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What is work order management and how can it impact your assets?
Transform your real estate success with efficient work order management. Whether you're a property manager, landlord, or investor, learn essential strategies to streamline processes, enhance tenant satisfaction, and boost sustainability.
Efficient work order management is crucial for success in the real estate industry. Whether you're a property manager, landlord, or real estate investor, effective work order management can significantly impact the value and functionality of your assets.
But what is work order management in practice, and how can you implement a process that makes for happier, more sustainable and more profitable real estate assets?
In this blog, we'll explore the essential strategies to improve work order management in real estate, helping you save time, money, and headaches.
Why is work order management important?
Your ability to respond to requests for maintenance and repairs has a huge impact on your tenants’ experience.
Slow responses make tenants feel ignored, and can negatively impact a tenant's trust in their landlord. Moreover, poorly managed work orders make for more complaints.
By being able to quickly and effectively solve tenants’ problems—you contribute toward greater tenant satisfaction and retention.
In a recent survey of residential tenants in the UK, France and the Netherlands, we found that 56% of respondents valued prompt response to repairs and maintenance in a landlord. 39% also said that they would find a digital app useful for managing maintenance and repairs reporting.
Environmental sustainability is also an important outcome of good work order management process.
Proper work order management can help track and prioritise maintenance and repairs that improve energy efficiency, such as fixing HVAC systems, insulation, and lighting. These improvements contribute to reducing a property's carbon footprint and energy consumption.
Moreover, work order management allows for the implementation of sustainability projects like installing renewable energy sources (e.g., solar panels), green infrastructure (e.g., green roofs), and other eco-friendly upgrades.
Work order management contributes to ESG compliance by enabling the tracking and execution of energy efficiency and sustainability projects, addressing health and safety concerns, ensuring regulatory compliance, and enhancing tenant satisfaction.
Furthermore, it supports long-term property value and helps build a positive reputation with investors and tenants who prioritise ESG considerations.
Why implement a maintenance work order system?
The first step to improving work order management in real estate assets is to transition from paper-based or manual systems to a digital property management ticketing system. There are several benefits for doing so that we’ll explore here.
- Access work orders and related information from anywhere, at any time. This flexibility is essential in a dynamic industry like real estate.
- Assign the appropriate stakeholders to issues based on their category. This means the right person can also be assigned to the right tasks, reducing any inefficiencies that might be caused by confusion or mismanagement.
- Track work order ticket statuses to identify what’s in the pipeline, what’s ongoing, and what’s been completed. For example, in the Issue Reporting module from Chainels, you can categorise work order tickets by whether they’re In Progress,. Resolved, or Closed. Allowing stakeholders a clear overview of what needs doing, and what’s been done.
- Enable seamless communication between property managers, tenants, and contractors, reducing miscommunication and delays. For example, the Issue Reporting module for Chainels allows for internal comments on particular work orders. This makes it easier for stakeholders to collaborate and resolve an issue quickly, without searching through messages and emails.
- Analyse work order data to identify recurring issues, trends, and areas for improvement. Chainels’s Statisitics module helps you track KPIs like number of issues resolved or pending, average first response time and average resolution time. Such data can help you identify gaps in your services and optimise for better tenant experience.
How to make a digital work order management system work for you
Set clear procedures
Create and document clear procedures for submitting, reviewing, and completing work orders. These procedures should outline roles and responsibilities, deadlines, and communication protocols. When everyone involved knows what to expect, the work order management process becomes more efficient.
Make sure you have a platform from which you can store documents to be accessed by various stakeholders and tenants in your property, that way no one is left in the dark.
Making reporting an issue simple
In order to make proper use of a work order management system, it’s important to make it as easy as possible to report issues.
On whichever platform you use, make sure that all stakeholders are aware of the system you use and how to use it.
Moreover, it’s important to ensure that users are able to share any information which would make reporting the issue easier for the service provider, so there should be an option to upload images, and pinpoint the location of the issue on a map.
Perform regular maintenance inspections
While you can’t stop maintenance issues from occurring, you can take preemptive measures to make them less frequent. Use data gathered from your work order management system to identify common problems and set up a preventative maintenance plan.
- Create a checklist of regular maintenance tasks—Maintaining a big property with numerous potential issues is easier with a regular maintenance checklist. Tasks like gutter cleaning, screen replacement, tree trimming, and checking alarms can prevent major problems and save time and money in the long run.
- Keep track of system and appliances—Regularly check and maintain heating, AC, plumbing, and shared space utilities. Employ maintenance workers for routine inspections and utilise a tenant experience app to log and access these records conveniently.
Efficient work order management is a cornerstone of success in the real estate industry. By transitioning to a digital system, setting clear procedures, prioritising work orders, and emphasising preventive maintenance, you can streamline your work order management process, reduce costs, and enhance the value and functionality of your real estate assets. Stay proactive, adapt to changing needs, and prioritise communication to ensure your work order management system remains effective and efficient.