25 January 2011
Dear Maintenance Men:
I really want to organize myself this year. I own a couple of apartment buildings and want to use my time more effectively, be more productive and minimize unnecessary spending.
With the economy where it is, I want to be leaner and meaner this year! Any suggestions?
We completely understand your desire to become more systematic in your approach to maintenance. We have traditionally taken slow times to re-organize, adjust and fine tune our own operations.
This has paid dividends in the long run. We use a six step procedure to get our maintenance under control.
Step one: Inspect, Identify and Document: Look at your building with a critical eye and list the daily, monthly and yearly needs of your building for the purpose of scheduling, ordering and delegating work.
Step two: Routine Maintenance Procedures: Review step one and identify the routine maintenance needs of your building. For example: schedule laundry room cleaning, trash bin area upkeep, fire extinguisher inspections, water heater cleanouts etc.
Establish a routine maintenance program involving manager duties to oversee and direct the maintenance or vendor’s times and dates of services. This will greatly minimize the need for the daily development of a maintenance ‘To Do’ list.
Step three: Service Request System: Establish a reliable service request system that mandates a minimum 24 hour window for acting on a request. The system should include a procedure for calling the resident to let them know when, how and by whom their request will be serviced.
Step four: Quality Control: Establish a quality control procedure ensuring resident satisfaction and vender performance before payment.
Step five: Emergency Procedures and Vendor List: Create an emergency procedure and duties for individual staff members. Include emergency phone numbers, police, fire and vendors you have on call, such as plumber, electrician etc.
Step six: Record Keeping: Establish logs, appointment books, phone logs, inventory sheets, service request files, unit logs, etc. to keep track of your ongoing maintenance system.
This system can be used by an individual owner with one building or a management company with many buildings. Having logical maintenance procedures will save time and money not to mention happy residents.