7 Reasons Why Having an In-House Maintenance Staff Benefits You
written by David Lowrey, Owner of Stress Free Property Management
As a Property Manager in Brandon, Tampa and other areas, we developed a custom software that allows us to assign repair requests directly to our in-house staff via computer tablets. Here are 7 reasons why this will benefit you as a client of Stress Free.
1) Most repairs are small. 75% or more of repairs are typically less than $150 as of 2018. Getting an outside contractor to show up for this is either an exercise in futility, or the contractor over charges. In other words, they turn a small repair into a big one. Not to mention, most tradespeople who show up are being compensated in part by commission and have a quota. This means they are required to upsell and get paid accordingly.
My in-house staff receives no compensation to sell anything. They are paid a straight, hourly wage. Since, they receive repair requests through out custom database straight to their computer tablet, the techs have no incentive to drag out repairs. There are always plenty of work to go around. Therefore, if the repair is quick and easy, he is more than willing to knock it out quickly and move-on
2) My staff are not only licensed but insured under worker’s compensation. I can’t tell you how many property management companies are using people who don’t have any worker’s comp insurance. Therefore, if they get hurt on your property, you are likely going to get sued. Not to mention, we are licensed general contractor, plumber, heating and air contractor, and electrician.
3) My guys can check for unauthorized pets and immediately report it from their computer tablets. We keep track of whether a tenant has authorized pets in our own computer system. If the tech reports a large dog that is not on the lease, a task is immediately created for an admin person to deal with this. Depending on the breed and owner’s preference, we will either make them pay a non-refundable pet fee and sign they are responsible for all damages done by the pet, or we will require the pet to be removed.
Getting this information from at outside contractor is almost impossible because people get busy, new people are hired, you name it.
4) Ability to immediately charge tenant for damages. Let’s say we send our in-house plumber out to unclog a drain. He finds a toy or cat litter in the drain pipe. Since the plumber is my staff member, he uses his tablet to take a picture of this and uploads to the tablet. An admin person in the office immediately gets a task to charge the tenant for the cost of this repair.
5) Allows us to inspect the property twice a year and see how it really looks. Our custom software will require a maintenance tech to do a through inspection twice a year, while he is out fixing something at the home. The tablet will not allow him to close out the work order until a picture is taken of each room, behind toilets and refrigerators, underneath sinks, and all 4 sides of the outside of home. He then is required to make some remarks about how the home looks. This inspection report is forwarded directly to you.
6) If the tenant refused us entry, you are not charged. We bill the tenant automatically with a click of the button. Since we set appointment with tenants before we show up, there is never a valid reason for not letting us in to do the repairs. You would be surprised how often new tenants try this with us. Once the tech clicks a button the computer tablet, the tenant automatically receives a text and email letting them know we are charging them $50 for refusing entry. Often, they call us right away and let us in.
7) Ability to respond to emergency repairs quickly at lower costs. Since all my guys are working off computer tablets, we know exactly where they are working at any moment of the day. Therefore, if we have a burst water pipe, I can route the nearest maintenance tech over to turn off the water and start drying up the floors. This is a lot cheaper then waiting for the plumber to arrive if he is doing a repair across town.
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