Couldn’t Find The Problem, Everything is Okay

Service request“Couldn’t find the problem, everything is ok.”
Trust me if maintenance cannot resolve a problem in a residents apartment. Everything is not ok.

Here’s a life changing truth. Residents do not call the office to have maintenance come to their apartment home without a reason. This is not PUNK’D. We may not be able to find the problem, but there definitely is a problem. So the resident, frustrated, that a repair is needed; has straightened up their home in anticipation of maintenance in the apartment. The service request has been called or emailed to the office. After a long day at work the resident returns home to a find the service order documentation, noting, we couldn’t find your problem, everything is fine. Can you feel their temperature rising?

At this point, the resident will have to call the office and attempt to explain how the problem is not resolved. They will have another day of uncertainty with maintenance entering the apartment again.

For the maintenance crew, this is equally frustrating. The time for the first visit appears to be wasted time. Now a second visit is being scheduled, to an apartment where the “whatever it is” works fine. This is a communication disaster.

The resident may be giving us specific information for the repair, instead of describing the problem. Our staff upon hearing a description of a problem may make their own conclusion, scheduling a specific repair instead of describing a problem.

A service request with a specific repair,
-Replace thermostat
-Change air filter
-Replace oven broiler element

does not bring the same result as a service request that describes a problem. It tells maintenance to prepare for a specific repair. It suggests no troubleshooting is necessary.

Consider these descriptions:
-air conditioner isn’t cooling
-furnace turns off part way during the cycle.
-Oven takes too long to heat.

The repairs listed above may or may not resolve these problems. But in many cases, additional troubleshooting may require a trip back to the maintenance shop or the dreaded, “Couldn’t find a problem” comment on the service request notification. ¬†A day of job sharing could be an eye opener for the leasing team. ¬†Partnering with a maintenance technician, with service request in hand, demonstrating the difference between a well written service request is a learning experience that won’t be forgotten.

In the process of preparing the service request, we confirm, permission to enter if the resident isn’t home, the presence of pets in the household and how they will be secured or contained; a description of the problem and possibly getting a daytime number in case there are any questions might reduce the number of Couldn’t Find A Problem service requests.

Lori Hammond
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Lori Hammond

Thirty plus years experience in an industry best characterized as "no two days are the same" provides the foundation for Lori Hammond's experience in Property Management.With education and career experiences in Mid-Michigan, the audience for the blog Property Management Minutes is growing.Connect with her on , Linkedin, and on Blog.
Lori Hammond
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