If you were anything like me, you went about your day-to-day knowing just a few things about property management companies: 1. There is an endless number of them. 2. Each one is the same. 3. I have no idea what any of them actually do.
At Lykens Companies, we believe there is more to a property management company than meets the eye—especially one like us. In fact, we’d make quite a different list to describe ourselves: 1. In a sea of other property managements, we believe that we are one-of-a-kind. 2. We offer opportunities that no other company does. 3. We end up doing a lot.
So what does a property management company actually do? In this blog series, we’ll explore different aspects of the property management business and what we believe sets us apart from the rest.
This week, we’re talking about maintenance.
Have you ever had a landlord who just can’t seem to get things straight? Despite having one or two properties max, he just can’t get a handle on things when they go wrong. The whole “landlording” thing just doesn’t seem on his priority list at all. When a maintenance problem strikes, you give him a call and hear the displeasure in his voice. A day or two later (if you’re lucky), he drives all the way to his rental property just a few miles from his house. He wanders in, takes a look at the issue, whether that’s a leaky roof, a garbage disposal on the fritz or something in between, bites his lip, and tells you to expect someone soon.
Days go by and you haven’t heard a word. A week goes by and there’s still radio silence. Finally, you call him again and he tells you he’s on his way. The next day, he shows up with his own tool belt and drill and spends a whole Saturday trying to fix a problem he’s never dealt with before while you tiptoe around him in your own home. Maybe, you think, you should have just done it yourself and eaten the cost. After jerry-rigging the problem, he leaves. What happens next? The same problem. The same awkward phone call. The same cycle.
Why does this happen so often?
First, most property managers don’t know the first thing about maintenance.
Second, most property managers don’t want to spend the money to hire an expert when needed.
Last, most property managers don’t have a dedicated system to serve their tenants.
The story we shared is bad. Even if a landlord only has one or two properties, a broken system for approaching maintenance causes nothing but trouble.
Now imagine an owner of a thousand properties treating more than a thousand maintenance issues a year that way. In the end, his properties are broken down and damaged, but the real victim here is the tenant. That’s never how we want to run a business.
What is the Lykens way of approaching maintenance?
1. Hire the best
At Lykens Companies, we staff an entire maintenance team. This fleet of 5 skilled workmen is committed full-time to Lykens properties. And Lykens properties only.
We trust our workmen and their skillsets enough to commit to paying for their exclusivity. Trust us. If we trust their work, then so can you. We know that when we hire specialists it means that we don’t get put on waitlists when our tenants have maintenance issues that need attention. In the maintenance world, the best workmen are always booked up, forcing you to either wait around for trusted experience or hire someone who could be questionable at best. We never want to be in that position.
So what do we do? Hire them!
Our maintenance team ensures that our tenants and their homes get the best treatment in the most convenient amount of time. We can’t beat that.
Though each of our workmen tends to be a jack-of-all-trades, most are specialized in one area or another. For example, we have an electrician with over 20 years of experience. Another specializes in the restoration of original materials, bringing them back to new (and sometimes better) life. Still another knows plumbing like the back of his hand. But if there’s ever a time when our team can’t solve something, we’re quick to hire the best specialist.
So we have the workforce, but how do we make it effective?
2. Create a tenant-friendly system
Without a great system in place, having great workers would be useless. There’d be no way to access their skillsets! It’s like claiming to have the best restaurant in the world without printing menus or hiring waiters.
Lykens Companies values customer experience, so when we put revamped our maintenance request system we wanted it to be simple, accountable, and effective. The results are just that.
When tenants have issues in their rental unit, getting that problem solved is as easy as filing a maintenance request on our website. A maintenance request does what an email or phone call can’t. The system gives each tenant a guarantee that his or her maintenance request won’t get lost among the hundreds of other incoming calls and emails that come to our Maintenance Coordinator.
Better yet, our system allows tenants to check out the status of their maintenance request. Even when you’re on vacation, you’ll know if and when you’re problem is being solved. As maintenance requests are filed, a database becomes created that lets us know the history of your unit’s issues, along with other details, like whether or not our workmen should be ready to accommodate for a tenant’s pet.
“No issue is too small,” says Ezra Daley, Lykens Companies Maintenance Coordinator. “Especially if you’re unsure about whether something needs attention, feel free to reach out to me before filing a maintenance request. When a maintenance request is filed, we guarantee that it will be addressed within 48 hours. If not, expect me to reach out to you to develop a personalized solution for your problem.”
The end result?
Our properties deserve to be well kept and well maintained, but the tenants living in them are our priority. To us, the best property managers establish good maintenance practices primarily for the well being of their tenants.
We make every effort to provide Lykens Companies residents with the absolute best maintenance experience. We never want to be anything close to the deadbeat slumlord we described earlier. All the effort that we put into our maintenance management sets us apart. The best part? It all comes together to better serve our tenants.