Maintenance & Inspections
Mike Dunfee Group – MD Property Management Maintenance Systems
Maintenance is the least glamorous and perhaps most feared part of property management. Dreaded maintenance calls can happen at any time with a problem to solve and an expense to be paid. Nobody likes maintenance calls, but we see them as an opportunity for us as a property management company to help keep a tenant happy and save a landlord from extra expense and trouble.
Maintenance can be tricky – Here at the Mike Dunfee Group, we have worked for years to continuously enhance how we approach maintenance; it is something we are always striving to improve upon.
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The Key to Your Satisfaction
Tenants and landlords both expect timely and professional service in ‘every’ instance:
- 24 hour 7 days a week emergency availability
- ‘Urgent’ repairs within 1 to 4 hours
- Standard’ repairs within 24 to 48 hours
- Convenient access to Portfolio Manager to address questions
- Cost conscious results
- Detailed Records
- Preventive Maintenance – Inspections and Assessments
Each is considered mission-critical to our business model. This daily commitment to both landlords and tenants is how we effectively communicate and resolve repair issues, questions, and service requests while expeditiously and professionally using proactively defined procedures thanks to integrated systems and business applications.
HOW DO WE DO IT?
It’s a ‘Maintenance System’ Connecting People
We utilize a fully integrated network of systems that connects everyone involved. This helps us deliver a more consistent, cohesive level of communication and quality of service. The people involved, noted below, are connected within our network of business systems that integrate phone, email, text, maintenance, repairs, accounting, invoicing, and billing.
Tenants, Maintenance Technicians, Vendors (if applicable), Owners, Property (Portfolio) Managers are each connected within the Maintenance System using either their personal email or text – the correspondences are recorded in the system automatically. Each time a work order or service request is opened, scheduled, and completed, the owner is automatically emailed or texted through the system. Owners may “Opt-In or Out”, and/or receive texts instead of emails if they prefer.
Maintenance System ‘Benefits & Features’
- Maintenance and Service Requests immediately visible to all parties
- YouTube DIY Video emailed to tenant through system to help self-diagnose or resolve
- Tenant self-resolution potentially eliminates service call and owner expense / repair costs
- Tenants ‘self-schedule’ through system to expedite and coordinate scheduling
- Maintenance Techs and Vendors schedule through system; Tenant can confirm schedule
- Owners - Landlords informed of repair progress from start to completion
- 24 x 7 maintenance coverage through 100% system visibility
- Safeguard for owner repair $$ amount thresholds – Owners may approve through system
- All communications and correspondence from all parties recorded for quality tracking
- Automated Tenant Survey to obtain timely service quality feedback upon job completion
- Actionable metrics and reports to identify quantifiable opportunities to further improve services
- Total connectivity reduces the chance of mistakes
- Fast turnaround time improves tenant satisfaction while reducing landlord liability and potential expense
Property Owner Benefits
- Happy tenants DON’T move out!
- Happy tenants consistently pay rent on time!
- Happy tenants take care of their home!
- Vacancies are limited when tenants enjoy living conditions and feel supported by landlord
- Preventive, proactive maintenance measures reduce owner liability and associated expenses
- Reduced vacancy turnover costs increase owner return on investment
- Reduced owner repair and re-rent preparation expenses and costs
- Vacancies fill much faster when properties are well maintained in good condition
- Less days on market to re-rent saves owner $$
Who Does the Work?
In-House Technicians & Exclusive Vendor Network
At the Mike Dunfee Group, we use a combination of In-House Maintenance Technicians and an established Vendor Network that have proven over time to provide a consistent, optimum service level at competitive price points in order to be retained in our network.
In-House Maintenance Technicians
- Full-time dedicated technicians monitor, respond, schedule, coordinate, and communicate repair service requests submitted and recorded in our centralized Maintenance System.
- Perform basic Handyman type repairs of all types, including but not limited to patch/paint the entire interior, and all renovation projects for properties that need new flooring, tile, countertops, and a variety of other items as needed.
- Certified, licensed, insured Network of 3rd party Vendors we use for specialized services.
- Collaborate within our company’s centralized Maintenance System as new service requests are assigned to them.
- Schedule, coordinate, and communicate with tenants and Portfolio Managers as needed when monitoring, responding, performing repairs as follows:
- Major Plumbing
- Pest Control
- Specialized House Cleaning Services
- Major Remediation involving Mold and/or Water Damage
- Major Renovations
- Routinely evaluated by our organization and tenants for work quality, responsiveness, professionalism, and repair price points to ensure they can be retained in our network.
Periodic Maintenance Inspections help us stay on top of small problems before they have a chance to become much bigger issues. This is something we recommend offering on an annual basis but in some cases, we recommend doing them biannually. It gives us a chance check in with the tenant and see if there are any issues with the property.
Some landlords have been known to use the “no new is good news” method of management. Some tenants may be a little hesitant to report a problem because they are afraid it may lead to a rent increase; the problem is that this often leads to much bigger problems down the road.
We have found that preventive maintenance is a lot less expensive than deferred maintenance and that open communication with tenants helps reduce the chance of unpleasant surprises.
Property Inspection Benefits
- Maintain consistent pulse on property condition inside and outside
- Proactive condition assessments help avoid unnecessary future repair issues / costs
- Scheduled in advance through tenant to advocate tenant support & avoid inconvenience factor
- Frequency of inspections defined by owner. ‘Annually’ at a minimum is recommended
- Identify issues that have not been reported that potentially lead to health and safety hazards, and property damages that incur unnecessary owner repair or renovation expenses:
- Smoke Alarm and/or Carbon Monoxide Detector not working, disconnected or missing
- Leaky faucet in kitchen or bathroom
- Running toilet
- Water stains noted on ceiling or wall
- Unusual and excessive wear and tear or damage to any specific areas
- Issues above are more common than not
- Periodic inspections and proactive measures educate tenants and minimize owner repair costs
- Pictures and observations are noted by each room and emailed to owner
- All inspection and repair communication and activities are recorded in Maintenance System
Why Should Landlords Care About Maintenance?
Because It Matters
Having a well-maintained rental property makes good financial sense for our landlords. Some of the financial reasons for landlords to keep rental properties well maintained include:
- Less tenant turnover / saving on turnover expenses
- Vacancies fill faster
- Higher rents can be achieved
- Attracts and encourages tenants who value condition of property
- Preventive maintenance is less expensive than deferred maintenance
- Reduces the chances for expensive maintenance surprises
- Reduces financial liability for potential negligence
- Your investment is generally better preserved and protected
Well-maintained properties make for happier tenants and landlords while improving our communities and quality of life for all involved.
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