BH’s mobile maintenance solution continues its long-standing success, particularly among maintenance team staff members, according to Amy Chien, BH’s Director of Strategic Innovations.
Speaking on a panel about how AI is being used in maintenance during the National Multifamily Housing Council’s OPTECH Conference in November, Amy was applauded and queried by envious apartment operators in attendance.
It was another example of how BH has been a trend-setter in innovative operations management.
Our mobile system, created by SmartRent, serves as an efficient way to conduct one of the most crucial aspects of property management. It’s one more way that we emphasize the customer (resident) experience.
In 2017, BH went portfolio-wide by using a mobile work order management platform where technicians processed their work orders through their cellphones.
Amy said what had been taking 75 hours of “open time” for work orders was slashed to about 40 hours. “This came from us eliminating the paper process, entirely,” Amy says.
We converted any paper “to-do” maintenance checklists, among other things, into our mobile system.
“The cool thing is we used this maintenance tool for more than just maintenance-related checklists,” Amy said. “From daily opening checklists to vacant inspection walks used for deposit accounting, we have been able to use this tool to have automated checklists that align with the policies but also reduce the manual work that was already being done.”
Mobile System Improves Notetaking, Communication
Using maintenance within our overall centralization management strategy means we aren’t replacing people, Amy says, but rather “we are helping them to all work more efficiently.”
Amy said one of the unintended consequences of this mobile-based software is that maintenance techs can receive praise from residents more quickly, easily, and transparently.
Residents, who can track progress on their requests, were more inclined to enter comments about the work – and most were flattering – Amy said.
“So, our technicians were able to get that recognition right in front of them. It made them feel better about their jobs,” she says. “And this is so crucial given the challenges the industry faces when it comes to hiring and retaining maintenance workers.”
Chris Grimes, a BH Service Manager at Tava Waters in Denver, says “SmartRent Work Management has been an innovative solution for our service team on both the organizational and communication side. It allows easier direct contact with residents, simplifies notetaking, and improves our ability to categorize each service request submitted properly. Always having the digital access through a mobile device is much more convenient than the old paper method and transitioning to it was smooth for our team.”
Jim Tate, Service Manager at 965 Flats in Corallville, Iowa, says the online tracking for work orders is a much cleaner and streamlined process compared to the old paper methods.
Using a platform like SmartRent to deliver great resident experiences is just another way that BH continues to innovate and centralize our operations to make living here mean living more.