Property maintenance and utilities expenses are some of the largest, most difficult-to-control hard costs. Combined with historically high levels of inflation in the U.S. economy right now, it’s more important than ever to take an inward look at your operations to identify opportunities to boost the efficiency of your properties.
Start with maintenance
Maintenance is the heart and hands of any community, and finding and retaining quality team members is becoming more difficult than ever before. You can empower them by conveying to them how everything they do on a daily basis has an effect on the community and its residents and has a real financial impact.
When we take this approach with our maintenance teams, they can better appreciate how their day-to-day tasks are opportunities to save money and increase efficiency. And if your property offers efficiency-related performance incentives, the benefits of controlling maintenance and utility costs can also make their way back to them.
The goal here is to protect the property and continue helping your team understand what’s budgeted versus what’s not or what constitutes a genuine emergency. Doing so can go a long way toward ensuring that you’re not going over budget and your teams aren’t being overworked.
There are powerful tools that can help you reach this goal.
AI-powered maintenance tools
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help you and your team respond to your toughest maintenance challenges. The technology responds to maintenance requests at all hours of the day, satisfying frustrated residents and providing instant visibility into your maintenance workflow process
Residents can easily submit a text message, make a quick call, or use their online resident portal to submit a request. The urgency of the request is then determined using AI algorithms. The technology can then diagnose and help users troubleshoot the issue. If further assistance is required, a work order is automatically created to be completed by your on-site maintenance team or sent to your pre-approved vendors.
The result is heightened efficiency that allows your team to spend more time on what matters most to your business while reducing the stress of running a successful maintenance program. For your maintenance team, there’s less effort to handle maintenance requests since everything is tracked and managed directly within AppFolio. Faster response times can lead to greater resident satisfaction in knowing that their requests are being met with timely service and that emergencies are being handled efficiently.
The maintenance workflow has always been a prime area for automation and innovation. Both residents and your staff can find satisfaction in digitizing the process.
Incorporate a procurement strategy
Having a procurement strategy is vital to the success of any efficiency-oriented goals. It provides accountability in terms of spending and can help control hard costs. Tried-and-true strategies include buying items in bulk, keeping inventory on hand, streamlining your various processes, and allowing your team to plan orders ahead of time to help save on unnecessary payroll costs. A procurement strategy also helps your team remain compliant with company protocol, and it consolidates your total spending by maintaining a reference list of approved suppliers and items. Just think of the time your team can save by not having to leave the property to make one-off purchases. Instead, having inventory on hand and purchasing processes in place can make tasks like unit turns go much faster, with far less headache and cost.
At AppFolio, we know there’s no shortage of work to do, but the challenge really comes with optimizing your team’s skills and your inventory. For more ways to optimize maintenance to boost net operating income (NOI), check out the AppFolio blog and other resources on our website.