It's a brave new world of digital platforms, cloud computing, mobile networks, and Big Data connectivity. And while wrapping one’s head around the technologies can be a bit overwhelming, there is value in recognizing how they can be combined to make life (and work) easier.
Case in point: property management maintenance software.
Property maintenance is one of the most critical functions in a multifamily operation; but as anyone involved in the field can attest, it's also one of the most difficult to plan and manage effectively, resulting in common maintenance mistakes. Whether keeping buildings clean and safe, responding to resident requests, or tackling critical building repairs and renovations, property management maintenance teams thrive on communication, coordination, and knowing what's coming down the pipe.
Plenty of systems and methodology styles have been created to make the property maintenance process less of a logistical headache. And while these have served their purpose, the reality is that increasing workloads, mounting health and safety concerns, and rising resident expectations now require a more sophisticated and streamlined approach that a digital solution provides.
How can property management maintenance software support your team? Consider these 10 advantages to increase your property management maintenance processes.
1. Synchronized operations
Every multifamily maintenance team has agreed-upon procedures and routines based on their specific buildings and communities. Entrusting these processes to paper-based systems, however, leaves property management workflows vulnerable to delays, miscommunications, and errors that can play havoc with one's budgets and timelines. Property management maintenance software mitigates these speedbumps by giving both field techs and back-office staff the tools to create, automate, share, and monitor workflows on-the-fly among every stakeholder. This provides all stakeholders (e.g., maintenance staff, property management leaders, owners, vendors, residents, etc.) real-time visibility into any given project and the activities occurring within them.
2. Clearer workflows
One of the most appealing benefits of property management maintenance software is that it allows for the simple creation of adaptable, transparent, and comprehensive end-to-end workflows. Field techs need only to tap into a mobile app to see what tasks are coming up, the roles and responsibilities assigned to each, and how plans are proceeding in real-time. The result is a system in which everyone has access to the same, up-to-date plans, and the tools (e.g., mobile apps or back-office platforms) to fulfill their role more effectively.
3. Controlled costs
The ability to track and assess property maintenance expenses during any given project not only helps teams keep their budgets from veering off track, but provides critical insights that control costs (and cost allocations) moving forward.
4. Upgraded customer service
The customer always comes first; and in property management, that means responding quickly to resident requests and completing the job to their satisfaction. Here’s where property management tech can help by enabling residents to submit their requests through a centralized platform, which can then alert and mobilize the appropriate field techs. This process is much faster than relying on field staff to fetch paper-based work orders when they return to their office and ensures all requests are tracked digitally so that none fall through the cracks.
5. Smarter document management
Maintenance is a living function with many moving parts. Juggling each one can be timely and complicated -- especially if it means juggling numerous paper-based approvals, reports, updates, and requests. No doubt, there are big benefits to going digital; and by taking document management online, property management teams can create, distribute, and manage their required “paperwork” in a secure, cloud environment. This means more accurate documents getting to the right people at the right time, and fewer risks of missing files, late sign-offs, and miscommunications bogging down the process.
6. Stronger accountability
Effective property maintenance relies on any number of professionals sticking to the plan and performing their role effectively. This is a fine concept in theory, but difficult to enforce in the field. With property management maintenance software, teams can monitor and/or be alerted if tasks are at risk of not being completed, enabling managers to spot issues at the source and step in when necessary.
7. Enhancing performance
There’s always room for improvement. Property management systems facilitate continued team enhancements by tracking and assessing performance data across all maintenance activities. This gives leaders a better sense of their strengths and helps to focus their improvement efforts.
8. Better benchmarking
It pays to know how your maintenance function measures up. And in addition to leveraging field data to set key performance indicators (KPIs), property management software can compare one’s building activities (e.g., timelines, costs, performance indicators, energy usage, etc.) across other buildings or entire portfolios.
9. Backlog management
Even the best-run maintenance crews find themselves with too many tasks and too few hours in the day. Herein, effective property management software helps teams keep track of every request, prioritize them accordingly, and track them through to their full completion.
10. Managed expectations
Ultimately, the benefit of property management maintenance software is the ability to inject greater transparency, accountability, standardization, and data-driven strategies into day-to-day property maintenance activities. Doing so gives teams and building occupants alike greater confidence that the work is getting done to everyone’s expectations.
Making the most of your investment
The nuts and bolts of property management software can be complex, but the tool itself is incredibly easy to learn. As part of a more robust Turnover, Renovations, Inspections and Maintenance Management (TRIMM) platform, tasks such as workflow creation, vendor management, benchmarking, and task management are made simple via user-friendly dashboards and “no-code” tools. The idea is to give back-office team members complete visibility over the building’s maintenance operations and to supply field techs with connected mobile apps that help them do the same.
Of course, introducing new tech into established operations is always tricky. Making the most of one’s investment means working with software providers to roll out the training, resources, and ongoing support to encourage even the most tech-adverse employees to give property management software and apps a try.
It’s a brave, new digitally connected world. Navigating it means taking advantage of the game-changing innovations technologies that are now available to property operators and their teams. Property management maintenance software is only one part of the TRIMM platform solution, and while adopting any new tech comes with effort, the payoffs are worth a few growing pains.