Author: Edge2 Learn

3 Best Practices for Better Maintenance Efficiency – Service Matters!


Few issues frustrate residents more than needing to make a maintenance request. How quickly and efficiently those requests are handled can be the difference between a satisfied resident and a very unhappy one. It can be easy for office teams to consider service requests to be primarily the responsibility of the maintenance team but working together to get those requests handled leads to significant gains for everyone. Knowing the process steps in advance sets the stage for success and, ultimately, for happier residents. Give these 3 best practices for better maintenance efficiency a try.

  1. Understand and Utilize the Diagnostic Tree

The diagnostic tree is a step-by-step set of instructions on looking at and repairing a problem. A diagnostic tree is a set of yes and no questions related to the problem but can be expanded to include the office staff as part of the service request process. Office leadership and maintenance leadership must work together to create work orders. Asking clear questions of the resident to gain details on the problem more often results in a “first visit fix.” That results in cost savings, fewer return trips, and improved maintenance efficiency.

The steps in the diagnostic tree are:

  • Listen – listen to the resident to understand what the problem is and when it started.
  • Observe – What does the problem sound like? What does it look like? What does it smell like?
  • Access and Test – Take a look!
  • Research – If the problem happens AGAIN, what was done the first time?
  • Document – Be specific on future actions taken for similar problems to improve maintenance efficiency. Make sure someone who reviews those notes in the future will know what was done and what the result was.  

2. Seize the Power of Early and Correct Diagnosis

Train to diagnose and repair issues. When teams are properly and thoroughly trained, the problem can be diagnosed quickly and correctly, resulting in cost savings from better maintenance efficiency and happier residents. Onsite leadership needs to be visibly excited about training on service issues and emphasize the importance of partnership with maintenance leadership for better maintenance efficiency.

One of the top issues influencing resident survey feedback is not just if the problem was fixed by maintenance but how fast it was fixed. Misdiagnosis results in delays and callbacks and detracts from maintenance efficiency. Finding ways to minimize callbacks results in cost savings, happier residents, and less stress on the office staff.

Utilizing past experiences with maintenance requests, you can determine if this same problem was resolved and leverage that experience for early and correct diagnosis and expedited resolution! It may be possible to simply answer the resident’s question based on past experience if there has been good communication between onsite teams and especially within the maintenance team.

3. Achieve Better Maintenance Efficiency Through Improved Maintenance Training

The best way to get employees excited about training is to BE excited about training. Show your team that you believe in the benefits of training!

Here are some tips and tricks for best practices in handling service requests:

  • Have verified sources for good information. Bad information is costly. 
  • Have a method for relocating the information if the problem happens again. 
  • Take notes. It never hurts to write something down. Take notes on what was effective as well as unsuccessful.
  • Starting the entire process again for recurring problems is costly and causes time delays. 
  • Utilize technology to communicate in modern ways. Gone are the days of filing away pieces of paper that can’t be quickly and efficiently accessed. Being able to put precise notes in a work order on the job in real-time and have that information trackable, readable, and manageable by leadership is extremely important.
  • There is a financial cost to training, but if you can save a couple of calls to an outside vendor each year, you can afford training to ensure better maintenance efficiency. It is an investment that much more than pays for itself, not only in real cost savings but in resident satisfaction.
  • Understand that resolution of maintenance issues affects resident renewals. Good training is worth the investment.

Happier residents mean less stress for office and maintenance teams. Having a good spirit of cooperation between office and maintenance teams is key. Knowing the steps to handle a maintenance request, following those steps, and documenting the action taken leads to better maintenance efficiency and satisfaction for everyone.

Contributed by:

Krista Washbourne
Krista Washbourne
Craig Bartholomew
Elizabeth Hansen

Interplay Learning


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Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increasing industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and employee turnover.

Personal Customer Service in an App-Reliant World


There’s No App for THAT!


“In The Year 2525” was a hit 1969 song by the duo Zager and Evans.  The song predicts a future world that is doomed by overdependence on technology and the dehumanization of man.  The concept seemed implausible in 1969 when technology was almost nonexistent compared to today. But given the absence of technology we were more often providing personal customer service due to necessity if nothing else. So how do you provide personal customer service in an app-reliant world?

In 1969, rents were posted manually, fax machines had not been invented, and advertising was in print or on the radio. Today we have computers on our desks, held in our hands, and in our homes.  Social media drives our marketing.  Technology is a good thing!  But it also brings both challenges and opportunities.  We all have favorite apps we can’t imagine living without.  Who can imagine a world without Door Dash, Amazon, Google Maps, Pandora, Teams, Uber, Venmo, and more?

Yet, how are those apps or our multifamily apps providing personal customer service?  There is almost no personal connection with an individual to take care of a problem or provide a service to them nowadays.  Tip for you: We can never achieve or obtain enough technology to fully replace a personal relationship with our customers.

So, how can we utilize technology while providing personal customer service? The basics of property management have not changed.  The vehicles by which we want to communicate are different today, but people are still looking for a personal connection.  We always need to look at the needs of our customers.  People still are looking for a very personal space to call HOME. Check out these 4 ways of providing personal customer service in today’s app-reliant world.

