From simple repairs to HVAC replacements, and property cleaning to unit turnovers, maintenance plays a significant role in upholding property values and keeping residents happy. Yet while keeping up with daily tasks is key, so is setting and tracking maintenance benchmarks to meet these goals over the long-term.
Benchmarking serves the same purpose in property management as it does in any other industry. It is the process of using available metrics (aka data) to establish a base-level of performance for individuals and tasks, and using that data to both compare your organization's performance against industry standards and find areas for improvements.
The challenge with benchmarking is that it relies on relevant, accurate, and up-to-date data. This can be difficult to extract in a paper-based system. Here is where investing in the technologies and skills to collect operational data has advantages. For example...
What repairs are taking the most amount of time? How often are they occurring? Are certain maintenance team members taking longer to perform them than others? Tracking repair data across a portfolio produces trends and benchmarks, which can be used to unlock efficiencies. For example, if data suggests certain techs are taking longer to address specific repairs, that may indicate the need for more training or leadership intervention. Or, if specific systems are undergoing constant (and timely) repairs, it may signal the time for a replacement. These insights can only be gleaned by a "bird's eye view" of maintenance activities.
Managing repair costs
How much are you spending on repairs? What's the average price for a specific service or item? What are your standard costs for unit turnovers? Knowing these answers to these questions via benchmarking helps property teams with forecast budgeting and negotiating with vendors from a more informed position.
Tracking true completions
There's a big difference between completing a job and doing so to the satisfaction of the resident. Failure to solve the problem or meet expectations results in unhappy tenants and unnecessary extra work. By tracking maintenance outcomes and following up on resident satisfaction levels, managers gain the insights they need to address performance issues and achieve "true completions."
Unclogging the maintenance backlog
A post-pandemic maintenance backlog is coming. Do you have visibility into the work that lies ahead, how long it will take to address, or how much that will cost? By benchmarking your current activities, property teams can identify and address any issues (e.g., staffing shortages, performance obstacles, etc.) that will hinder their ability to address the backlog.
Planned maintenance (PM) compliance
Planned maintenance (e.g., equipment check-ups, routine repairs, etc.) is crucial to managing asset values and avoiding costly surprises. Still, what if – whether due to the pandemic or other reasons -- your maintenance teams are falling behind on these activities or are skipping them altogether? By tracking planned maintenance compliance – that is, when PM tasks are being completed and to what extent – organizations gain deeper insights into the effectiveness of their PM program and the issues that may be holding it back.
These aren't the only metrics that are of value to maintenance teams. Yet whether the goal is to track mean time to repair (MTTR), overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), or metrics around maintenance tech activities, they all require the means to harvest, classify, and track reliable data in real-time. Spending the time upfront to calculate your benchmarks will pay off in increased customer satisfaction and lower costs.