As any experienced landlord can tell you, maintaining properties is not an easy job. You need to know how to address various issues and coordinate with people that are not always willing to communicate. This is why you need to know how to approach prioritizing maintenance requests. To help you understand why doing so is vital, and how to do so properly, we are going to take a closer look.
Why you need to prioritize maintenance requests
If you are new to tackling property maintenance, you might be wondering why one should even bother to prioritize maintenance requests. You simply tackle each task as it comes along, right? Well, not quite. In order to properly handle multiple maintenance requests, you need to prioritize them and use your time and energy efficiently. Only then will you be able to achieve a degree of cost-effectiveness and responsiveness that is usually expected from someone handling maintenance requests. Without doing so, you will easily lose track of what is important to tackle first, which often leads to further issues with tenants and costly repairs.
How to approach prioritizing maintenance requests
How do you actually deal with prioritizing maintenance requests? You need to keep multiple factors in mind in order to know which ones to handle at what time. So, to properly prioritize, here is what to do:
Research various maintenance issues
There is hardly a repairman out there that won’t tell you that knowing what to do and how is half the job. If you are responsible for handling maintenance requests, you will have to tackle numerous tasks that you probably never even thought of. And in order to know how to prioritize them properly, you need to know how urgent and how dangerous they are. So, do your best to research the most common household issues and ways to fix them. Among the ones you can start with are:
- Leaky pipes.
- Electrical wiring issues.
- Roof damage.
- HVAC issues.
- Pest problems.
You can handle some of these issues with regular tools, while others require a more sophisticated approach. Do your best to research properly. Moreover, make sure that you know a couple of storage tips that will be useful for your renters if you need them to vacate a part of their home in order to perform maintenance.
Sorting according to the urgency
Once you’ve done your research, you need to keep in mind which maintenance requests are the most urgent. Things like pest problems or leaky pipes can be postponed for a day or two. But you should deal with wiring issues or roof damage as soon as possible. The main thing to keep in mind is safety and the potential for further damage. A leaky pipe won’t cause much trouble, especially if the tenant has the common sense to put a bucket to gather the leaking water. But, a stripped wire can easily short circuit and can even set your property on fire. When it comes to issues that you know are serious, don’t mess around. Even if you made a promise to a different tenant, you should always prioritize safety.
The need for professional help
Even if you are the best repairman out here, there is simply no way that you’ll be able to handle every issue. Certain maintenance issues can only be handled by trained professionals. Others can be handled by relative amateurs, but they do require a team. Once you learn how to prioritize maintenance requests, you’ll need to consider whether or not you need to find professional help. This is especially important to keep in mind if you need to transport items. Movers at State to State Move advise calling as soon as possible, as the price can drastically vary based on the notification period. So, finding help should be your priority, as it doesn’t take much effort. The sooner you can find the right people to help you, the sooner you can organize the actual maintenance project. So, even if you are dealing with other issues, don’t postpone looking for help.
Once you start handling maintenance requests, you will soon learn that dealing with tenants can sometimes be problematic. If all tenants were understanding, called you on time, and were fine with waiting, maintaining properties would be easy. But, unfortunately, most tenants will either call you the moment something comes up and will demand that you fix it right now. Or, they will postpone and ignore the issue until the damage is far greater. Sometimes, they can even be responsible for repairs. Of course, once you confront them with the issue, they will make it out to be your fault, somehow. So, get ready to handle some difficult tenants.
The way that prioritizing maintenance requests plays into this is that you need to keep your tenant’s character in mind. If you know that your tenant will make a big deal about a small issue, try to prioritize them. On the other hand, if you know that a tenant usually downplays maintenance issues, try to force them to describe what is actually going on. All in all, consider the character of your tenants as a vital part of prioritizing maintenance issues.
How to avoid having simultaneous urgencies
The whole point of prioritizing maintenance requests is to avoid having simultaneous urgency. Once you learn the ins and outs, you will be able to deal with most maintenance issues. But, this will only be possible if you can dedicate your time and energy to them. Your goal should always be to only deal with one issue at a time. Apart from prioritizing them, you should also perform regular checkups on things like plumbing, wiring, and HVAC. Most issues here come through everyday use.