Property management companies that run efficiently have significant systems in place for each phase of operations. Further, it is often emphasized that responsibility centers do not overlap (yes- we are leaving "cross-training" behind for the moment). In so doing we maintain specialization and focus. This is the way of the world for large well-heeled organizations. Then, there is everybody else.
The property management business is fragmented to the nth degree from ivory tower suits to grandma acting as manager of her four-plex with three paying residents. Following is a reminder about small tools that anyone at the site level can utilize to save money and provide immediate customer service. Dollars saved means increased NOI.
Please note that use of these tools does not and should not represent elimination of a service call by our maintenance team or service provider each and every time. They are simply a way to provide some immediate relief for the matter at hand until it can be addressed more fully. However, sometimes, the simple tool does the trick.
Disposal crank. It doesn't seem to matter who says it or how many times it's said, people put "everything" into the kitchen sink and through the sink disposal. This simple tool un-sticks a non-turning disposal. Or not. If yes, then a formal service call can follow at a later time. This later time means we can schedule it with another related matter and more cost effectively address two maintenance request with a single visit- thus reducing our overall costs.
Drain Fisher. There are various kinds but they all do the same thing- seek and often find the thing stopping up a bathroom sink or tub drain. Yes, it's usually something gunky but disposal of such with a paper towel creates free-flowing water. Again, we have eliminated an emergency service call turning it into a scheduled service call thereby reducing our operating costs.
Flash lights. Flashlights find things. Namely, running water and other things we miss with the naked eye. Most of the things found we want to know about so shining a little light on a dark corner can assist in avoiding a bigger problem from occurring at an inopportune time.
Screw driver. Loose socket covers, door handles, locks and closet knobs. All can be addressed with a simple screw driver in short order.
In each case, we should still have the matter reviewed by maintenance to assure that service is completely addressed. These quick fixes provide immediate customer service by site personnel allowing management added time to schedule maintenance in the normal flow of operations while avoiding the higher costs of emergency and after hours maintenance calls.
Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 - How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets.
For 50+ hours of property management audio training, 3 books and live weekly leadership academy–surf here,
About This Blog:
Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. www.MultifamilyInsight.com
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