When you’re looking for or training a maintenance technician for your multifamily property, you’re probably only focused on his or her core skills, and that’s only natural. However, in the customer-centric environment of today, repair experience and an HVAC certification are just a part of the puzzle. Modern residents don’t just want their faucet repaired quickly; they also want someone who is positive and friendly while doing so. If they don’t get that, they may very well find somewhere else to live.
Your maintenance team is also becoming an important interaction point with your renters. As more and more tasks like paying rent become automated, your residents are interacting with your leasing team less. This means more customer service and lease renewal influence is put onto your maintenance team, the very members of your staff who are the most likely to be left out of the customer training you offer. Fortunately, it’s not too late to bring your maintenance into the customer service fold. Take a closer look at the following ways you can help prepare your maintenance team to build more meaningful relationships with your residents.
Look For Technicians Who Fit Your Culture
Getting the right people on board is the first step toward building a quality maintenance team. Don’t just look at how well the applicant can handle the nuts and bolts of the job. Consider exactly how this person will fit in with and adopt your company’s fundamentals and culture. You want someone who is skilled and experienced in the position you’re hiring for but also a person who has the personality to connect and engage with residents while being professional. This might seem like a tall order, but it can go a long way toward boosting your overall customer service satisfaction levels.
Hold Customer Service Training Upon Hire
Training your new maintenance hires on the core values of your company will give them the knowledge and skills they need to perform well in all aspects of their position. Your exact training program will depend on your culture, but in general, it should teach your maintenance staff service etiquette, how to interact with residents, and other areas of concern.
Make Tech Tools Available
Multifamily software has optimized and streamlined the maintenance request process in many communities. With resident and program management software, you can give your maintenance staff the ability to gain resident insight and manage work orders more easily.
Residents with strong relationships with the maintenance team tend to feel more supported and cared for in their communities. If you haven’t addressed the customer service aspect of your maintenance staff, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with and satisfy your residents.
Wanda E. Stewart is Managing Member of REI Women, LLC. My company focuses on Multifamily Acquisitions in the Southern and Mid Atlantic region of the U. S. Reprinted with permission of Multifamily Insiders. Multifamily Insiders was created to provide the first true online networking group for the multifamily industry and its partners. For more information, visit www.multifamilyinsiders.com.