By Ethan Lieber
If you’ve been a property manager for long, you know that maintenance can easily be one of the biggest stressors of the business. But there are many ways to turn this stress into an opportunity. Property-management companies are beginning to utilize a new model that reduces time spent on maintenance by 80% and is not only run at zero cost, but can actually generate a new profit stream.
This model helps reallocate that time to other areas of the business, like growth. According to a recent Buildium study, 61% of property owners listed maintenance as the top pain point, and for good reason. You’re on call 24/7 and emergency maintenance not handled immediately can turn into long-term expensive property damage. On top of this, managing vendor and tenant schedules, follow-ups, and invoices can be a huge time suck.
Creating Efficiencies in Maintenance Coordination
Many property managers use a third-party service to handle maintenance coordination. Whether it’s software service, a call center, or a mix of both, these tools are meant to help ease the maintenance process. A fee is involved when you want to use a call center to handle your maintenance calls, whether it be only after hours or 24/7. There’s also a fee for utilizing a software service for scheduling, tracking, and invoicing all maintenance requests. Latchel is a maintenance-coordination service that uses both software and a U.S.-based call center to operate across over 55,000 units nationwide.
Being that now is a time of unprecedented economic struggle, Latchel has implemented a model for customers that gives maintenance coordination at zero cost to customers. How is this done?
Removing the Cost of Maintenance Coordination
Latchel packages its maintenance-coordination services into a resident benefit package, called the 24/7 Home Assistant, that gives residents a concierge-like maintenance service along with a few other financial protections and resident benefits. These benefits include:
- A dedicated home-assistant phone line available 24/7/365 for in-home needs.
- Easy scheduling via SMS or online portal.
- Expedited scheduling and dispatching of vendors with 2-hour repair windows.
- Move-out repair assistance and $50 reimbursements of tenant-caused damages.
- Cancellation-fee reimbursement for appointments that need to be cancelled or rescheduled.
Similar to many resident-benefit packages already out there, residents pay a small monthly fee for these enhanced and added services. Residents do have the ability to opt-out of this benefit if they are not interested. Latchel is currently waiving the typical PM fees for tenants who choose to opt-out, so property managers still get maintenance coordination at zero cost.
Creating a Profit Stream from Maintenance Coordination
With customers currently using this model, Latchel has seen a 90% opt-in rate from residents, giving property managers immediate profits. Property managers can earn an additional $4 per unit for all units that opt in. A few other benefits for the property manager include:
- Improvement in online reputation:
- Latchel maintains a 4.7/5 star rating for tenant satisfaction; reviews are automatically pushed to the PM’s website.
- 80% more time to re-allocate to other parts of the business operations, and freedom from maintenance headaches.
- Added revenues of $4 per unit per month.
You can learn more about the 24/7 Home Assistant here, or schedule a call with the Latchel team. We’d love to hear about your current maintenance operations process, and chat with you about how we can help you create more efficiency and growth in your business.