There are times when property management professionals must deal with unpleasant situations. As a manager, it is your responsibility to stay calm and handle emergency maintenance situations with grace, to ensure that they are taken care of in an efficient and timely manner. When you get a call during the middle of the night about an emergency at one of your properties, these effective emergency maintenance tips will help you handle the situation with grace:
Keep a List of Contacts and Emergency Repairs Services With 24-hour On-Call Technicians
A good property management software system can help you easily access the contacts you need. You want to make sure that you have the information of tenants, emergency services and contractors that provide on call emergency services.
Be Prepared for Emergencies During All Hours of The Day or Night
In a perfect world, you have an emergency at properties during working hours and sleep well at night. Unfortunately, problems are going to happen at any hour of any day. Make sure that you are prepared to get out of bed in the early morning to take care of a maintenance emergency. Have plans and communications channels in place to ensure emergencies are attended to. It is also a good idea to have a secondary property manager or employee that can handle emergencies when you are not available.
Handle Communications Calmly and Clearly to Avoid Any Confusion
In an emergency, you do not want any mistakes. It is important that you have a policy in place that will limit costly mistakes. Make sure that communications are clear and understood by people that you need to get messages for. Directly contacting all persons involved will help eliminate miscommunications when getting things done. For example: if you need to have a contractor fix something, meet with them and speak with the person doing the work directly.
Understanding the Different Mechanical Systems That May Require Emergency Maintenance
Properties have many different mechanical systems that can fail and need repairs. Sometimes, the systems may just need routine maintenance. Some of the common maintenance emergencies with properties include:
- HVAC systems—Make sure that maintenance is done to heating and cooling on a routine basis. In addition, build a professional relationship with a reputable HVAC service, so you are always dealing with the same technicians that know your property’s needs.
- Electrical—Make sure that the electrical systems in your properties are up-to-date and meet modern standards. Have the wiring inspected routinely and update any outdated wiring as needed.
- Plumbing—The pipes in properties are often the cause of big emergencies, such as flooding and leaks that cause water damage. Make sure you have a good plumbing repair service that will be able to help you with emergencies. In addition, inspect properties regularly for signs of leaks and other problems.
- Structural—The problems with structures can range from minor storm damage to more serious structural failures. Minor damage is something that a maintenance contractor can help you with. For the more serious issues, structural engineers, building inspectors and architects are the professionals you will want to contact for guidance in dealing with these situations.
- Access controls and automation—With modern properties, there are many areas where access controls are installed. Gated entrances, security systems and automation are all systems that have equipment that can fail, and you will have to ensure they are repaired quickly.
If you do not have a property maintenance team, there are contract services that can help you with emergencies. Routine maintenance and repairs of mechanical systems is essential to avoid emergency maintenance problems and costly repairs.
Take Advantage of Emergency Situations and Manage Your Properties More Efficiently
You want to avoid these emergencies if possible, but sometimes they give you opportunities. Take advantage of these maintenance situations to prevent future potential for repeated emergencies and address existing issues. The small emergencies can also help you prepare for more serious problems, so you will be ready to face any situation.
It is hard to predict what type of maintenance emergency will come next, or when it will come. If you are prepared for the situation, these emergency calls often become part of regular maintenance routines and your work continues to move along smoothly.