Posts Tagged ‘Buffalo Maintenance’

What Does Property Maintenance have to do with Resident Retention?

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

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Maintenance is often regarded as a necessary evil or odd stepchild to the whole rental experience.   Like in a restaurant, the busboy is not high on the totem pole, yet remove or neglect the bus service and the restaurant falls into chaos and diners are not happy.

Maintenance_CostThe same can be said in the apartment industry.  Neglect maintenance and you will quickly find out how important maintenance is to your residents.  In 2012, SatisFacts Research published an e-book that revealed the highest-ranking factor for an apartment resident’s renewal decision was “Quality of maintenance service provided”.  Maintenance ranked higher than perks, parties and even the desire for more parking.

Keeping in mind that maintenance is such a great concern for lease renewing residents, successful property management teams look at maintenance providers as a valuable asset to be used in resident retention programs.  Consider the cost of routine maintenance against the massive cost of a rental make-ready in the event that a resident does not re-new their lease.

List or identify the ten top routine maintenance requests in the past year.  Determine if the item could have been quickly resolved by asking a few key questions such as:  “Is the pilot lit?”, “Have you pushed the reset button under the garbage disposal?”, “Have you reset the GFCI button on the electrical outlet?  Team up with your maintenance team or provider for a much more extensive list of simple questions that may resolve an issue while your resident is on the phone.  Asking the right questions will also save on your maintenance costs.  Sending out a plumber to reset a button is very expensive use of a resources and a potential time waster for your resident.

An often-overlooked aspect of maintenance is the follow up call to ensure the work was satisfactory and the work solved the resident’s issues.   This a good time to practice your customer service tools and ask the resident if there is anything else they need.

Use the maintenance team as a secret weapon in the war   against vacancies. Make sure the residents know who the maintenance team members are; introduce them, mention their long professional service to the community.  Emphasize their maintenance proficiency and ability to perform service requests in a timely manner.

The property management and maintenance team are not separate teams.   As an example, the property management & maintenance departments are very much like offense and defense teams in a football game.  Both work as one team and both are critical to the success of a winning game.  One makes the points and the other defends the points.  One without the other spells disaster.  Communication is key to a winning strategy. Both teams need to know the end goal.  Treat both your management/leasing team and maintenance team as equals; they are two sides of the same coin.   Use both your leasing and maintenance departments as a two-prong approach to filling vacancies and controlling resident retention.  In other words; a happy resident will be a long term resident.

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Frankie & JerryBuffalo Maintenance, Inc. provides comprehensive maintenance and repair solutions for the rental housing industry.  Jerry L’Ecuyer  is a licensed contractor & real estate broker.  Frankie Alvarez is the Operations Director and has been involved with apartment maintenance & construction for over 18 years.

Building Inspections Made Easier

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By: Buffalo Maintenance, Inc.

businessman looking over his glasses with clipboard on hand - frDo you find yourself spending less and less time at your building? 

These days, that seems to be the case with many building owners and, too often, routine maintenance issues evolve into costly repairs that could have been avoided.

Here are some of the things Buffalo Maintenance, Inc.  pay special attention to:

First and foremost, we look for potential hazards.  Broken sidewalks, poorly lit stairs, missing handrails  – anything that can potentially cause an injury for one of your tenants or a guest.  And, of course, we make sure that fire extinguishers are functional and fire escape areas are clear of clutter.

brickwallIt is important to check building exteriors for cracks in the foundation, open crawl spaces and any places in brick work or stucco where water might get into the walls during heavy rain.  This includes making sure that caulking around vents and piping is sufficient.  We do a similar inspection of the roof, looking for spots were leaks might occur.

We also make sure that all of your property’s windows close smoothly and securely and identify any broken panes.  Windows that leak or collect condensation on the sills can create major problems down the road.

Fire Hazards 

Dryer vents should be inspected to make sure they are clear of lint and debris.  Biannual furnace filter inspections at the end of fall and spring will keep your HVAC systems operating at peak performance, while ensuring dangerous conditions are not present. Chimneys are inspected for cracks and proper ventilation.

Both gas and electric water heaters pose fire and water hazards.  Electrical connections are checked as are gas lines along with water pipe connections and venting.

Plumbing

plumbingThe most costly and damaging of all deferred maintenance is water related.

Plumbing throughout the building must be inspected to make sure that seals are secure, faucets are not leaking and pipes are in good condition.  Residents should be encouraged to to report leaks and drips.  A small leak under a cabinet can create serious damage if left unattended.

We also recommend the inspection of fuse boxes and all electrical equipment:  Washing machines, garage door openers and other mechanical devices such as garbage disposal units and re-circulation pumps etc.  Check for loose wires, water leaks and un-safe conditions.

The Pitch

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This is just a partial list of routine inspections items.  If this all seems like a lot to undertake, Buffalo Maintenance, Inc, can lend a meaningful helping hand by checking up on your property when the time does not permit you to do so.

We are pleased to offer expert property evaluations, reporting and maintenance services.  Our qualified staff knows what to look for and can make recommendations for the most efficient and cost effective solutions. And right now we are offering building owners & managers free no obligation property evaluations to better acquaint you with our organization.

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