work swiftly and smoothly.
Following on from the previous example, the longer it takes to receive and gather quotes, the longer it takes to instruct the work. Which is not good for anyone involved. For contractors, for customers or for property managers.
Job updates – is anyone on the same page?
When work is being carried out – whether it’s a routine job or something more complex, how is everyone kept informed? How do property managers know what stage a job is at or if a job has been completed satisfactorily? Do customers know of any delays or possibly even alterations to any work being done? Unless there’s a robust process for job updates then everyone is most likely in the dark. Including clients/customers who are being directly affected.
Chasing or being chased.
And this can lead to chasing or being chased. And neither side is a good place to be. Property managers don’t have time to chase contractors about work that’s being carried out. And contractors don’t want to be chased and interrupted – slowing them down even more. And for property managers, to add fuel to the fire, if you’re chasing, then something’s wrong and most likely, your customers are upset.
Getting paid and paying.
If invoicing takes time to process then contractors don’t get paid as quickly as they might need or want to. Or if invoicing doesn’t happen quickly enough from contractors to property managers, then this too will slow down the process for end customers. Which may not seem like much of an issue. But if customers don’t receive an invoice in a timely manner, they may spend the money on other things or it may then have the knock on effect of them not being in any hurry to pay.
All in all, communication between contractors and residential property managers needs to be swift, efficient and collaborative. And that cannot happen with manual, disjointed, out-of-date processes such as phone calls, paper invoices or spreadsheets. The room for error is greatly reduced when everything is brought into one place. When we use technology in place of manual systems , everyone benefits. Not only from a time and cost perspective. But also the perception of the brand and business. Forward thinking businesses will always do better than businesses that are stuck in the past. And this year perhaps more than ever, we have seen the need for implementing digital, joined up solutions to help us communicate better.
Crawford Burns is Commercial Manager for Blockworx, you can contact him on 0345 646 0810. Or you can sign up today for a free trial at blockworx.co.uk
Blockworx is owned by CPL Software.