The maintenance team at a property is often the secret ingredient to a property’s success. A perfect move in, free of any repair items creates a great first impression for a new resident.
The appearance of the grounds, hallways, and any common areas can determine whether a prospect drives in to tour the property or just drives by.
The timeliness, accuracy and customer service attitude presented when responding to a service request, may be the only contact a resident has with your staff during their occupancy. The tone and responsiveness of maintenance may influence the renewal decision more than the new rental rate.
With these important contributions to the property success, how often do we give the maintenance team an opportunity to take any credit for their efforts?
Here are a few suggestions to give your team an opportunity to take credit for their work product.
- Assign service order callbacks to the maintenance team. Making calls at the beginning of the day or the end of the day isn’t going to disrupt the work schedule. Maintenance has the opportunity to ask if their work was satisfactory, explain the repair if there are questions, and most important, accept the compliments and thanks for a job well done.
- Have maintenance accompany a new resident for their move in inspection. This will give maintenance an opportunity to point out the details, showing off the workmanship. For occasions, when it’s not practical for maintenance to participate in the move in inspection, use a welcome letter or card; similar to cards use in the hospitality industry to welcome the resident to the property including the signatures of every team member that assisted in the turnover and preparation of the apartment. If commercial vendors are used for painting or carpet cleaning, include them for recognition.
- Post cards or notices in the hallways or laundry areas, “Professionally Cleaned For You By …” This is appropriate for a staff member or a professional cleaning company.
Giving your maintenance team an opportunity to be recognized by residents is so much more rewarding, than the second hand thanks resulting when the office staff receives the thanks or feedback, and then repeats the conversation to the team.
Let’s give our team the credit that’s due to them, the opportunity for this positive feedback will encourage ownership in the turnover and cleaning responsibilities. Everyone is going to know who’s cleaning the hallways and laundry rooms, so the work performed will be more carefully performed with a focus on the details.
Each of these recognition ideas demonstrates the pride we have in our team efforts. Building an team environment focused on recognition creates ownership.