Spring cleaning. A single statement that evokes a great sense of renewal, of dusting off the darkness and muck of the winter months (and let’s be honest, majority of 2020 in general).
In multifamily, maintenance teams are tackling the common spring-cleaning duties. They’re deep cleaning, freshening up grounds, touching up paint around the community, focused on making the pool and pool deck more welcoming, and readying the grills and firepits for residents to enjoy on the warm spring and summer nights to come.
But multifamily spring cleaning should be about more than just sprucing up a community’s grounds and clearing away the drab of winter. It should also be about sprucing up operations – and that is often achieved through technology.
When was the last time you went through a full spring cleaning to make sure your technology is working for you and your teams? Have you dug-in to identify areas where clean-up and decluttering could happen?
Everyone needs a technology spring cleaning. Here are the top four tips to spruce up your operations:
Go mobile and get rid of the white board.
If you were to walk into the maintenance office today, what would you see? A stack of papers, sticky notes and a white board that lists the maintenance and move-in/move-out tasks for the day. Mobile-first maintenance technologies get teams out of the office and build more efficiencies and productivity. By enabling teams to track all maintenance and services tasks – both from residents and for the property overall – via a mobile-first platform, maintenance teams are deployed by priority. They complete tasks faster and with greater efficiency because all the information is at their fingertips instead of on a handwritten note left in the office.
Automate your audits.
Auditing files is not fun. Between resident, property and team member files and records, that’s a lot of data. Audits are time-consuming and can still be riddled with human error. By automating file audits through technology, opportunities to build ancillary income through reconciliation (think resident who has not been paying a pet fee) and NOI are uncovered.
Speaking of audits, technology should also enable operators to proactively audit their teams as well. Take audit automation a step further by engaging single sign-on capabilities. Not only does this improve workflow and accessibility for team members, single sign-on also makes it easier to audit and track active and inactive system users. Now is not the time to fall victim zombie accounts – logins and profiles for former employees that are still active. These accounts not only pose a security threat but are accounts you are still paying for. By engaging with single sign-on, operators can easily decommission those old Zombie accounts from all systems with the push of a single button.
Sharing is caring.
As multifamily starts to see a shift in property management models – leveraging smaller, more nimble teams to cover multiple communities – operators are tapping technologies to engage their teams like never before. Comprehensive maintenance platforms deliver the ability to share resources across multiple sites, improve communications among multiple teams and vendors, and provides greater visibility into team efficiencies.
Prevention is the best offense.
Defense wins championships and the same can be said in the multifamily maintenance game. Technologies that enable maintenance teams to be as productive as possible, as well as proactive in their property upkeep, are truly game changers. Preventive maintenance protocols established and tracked through mobile-first inspections technologies enable operators to optimize procurement and budgets. Teams can readily track all features of a property, proactively identify parts and supplies needs, monitor warranties and product life cycles, and enable pre-scheduling key maintenance tasks. The ultimate goal is to be prepared for anything – so when an emergency hits (think Texas floods), you already have your offense at the ready, positioning you ahead of your competitors.
Equity Residential leveraged SightPlan during the pandemic to inspect and audit its properties and established national guidelines for its reopening efforts.
“Through this process, we completed over 4,500 inspections, answered 50,000 questions, and documented 35,000 photos in about two weeks’ time,” senior vice president of national facilities Steve Dybowski said.
As multifamily continues to see a labor shortage, particularly in the trades, conducting a technology spring cleaning and uncovering ways to leverage mobile-first technologies engages teams, supports new multi-site models, and empowers onsite teams by giving them the tools they need to get more done.