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Outsourcing Rental Repair and Maintenance
February 26, 2018

Outsourcing Rental Repair and Maintenance

Written by: Mark Engelmann

One of the greatest challenges for property management agencies is growing their rent roll without increasing overheads and blowing out already high labour costs.

We’ve crunched the numbers, comparing the quantifiable employment costs in Australia and the Philippines. By outsourcing property management admin and processing tasks, your agency can save up to 68% on employment costs!

Real Estate Dynamics (RED) recently found that 81% of tasks in their Property Manager (PM) job description can actually be outsourced. This frees up a lot of time for your local PMs to focus on tasks that promote agency growth, such as building relationships with landlords to boost the rent roll.

This is the second step in our three-part series, designed to show you the best ways to create the freedom your agency needs to grow.

Outsourcing Rental Repair and Maintenance

Processing repair and maintenance requests for hundreds of properties is a hugely time-consuming task, requiring a lot of paperwork, and back-and-forth communication with tradesmen, landlords and tenants.

An outsourced Property Management Assistant (PMA) in the Philippines, with great English speaking and writing skills, is able to effectively handle these tasks for a fraction of the cost. An offshore PMA can work through the whole repair and maintenance process, or it can be a combined effort with your local PM.

There are six core steps that PMAs can work through to relieve some of the repair and maintenance-related admin pain:

  1. Maintenance Request is Received
    When a tenant issues a request for repairs or maintenance, you have two options:

    1. The maintenance request is received by your local PM, who then palms it to your PMA in the Philippines, or

    2. The maintenance request is received by your Filipino PMA, who monitors all request channels i.e. email, phone, or via your agency’s portal.

  2. Assessment of the Request
    Once received, the request needs to be processed, including data entry and assigning a level of prioritisation. All of these sub-tasks can be completed by your PMA, as determined in your Agency’s guidelines.
    If an urgent request is submitted, your PMA can contact your Australian team immediately, however if it is a more routine requirement, it can go through the normal process.

  3. Cross-Reference the Routine Inspection Report
    When the request requires action, your PMA can open the property’s most recent Routine Inspection Report and see if the maintenance request is consistent with the notes and photos made by your Australian agent.

  4. Seek Approval
    Based on your Agency’s guidelines, your PMA is able to contact your Australian team or the landlord directly, to inform them and request approval to take further action, if required. Email and telephone scripts are often used for consistency across external (and internal) communication. If you’re not keen on your offshore PMA having landlord touch points, the communication can be handled by your local PM, with the PMA still supporting the admin load. This is not uncommon and depends on your preferences.

  5. Liaise with Tradespeople
    Most agencies have a list of trusted and approved tradies, such as plumbers, electricians and handymen that your PMA can engage to carry out repair and maintenance on your properties. You PMA is able to find the best match for the required work and contact them to:

    • - Request quotations for the work

    • - Assess the best and most cost-effective option

    • - Give the approval to the selected service

    • - Communicate between the business and the tenant to schedule the best time

    • - Track progress of the work order being complete

    • - Follow up as required

    • - Touch base with the tenants after the work is completed

  6. Compile a Report for the Agent and Landlord
    After the repair and maintenance request has been fulfilled, your PMA can complete an End Of Day Report with succinct notes for your Australian team and landlord to look over, to keep them informed of all work done on specific properties. This is critical to open communication and your outsourcing provider should be able to provide you with a tried-and-tested template.

Onboarding and Training

You’re probably thinking that all sounds great, but onboarding and training a Property Management Assistant in another country sounds like more hassle than it’s worth. This can be a roadblock for many Real Estate agencies considering outsourcing.

A great outsourcing provider will be able to support you in setting up the right technology for offshore communication and in building a solid process library. They will also have their own thorough training that includes educating staff on Australian Real Estate terminology, laws and compliance.

Aside from covering all the Australian PM essentials, training should also include the Property Management software that’s relevant to your business. In fact, your outsourcing provider should even be able to provide you with templates and best practice systems to get the ball rolling.

In a nutshell, training and onboarding an offshore PMA shouldn’t be much different to training the person sitting beside you.

While not specific to a PMA, you can learn about onboarding and training a Virtual Assistant here.

Want More Information?

Has the next step got you stumped? Maybe you’ve got questions we haven’t covered here?

Download our free eBook, Answering All Of Your Questions About Outsourcing In The Real Estate Sector.

This eBook tackles all of the critical questions surrounding outsourcing offshore, with a focus on driving profitability and customer experience in Real Estate agencies. You’ll discover real-life insights from two of Australia’s leading experts in the field.

Download Answering All Of Your Questions About Outsourcing In The Real Estate Sector

If you’d rather chat, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line here.

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