Why It’s Time to Re-Think Maintenance Team Communication

Maintenance teams are the unsung heroes of property management companies, keeping operations running smoothly with boots on the ground. But their real superpower lies in their ability to juggle time-sensitive matters like resident concerns and property maintenance. This makes effective communication their secret weapon!

Maintenance teams must communicate quickly with residents and management, keeping everyone on the same page. But let’s face it, sometimes it can feel like playing a frustrating game of telephone, leading to unhappy residents and wasted effort for the property management team.

Luckily, there is a better way to streamline communication and keep everyone happy! In this blog post, we’ll explain why maintenance operations communication is at the heart of property management and how to empower your boots-on-the-ground team to get their jobs done faster with less confusion.

Lastly, we’ll show you how to streamline maintenance communication and resident requests by integrating user-friendly tools so you can operate at a profit without the tech headaches.

The Visibility Gap: Why Maintenance Team Communication Is Broken

Maintenance staff plays a pivotal role in the success of your business. Effective upkeep translates into an attractive property that draws in high-caliber residents. These motivated residents, in turn, contribute to cost efficiency by minimizing wear and tear expenses. 

Effectively maintaining multifamily properties and units relies on addressing issues promptly. Unfortunately, in most cases, maintenance staff relies on disjointed text messaging and outdated work order printouts, which don’t facilitate quick, clear communication. 

As property management leaders, you’re constantly looking for comprehensive feedback from your boots-on-the-ground staff, who interact with residents daily. This feedback helps you better understand the seriousness of issues, how much they inconvenience residents, and how satisfied they are overall.

However, many executives don’t have a consistent or straightforward way to get this feedback from their maintenance teams and managers, and thus don’t have good visibility into overall maintenance operations.

You Need a Bird’s Eye View of Your Maintenance Team

The first step to empowering your maintenance team to communicate as efficiently as possible is understanding how the team is structured. Each maintenance team operates differently, with different roles, responsibilities, and workflows.

What tech equipment do your on-site maintenance team members have? Do they use cell phones or tablets for communication? Are they able to check email and receive phone calls on their phones? And what about texts? You’ll inevitably face a communication breakdown if you rely on email, but the maintenance staff doesn’t.

Let’s say your maintenance staff heavily relies on cell phones for communication. In that case, providing them with a secure, mobile-first messaging platform would boost their productivity while keeping the learning curve to a minimum.

An in-depth view of your maintenance team’s structure and their preferred methods of communication gives you unparalleled visibility. It helps you trace the sequence of events when issues are escalated to leadership and prepares you to step in when needed, like when someone is on vacation. This level of visibility enhances operational effectiveness and minimizes disruptions.

Navigating the Resident Request Maze

Managing resident requests (especially if you’re still relying on email) can quickly turn into a chaotic mess, resulting in dropped balls. In a competitive market where renters feel they have options, keeping them satisfied by diligently processing their requests is essential. 

According to the latest National Apartment Association (NAA) Property Management Industry Pulse report, resident retention was a top priority for property management leaders, coming only second to revenue.

NAA Property Management Industry Pulse

When dealing with a maze of jumbled email or text threads, it’s tough for your maintenance team to determine which requests take priority. Trying to distinguish between urgent matters, like a severe leak, and less pressing ones, like a running toilet, feels overwhelming – especially if there are hundreds of emails and texts to comb through.

To keep residents in the loop about their inquiries, your team must establish a clear and well-documented procedure for handling common requests. Then, you need visibility into the queue and an effective way to communicate with the ‘fixers’ like the maintenance techs responsible for fixing issues.

Finally, you need a reliable system to let the office and residents know when the tasks are done – and to keep a record of the completed work (with photos!). Centralizing all messages in one place streamlines processes, provides a consistent experience for residents, and empowers teams to solve problems without disruptions. And ultimately allows for precise and reliable communication.

How to Centralize Maintenance Communication and Simplify for Success

Using new tools might feel overwhelming, but forward-thinking property leaders know that adopting the right technology is critical for boosting profits and scaling.

Instead of over-complicating your decision-making process, ask yourself: “How can I centralize and simplify?”

Technology is playing a significant role in terms of how industry leaders are solving operational challenges, including automation of administrative tasks as well as centralizing the entire prospect life cycle. Firming up internal systems, data-driven recommendations, and empowering leadership teams to make decisions were other actions cited. Others have brought the initial phase of the eviction process in-house and created teams focused on rental assistance funding for residents.

NAA Property Management Pulse

What should you look for in a property management communication tool? If your goal is to gain more visibility into what’s happening without receiving hundreds of emails every day or asking, “Where are we on this?” look for the following features:

Built for the Boardroom to the Boiler Room

Email may have been the go-to tool for building your business, but let’s face it – it doesn’t cut it for the dynamic needs of property management teams. If you’re still relying on the outdated combo of text and email for your day-to-day operations, you’re wasting precious time sifting through messages, struggling to find vital information, and missing out on the big picture. 

Unlike email, Synco was built specifically to be used in the field. While email caters to desktop workers and has some mobile capability, Synco is purpose-built for the agility your maintenance team demands. 

With Synco, your maintenance team can capture photos and send messages instantly — much-needed by maintenance team members who don’t spend their days tethered to a laptop. With a purpose-built platform, you can finally have your office staff and vendors in one workspace optimized for the pace and demands of your on-the-go maintenance teams.

Community-Based Tagging & Automatic Filing

Platforms like Synco let you communicate faster and with more context than emails or text messages. Synco tags easily organize important conversations with files, photos, and videos. And with real-time tagging by team members, everyone stays on the same page.

Automatically organized recordkeeping and instant communication are no longer “luxuries” for property management companies—it’s a necessity. Don’t let email chaos and employee turnover become a disaster for your business.

Quick Search Capability

The right search capability is the key to ending inbox-overwhelm. You spend most of your time putting out fires so you need the ability to search and filter quickly find the information you need without digging through email folders or asking someone to resend it.

Reimagining Maintenance Communication for Property Management Growth

When it comes to running property management maintenance operations, effective communication is key! It’s crucial to understand your maintenance team’s organization and preferred methods of communication. By integrating user-friendly tools that simplify the process, you can streamline resident requests, boost resident satisfaction, and reduce operational chaos.

And in this technology-driven era, simplicity is everything. No more sifting through endless emails and text messages! Instead, use a purpose-built platform like Synco. It brings your team together in one intelligent workspace, making communication effortless.

Empower your property management team to work smarter, not harder by scheduling a free demo to explore Synco’s real-time messaging platform.

Jeannie Cambria
When dealing with a maze of jumbled email or text threads, it’s tough for your maintenance team to determine which requests take priority.

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