Could your repairs and maintenance processes be even more efficient than it is now?
After a small interruption to our scheduled series of articles on Efficiencies, we return with a look at whether your property management company could be even more efficient than it is now? For our Scottish clients, the changes to the Property Factors Act, may trigger a need to re-evaluate. For property management companies elsewhere in the UK, returning to the office environment, or using this period as a time for renewal and change could be the perfect opportunity to take stock of business processes. How we work together and serve owners, has changed and these changes could have made you realise that change can be good.
We’ve put together a few considerations that could help you remove any efficiency deficiencies you might have in your property management company.
How well do you communicate internally and externally?
Good communication is the key to the success of any type of relationship, whether that be personal or business. And in business, there are many relationships that need to be managed through good communication skills.
When carrying out repairs and maintenance tasks, property managers have to communicate with a number of different people and often in a variety of ways. Different contractors may prefer to be contacted in a different way – email, phone, maybe even a text message.
Are you maximising efficiency in how you communicate with contractors? Could you be communicating more easily with everyone?
Then there are owners – how are you communicating with them? Is it easy to do so? Is it easy to communicate with a group of owners in one block? How could you make it seamless?
And finally, there’s how your business communicates internally. Repairs and maintenance is an ongoing process that never really stops, whereas people who work in the business do stop. For holidays, sickness, leaving the business or for any other reason, people aren’t always around. How easy is it for anyone in the business to access the information they need to in another’s absence? If it’s not easy, it could create avoidable issues.
How easily can owners contact you at any time of the day when they need to?
Under the umbrella of communication, do you make it easy for owners to contact you at any time of the day or night?
If you have a telephone number for people to call about repairs and maintenance, do you have a goal to answer within X number of rings? If you have an online form, do you respond within a certain timescale, and do you know if your response rate is 100%? How easily do you allocate enquiries within the business? And how quickly is this done?
If you have different ways that owners can contact you, how do you bring it all together into one place?
Owners need to be able to contact your business when it suits them as their homelife is affected by repairs and maintenance work, so it’s important to make sure efficiencies are maximised.
When was the last time you reviewed the repairs and maintenance process in your business? Have you asked the team if they have any suggestions on how to do things better? Or where efficiencies could be gained?
How clear are your repairs and maintenance SLAs?
All of the points we have outlined will relate to how clear your SLA’s are and how easily those SLAs are to monitor and adhere to.
When was the last time you reviewed your SLA’s and how closely do you track them? Is it easy to track them? For you and your team?
How do you decide your SLA’s and when was the last time you sat around a table and reviewed them or updated them?
If used properly, SLA’s keep everyone on the right track and when followed, should improve the overall efficiency of the repairs and maintenance process.
Take the time to review
When a property management company lacks efficiency during the repairs and maintenance process, ultimately, it will affect owners and that’s not a good position to be in. Taking some time out and taking a step back to review how things are done could prove a very useful exercise to identify any weak links with the goal of removing them.
Being efficient is the cornerstone of any company or any department or process within that company. It can lead to happier teams, more satisfied owners, better working relationships with contractors and it could even lead to cost reductions.
This article was written by our MD, Brian Welsh. Brian is available for consultations and you can visit his website for more – https://www.brianwelsh.co.uk/