Your Maintenance Team: Partners in Resident Retention
Marketers tell us “Visible is Valuable.” What we see in our daily lives influences our opinions. In the apartment business, when our residents see flowers being planted at the property entrance, or while an employee cleans fingerprints off the front door, the experience bonds them to the building. Consider this: How many times do your residents see the leasing staff compared to the maintenance team? Think about it. Your office staff would see your residents at least every month, because the rent was due. How about these days? Online services mean that contacts with residents are scarce. But maintenance teams? They’re handling maintenance issues or repairs, perhaps doing the planting or getting rid of the fingerprints. They’re the ones having face time with residents. Bottom line: your maintenance team has a major role in your customers’ experience, which means that they’re your partners in resident retention.
STRATEGIZING YOUR MAINTENANCE TEAM’S RETENTION PRACTICES. Here are five ways to maximize the customer service experience of the team.
- Standardize parts and products. Streamlining the types of products and parts used throughout each unit of the property will simplify service processes and lead to quicker resolution of maintenance issues and repairs. Standardizing saves time and money because there are fewer variables when maintenance completes service request
- Make sure your maintenance team looks professional. Perception is reality. A maintenance tech who looks clean and professional creates a positive impression with your residents.
- Train maintenance to communicate professionally with your residents. It’s important for technicians to communicate in a way with residents so that nobody gets offended, especially when it’s an issue created by resident error.
- Provide social setting for maintenance and residents. A maintenance social is a great way to let residents mingle with technicians in a casual atmosphere. Make it maintenance-themed so that your residents see maintenance techs as human beings, and maintenance techs see the same in residents. Consider having an agenda that includes such topics as the most common service requests and tips residents can use to help their apartments run more efficiently.
- Cross-train the front office on how maintenance does its job. Schedule your office staff members to spend a full, normal day shadowing a maintenance technician. This will give the leasing staff and administrative personnel who handle maintenance calls a better understanding of what the technician needs to do the job right the first time.