Having an A-Team of tradies for your property maintenance requests, is a property manager's dream come true. After all, having great tradies to work with reduces stress, chaos and paperwork.
Property maintenance is one of the crucial responsibilities of landlords and a key factor in keeping properties tenanted for longer. But handling property maintenance requests is no walk in the park.
To solve a single property maintenance request, managers have to bounce back as many as 10 emails and phone calls from tenants to landlords to tradies to keep all parties happy.
In essence property management is not just about real estate, it about building and keeping relationships by replacing chaos with effective end-to-end communication.
Reliable tradies are worth their weight in gold, so if you find one, don’t lose them. Here are 5 ways property managers can build a great relationship with their tradies.
Your tradies’ time is as important as yours. Allocating jobs on an urgent basis without first checking your tradie’s availability can result in unmet expectations for all parties. Scheduling the jobs for your tradie in a calendar they can access will keep you on top of all maintenance requests.
In case you are in short-term rental business that needs jobs to be attended within 24 hours of receiving requests, its best to keep a separate list of tradies who agree to work with you on those terms, while a separate list for non-urgent requests.
A lot of time is wasted if your tradie arrives on the property unprepared for the job. This can result in a uncalled for venting from the tenant and unnecessary trouble for you and the tradie.
The best way to avoid this is to provide your tradie with a detailed visual job description that explains in detail what needs to be done, how to get access to the property and any other thing that needs to be taken care of while they are there.
Instead of calling your trade every 15 minutes to check if they have left to attend the property, got access, started working or have finished, use some technology to your benefit to track progress of your tradie without having to interrupt them during work.
A great way to maintain a good working relationship with your tradie is to keep giving feedback on their service. Good ratings goes more than a few starts showing up on Google, but help build trust and credibility around their trades business and can result in more work for your tradies.
If you’re a great property manager, you would know that qualified tradies don’t come cheap. Hire a cheap tradie and you would forever be haunted by disgruntled tenants and landlords because that tradie cut corners, left a mess behind, broke the furniture or something else.
Having said that, once you have hired a licensed and insured tradie, make sure the two of you are on the same page in terms of when the payments would be released. Pay you tradie in a transparent way, and you would have them for life.
Working with your tradies is a two-way road, so communication is the key. Being open and transparent with expectations involving time, cost and scope of work is your best bet to building and maintaining a great relationship with your tradies.