Everyone knows that a property manager’s typical day is heavy with tasks to do and light on time. There are the reactive issues that constantly require you to refocus your attention—even during the holidays! There’s the communication required with all the different parties, like landlords, tenants and contractors. And then there’s all the compliance necessary to ensure your properties continue to follow the law in a changing regulatory landscape.
With enough challenges to make your head spin, how do you stay on track and ensure you’re prioritising the right tasks to ensure growth? The key is in the data you choose to measure. Here are the metrics you need to monitor and analyse to ensure that your repairs and maintenance service stays top-notch.
1. Average response time
Response time measures the time from when a tenant reports an issue to when they receive a response. A tenant reporting a repair needs to know they are heard and that their issue is addressed; otherwise, frustration can set in. Your response should thank them for their report and provide a clear expectation of what you will do next and how long it should take. Automate this response and ensure all repairs are reported through the same channel, e.g. an email address. This will centralise the process, ensure nothing is missed and keep your response time low.
This response must be within 14 days or you will violate the Deregulation Act 2015, in which case a local authority may serve an improvement notice or notice of emergency remedial action. This will prevent you from carrying out a no-fault eviction by issuing a Section 21 notice for 6 months.
No one likes to wait, and keeping this number as low as possible is a key way to maintain tenant satisfaction. Happy tenants mean longer tenancies, increased renewal rates, and fewer void periods.
2. Average resolution time
Resolution time is the time it takes from an issue being reported to when it is fully resolved. Long resolution times will not only irritate tenants and, in turn, landlords but could indicate a problem or bottleneck in your repairs and maintenance process.
Quick resolution time prevents problems from escalating and ensures the property stays in good condition, reducing the risk of more costly repairs.
How to improve your resolution time
- Use reliable contractors who are vetted and understand the property and its history of repairs and maintenance.
- Keep detailed records of issues at all your properties.
- Request photos when repairs are being reported. This increases the chance of the problem being resolved the first time, as the contractor may be able to source the part required without needing to visit the property first.
3. How are occupiers reporting repairs?
You should ensure that your tenants are reporting issues when they encounter them to prevent any nasty surprises during periodic inspections or when moving out. Explain the process when they move in and send occasional reminders to ensure that all reports are going to your central channel.
This reporting process should be efficient to avoid frustration and make them want to follow the process. The more information you can gather during this process, the better, as this can lead to quicker resolution times, increasing the likelihood of a first-time fix and avoiding wasted callouts.
4. Number of repairs self-resolved
Many minor issues can be self-resolved by tenants. This can take the pressure off your property management team, freeing up their time to deal only with issues that require a contractor.
Educate your tenants on what is their responsibility to fix, such as replacing light bulbs and changing batteries. You could provide this information along with repair reporting guidance in a welcome pack when they move in.
Fixflo supports the self-resolving of issues by providing self-guidance popups which vary depending on the type of repair being reported. These can be customised using different text, photos and videos, so you can be sure to provide the right information and reduce your number of maintenance callouts.
5. Are your occupiers happy with the repairs?
The final thing to track is an easy one to overlook when racing to resolve an issue, but it’s important. The report has been received, a contractor has been chosen, and they’ve travelled to the property to carry out the repair. But is the tenant happy?
Answering this question requires you to consider a number of areas. Were the issues resolved in a timely manner? Is the tenant satisfied with the result and the level of service from the contractor? Is everything in their home working the way it should be?
The easiest way to answer this (and ensure the answer is ‘yes’) is to follow up with the contractor and tenant after every repair. Obtain a report from the contractor to understand what they did, and if the tenant reports any issues with how the contractor handled the repair, feed this back to them. That way, over time, you can form a list of trusted professionals.
How we can help
Fixflo automatically collects all these metrics and more, helping you streamline your repairs and maintenance process. Anyone who uses Fixflo to manage end-to-end repairs has the ability to track and analyse this data in order to make better business decisions.
The easy-to-use repair reporting platform helps your tenants communicate their issues clearly and concisely, while dashboards keep the numbers that matter most to your business visible and measurable. This helps you deliver better service, reduce costs and keep your landlords happy.
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