8 Tips on Tackling After-Hour Maintenance Calls
Jun 21, 2023
When it comes to after-hours maintenance calls, it's important to have a plan in place to handle them effectively. This can help ensure that issues are addressed promptly and that your team is prepared to handle any emergencies that may arise. By having clear communication channels, properly trained staff, and a well-defined escalation process, you can minimize downtime and keep your systems running smoothly.
It's essential to have a comprehensive strategy in place to handle after-hours maintenance calls efficiently and effectively. This not only ensures prompt resolution of issues but also helps to maintain the productivity and functionality of your systems. By following these tips, you can help ensure that after-hours maintenance calls are handled smoothly and efficiently.
1. Establish Clear Channels of Communication
Note the importance of clear communication between maintenance staff, contractors, and tenants during after-hours maintenance calls. Make sure tenants know the best way to contact you or a designated person after business hours. Consider using a dedicated phone line or an online platform to streamline communication.
Online portals can be a good tool to improve communication. In the case of emergencies, such as a burst pipe or a power outage, they can be used to send out mass notifications. Portals can also be a resource for information, with helpful guides and safety protocols teaching tenants what to do with different types of issues.
Keep tenants informed about maintenance procedures and emergency protocols so they know what to expect in an emergency situation. For example, if a tenant experiences a plumbing emergency in the middle of the night, they should know who to call and what steps to take until help arrives. Providing clear instructions can help prevent panic and ensure a quick resolution to the problem.
2. Respond Promptly
When you receive an after-hours maintenance call, respond as quickly as possible. This can help prevent further damage or complications as well as place undue hardship on the tenant. Remember, emergencies can happen at any time, so it's important to be prepared and ready to act when needed.
Even if you can't resolve the issue immediately, letting the tenant know you're aware of the problem can go a long way. This shows that you value their safety and well-being. By being prompt and responsive, you can build trust with your tenants and create a positive relationship that benefits both parties in the long run.
3. Have An Escalation Process
Some after-hours maintenance calls are more urgent than others. It's important to have a plan in place that allows you to quickly assess the severity of the issue and take appropriate action. This not only helps to prevent further damage to the property, but it also ensures the safety and comfort of your tenants.
Make sure you have a system in place to prioritize emergencies and be prepared to address them promptly. For example, if a tenant reports a gas leak, this is a high priority emergency that requires immediate attention from a licensed professional. In this case, it's important to have a protocol in place to quickly assess the situation and get the necessary repairs done as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your tenants, the property, and the neighborhood.
4. Offer Self-Serve Options
For after-hours maintenance calls that are not emergencies, self-serve maintenance ticket submissions can be a helpful tool. A portal where tenants can easily submit maintenance requests at any time can alleviate some of the stress on after hours staff. Property management software can automatically dispatch approved vendors to resolve the issue when business hours resume.
Self-serve tools allow tenants to view and receive updates on the status of their maintenance ticket without having to call the office. This will not only streamline the process but also ensure that all requests are properly documented and tracked. This solution can free up a lot of time allowing your staff to focus on those after-hours maintenance calls that are true emergencies.
5. Train Your Staff
Train staff on how to handle common maintenance issues that may arise outside of regular business hours. It's important to prioritize the well-being of your tenants and take all necessary steps to address any issues promptly and efficiently. Provide clear instructions on what to do in case of an emergency to help prevent panic and ensure everyone's safety.
6. Have A Backup Plan
Plan for the unexpected and have a backup plan in place. If you're the primary point of contact and you are unexpectedly unable to respond to after-hours maintenance calls, make sure you have someone else who can take over. This could be an employee, a colleague, or a contractor.
Discuss the importance of having a backup plan with your staff. Prepare for what would happen if you or the main point of contact was unable to perform their duties. Have a plan for who takes over each function and how information will be shared among employees.
7. Implement Preventative Measures
The best way to handle after-hours maintenance calls is to prevent them from happening. Create a schedule for routine inspections and promptly address all problems that are found. Perform regular maintenance tasks, such as checking fire alarms and changing air filters, to prevent emergency situations from occurring.
Listen to tenants and act on their concerns. Implement smart home technology that can detect issues before they become emergencies, such as leak detectors or temperature sensors. Remember, proactive maintenance is key to keeping your tenants happy and your property in good condition.
8. Learn From Past Mistakes
It's important to document all after-hours calls and their resolutions to help identify any recurring issues and improve your overall maintenance processes. If multiple tenants have reported the same issue in the past, it may be necessary to prioritize and address the underlying problem to prevent it from happening again. By analyzing and learning from past mistakes, property managers can improve their day-to-day operations and provide better service to their tenants.
Property managers can use past mistakes as a teaching tool for their maintenance staff. By reviewing the details of past incidents, managers can identify areas where their team may need additional training or support. This can help to prevent future mistakes and ensure that all maintenance tasks are completed efficiently and effectively.
Effective communication, timely response, and proactive problem-solving are key to providing exceptional after-hours maintenance service. By implementing these strategies, property managers can minimize tenant frustration and maximize satisfaction, leading to long-term tenant retention and a positive reputation in the industry.