  • Overcome generational gaps. Communicating with different generations is a unique challenge.  Each generation has preferences in the methods of communication and marketing that feel comfortable to them.  Communication styles will need to adapt over time and depending on the customer. Find the best ways to communicate with each customer while ensuring consistency in the message itself.
  • Watch your language.  Phrases and expressions that were familiar once may be no longer, and as time progresses there are all new terms that are universal to our customers and within our industry. We must express caution when using industry lingo that we understand easily but our customers don’t.
  • Maintain that critical “personal touch”.  It is possible to utilize technology while maintaining the personal touch in the lifecycle of the resident.  When used properly, telephone, texting, and email can all be used to create a personal connection.  Texting has become a professional way to communicate but it must be clear in its message and not use abbreviations or terms that are not familiar to every prospect. 
  • Honor your customers’ preferred method(s) of communication. How the customer first reached out to us may dictate the method of technology we utilize for continued communication.  Ask your customer, “What is the best way to communicate with you?”  Social media can be used to further a sense of community with residents but in most cases is not the best and primary approach.

The song “In the Year 2025” portrays that if we someday rely solely on technology, there is no need for man.  In reality, there is no more personal industry than multifamily, as we help people find and secure their ideal home.  They are looking for a haven in which to escape from the stresses of the world, relax, raise their children, and enjoy their personal lives.  There is no way to remove providing personal customer service from that dynamic.  Technology should supplement what we do, not replace what we do.

Contributed by:

Jerry Norman
Jerry Norman – Director of Multifamily Marketing Pedcor Management | Pedcor Homes


Read more like this from Edge2Learn

Click here to access additional Leasing Training Resources


Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increasing industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and employee turnover.

Professional Development – Are We Doing It Right?


Minimize the Impact of the Great Resignation with Engaging Professional Development


The multifamily industry is no stranger to turnover. The midst of the “Great Resignation” is a great time to look at professional development. We must ensure our employee development program is engaging and not irritating. You have numerous options for development formats that will help you minimize the impact of the Great Resignation by engaging employee development. Options include your:

  • LMS
  • HR Platform
  • In-person classes
  • Webinars
  • Online classes

So how do you know which of these options will best help minimize the impact of the great resignation on your team? One important consideration that is often overlooked is employee feedback/involvement. Seek input from your team to develop a program that is a custom fit. Other considerations for creating the right-fit employee development program include:

  1. Do Your Employees Know the “Why”?
  • What is the “Why,” and does your company live it? Achieving a positive return on assets while upholding company culture is your “why.” To live the “why,” you must identify knowledge and performance gaps to develop engaging employee development and assign training relevant to the employee’s specific role.
  • Does your company fear professional development will lead to turnover? Senior management and Human Resources often assume that developing talent will lead to turnover as the talent then seeks out better opportunities. In reality, the number of employees who leave after development is a very small percentage. Statistics show that 92% of employees will stay longer if they feel the company is invested in their career growth, which is demonstrated powerfully to team members through engaging employee development offerings.
  • How do you earn Millennial and Gen Z employees’ endorsement of your professional development? Right now, Millennials make up the most significant portion of the workforce. Millennials view the expense of their time and money as an endorsement, not simply a transaction. It’s essential to develop a dynamic, engaging employee development program to allow for the best formats for each concept being trained.

2. Where Do You Begin to Ease the Irritation?

  • Explore the individual needs of your professionals. The first step towards creating an engaging rather than irritating program is to involve your team of professionals to identify the knowledge and/or performance gaps. This way, you can tailor your employee development program to the relevant needs.
  • Evaluate your current training program. Look at your current program to see where it may be missing the mark. Also, please take a good look at what you are using and decide whether or not it is still relevant. Remember, the skills your team needs depend not only on the individual professionals but also on the type of property and the role of the professional.
  • Market your professional development program. Don’t wait until you have created the “perfect” program. It’s always going to be changing, so market it now! Offer training incentives to help market training. Develop marketing relatable to your team; maybe consider a short video of someone who’s already taken the training talking about how it helped.

3. It’s Not Enough to Launch.

  • Launching is fun; however, maintaining your new, engaging employee development program is the key to success. Assuming everyone will jump in and complete programs without checking in on completion is a recipe for failure. Confirming completion is an incentive.
  • A solid professional development program is never finished. The industry is ever-changing, and development must be ongoing to minimize the Great Resignation’s impact and maintain your ROA.
  • Make professional development personal; then it becomes engaging. Individualize training to the specific employee’s needs, rather than assigning a plain vanilla course across the board. Fine-tune the program to allow your team to develop what they need to reduce irritation.

Remember, an engaged employee is more likely to stay, but an irritated employee is sure to go!

Contributed by:

Professional Development
Tyler Marker – Zidan Management Group
Pam Pederson – Edge2Learn
Shawn Reynolds, The NRP Group


Read more like this from Edge2Learn

Click here to access additional Leasing Training Resources


Edge2Learn is an eLearning company whose focus is the Property Management Industry and specializes in property management training and multifamily education. With almost 40 years of experience and a commitment to increasing industry excellence, we are passionate about engaging learners to maximize benefits for both companies and employees. Aligned with a well-respected industry leader, Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions, the Edge2Learn platform provides a turnkey solution for clearly identified needs and opportunities. We prepare learners to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce corporate liability risks and employee turnover.