Traditional VS Modern Property Repairs and Maintenance

Our CEO, Steven Rae, dives into the traditional way of managing property repairs and maintenance and how it compares to a new, modern way of doing things.

Published 14 March 2023

Author Steven Rae

What’s that old phrase? Madness is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results… 

Our society has been completely transformed in the post-internet era, with everything becoming digital and a significant increase in convenience and quality of communication, but one industry that still seems to be stuck in the ’90s is the property maintenance and repairs sector. 

Within the property management and maintenance world, the traditional model entails relying on phone calls, emails, and self-service portals. Everything is short-term, with no big data plans to keep service history or to monitor trends to inform better long-term strategic decisions. There is little consideration for the tenant's experience or how they can be more informed and contribute to the solution. 

With the amount of negative news stories around the housing sector, you would think that these large organisations would be investing heavily in a fit-for-purpose digital, convenient, tenant-centric solution that gives them access to big data to put them in complete control of their housing estate and the quality of accommodation they provide. But instead, we just keep hearing about how housing organisations X or Y didn’t know that someone was letting a property for 3 years without having their reported issues resolved, which resulted in some horrible outcomes for the poor residents. 

Investment is a big problem, but the biggest issue is the inertia of these organisations. It seems that bigger is better, judging by the number of mergers and acquisitions of housing organisations, but without the systems in place to manage these vast estates, where is this going to get us?

We just prove the wisdom in the quote I opened up with about doing the same things and expecting different results. In fact, it is worse: it seems that the proposed solutions are to keep the traditional way of doing things but just with bigger, more unwieldy organisations with many more properties to manage. 

So, what is available? What is the modern digital way of managing property maintenance and repairs? 

Tenants expect to be able to engage with their housing provider in the same way that they do everything else, using their mobile phones. If you expect a tenant to sit at their computer or laptop and log into some web portal or self-service webpage, then you need to re-evaluate your audience. Millennials only do digital, and they are now in the 27 — 42 age bracket. They expect to be kept in the loop on progress without having to call or look in their emails, whilst less tech-savvy tenants should still be able to use the communication method they are most comfortable with. 

With the recent introduction of mandated Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs), making sure you are communicating effectively with your tenants has never been more important. 

A digital solution puts an app in the hands of your tenants and tradespeople so they can be fully informed at every step of the repair and maintenance journey. More importantly, these apps ensure that both parties support each other during the process and helps them to avoid the conflict which often occurs when people don’t know what’s going on. 

Enriched property data and property intelligence are available if you know where to look, and the best systems have this automatically populated using smart integrations and API’s, information, including how high the property is (in case you need ladders to reach the roof, for example) or whether the property is a top floor flat (so you know that water ingress from the ceiling will most likely need a roofer rather than a plumber), to the service history of the property (which indicates if the issue is a recurring problem or a one-off; in other words, it allows trends to be identified).  

I believe there is a huge data black hole within the housing sector that prevents better short and long-term decision-making. This data should be collected, stored, and made available for housing organisations to chop up, segment, and plot trends for better long-term planning, strategy, and investment decisions, while making sure no one is forgotten about. It should no longer be  acceptable for organisations to just hold their hands up and say, “Sorry, but we didn’t know.”  

There has to be a better way. 

The EVO way puts tenants at the heart of property repairs and maintenance, provides a modern fully managed end-to-end service, improving communication and significantly reducing the time and resources required to manage repairs, maintenance, and compliance. If you would like further information, please visit our website at www.evo-pm.com. 

Steven Rae, CEO 


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