How To Handle Maintenance Request During COVID-19
We recently hosted a webinar to share the findings from our survey on How Property Managers are Responding to COVID-19. During the virtual event we had an opportunity to attach with participants during a Q&A session to listen to how they’re personally handling things . Many had questions associated with maintenance, and the way they might still maintain their properties and fulfill requests, while limiting in-person interactions. Several property managers had some great advice on this subject , here are five tips we gathered:
Tip #1: Emergency Repairs ONLY
When asked how they’re currently handling maintenance requests, the bulk of property managers said they’re adopting a stance of “emergency work orders only.” this suggests deferring any repairs that aren’t essential. How are you able to determine if a maintenance request is essential? Here’s a helpful list on what an emergency repair is:
- Emergency Repairs Include:
- Broken furnace or air conditioning
- Ceiling or roof water leak
- Fire or smoke damage
- Gas smells or other noxious smells
- Leaking tub, pipe, faucet or disposal
- Continuous water running
- Sewage drain backup
- Broken key in entry door
- Burglary or forced entry into apartment
- Mold growth
- Stove or refrigerator not operating
- Toilet not flushing or clogged
- Power outage
- No Hot Water
- Leaking dishwasher
Tip #2: Keep Your Staff & Residents Safe While Work Is Being Done
Across the board, property managers are concerned about keeping their residents and staff safe and healthy. Within the event an emergency repair has got to be completed they recommended taking these actions:
Ask residents to travel for a walk or confine themselves during a separate room while a maintenance technician works on the repair.
Equip maintenance technicians with the right safety gear, including gloves, a mask, protective eye gear, and antibacterial wipes.
Tip #3: Take Extra Safety Precautions When Handling Packages
Even though the bulk of property managers are currently performing from home, there’s still the danger of coming into contact with COVID-19 through mail and packages. Property managers from the webinar recommended taking the subsequent steps when handling packages that contain maintenance supplies and tools:
- Avoid direct contact with the delivery person
- Leave the package outside for a couple of hours and/or spray it with aerosol disinfectant before handling
- Dispose of all outer packaging immediately
- Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds or more
- Disinfect any high-touch surfaces you had contact with after handling
- Avoid touching your face, including your mouth, eyes, and nose
Tip #4: Provide other ways to finish Non-Emergency Repairs
Participants from the webinar also gave some great advice when it came to providing their residents a way to finish a repair if they weren’t ready to catch on done. Here are a couple of other ways property managers are completing non-emergency repairs:
Have your maintenance technicians do video calls with residents to give a better understanding of the issues and supply help remotely.
Tip #5: Communicate together with your Residents Regularly
Lastly, because the COVID-19 situation unfolds, your maintenance policies could also be changing weekly, which is why it’s important to speak together with your residents on a daily basis or having an open line of communication.
Maintenance issues will arise during this point of social distancing, however if you’re ready to defer non-essential repairs, communicate regularly, and supply residents ways to self-serve, you’ll still maintain your properties and deliver an honest customer experience. By following these helpful tips you’ll keep your staff and residents safe, healthy, and happy.