Peaceable sleep is a wonderful thing…to doze off at the end of a productive day and start fresh the next. Multifamily operations requires, in some form or fashion, twenty-four hour care. As no one can stay awake 24/7 how do we assure that assets in our care are addressed 24/7/365? Here are some ideas on how to approach the issue.
Responsibility Centers. One mistake that some owner/operators make is believing they must do everything themselves. From mowing the lawn to showings, from plumbing repairs to painting. This is plausible with limited scale and a good skill set, however, it is probably not the highest and best use of your time.
With larger properties that are professionally managed this same issue sometimes occurs as a manager or lead maintenance person attempts to do all/be all as a stamp of their importance to the asset. Further review will likely reveal that appropriate delegation is far more proficient. Emergency planning means lining out the team for emergencies. This will always include more than one person.
Emergency Maintenance Telephone Number always on. An emergency maintenance telephone number usually rotates from person to person. It is imperative that this number is always monitored, always on. Invariably the biggest emergency will occur when the phone remains unanswered.
Appropriate staffing levels. There is such a thing as running a skeleton crew, then there is the ghost crew…when people think they heard or saw someone, but not really. See responsibility centers above.
Insurance. No lapses allowed.
Having after hours service providers. It’s one thing to have service providers lined up for everyday work, quite another for after hours calls. At least quarterly, check to make sure that everyone that is in charge of the emergency maintenance number also has the short list of after hours service providers. Picking up the call is the first line of defense, addressing the matter in real-time sometimes requires waking up people in the middle of the night. Who are these people and do you have their 24 hour service number?
Mr. Wilhoit is the author of two books: How To Read A Rent Roll: A Guide to Understanding Rental Income and Multifamily Insight Vol 1 – How to Acquire Wealth Through Buying the Right Multifamily Assets in the Right Markets.
For 50+ hours of property management audio training, 3 books and live weekly leadership academy–surf here, http://powerhour.com/propertymanagement/booksandcourses.
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Multifamily Insight is dedicated to assisting current and future multifamily property owners, operators and investors in executing specific tasks that allow multifamily assets to operate at their highest level of efficiency. We discuss real world issues in multifamily property management and acquisitions. This blog is intended to be informational only and does not provide legal, financial or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel. http://www.MultifamilyInsight.com