Boosting Maintenance Efficiency: The Power of Mobile Apps and KPI Tracking in Apartment Management


Proper KPI tracking is crucial in any business. Apartment management maintenance is no exception. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are important to track, and when it comes to apartment management maintenance ‘knowing the numbers’ can help manage your team’s efficiency, time to perform work orders, the percentage of work order callbacks, and which maintenance team member is best at performing a certain skill – are all great KPIs. 

KPIs are what successful companies across all industries use to execute and improve upon within their operations. By tracking specific metrics based on performance, they can improve net operating income, customer satisfaction, and overall profitability.

Mark Cukro, President, Plus One Inc., spoke to the trend during the Texas Apartment Association’s annual ONE Conference & Expo in April in San Antonio. 

“If you want any business to thrive, you have to learn how to run your business,” Cukro said. 

“Too many people say they don’t have time, or they don’t have the money to do something. But it should start during the hiring search. The goal should be to find individuals who not only say that they can help make the company better but that tells you how they are going to do it.” 

Some of the metrics he suggested are measuring how long it takes to do a work order, what percentage of work orders have callbacks, and which maintenance team member is best at performing a certain skill, such as HVAC repair.  

One standard, yet outdated industry standard – the 100:1 tech to unit ratio – “is terrible,” Cukro said. “It should be closer to 1:50 or 1:75.” 

For the most part, performing work orders needs to be thorough – not fast. A lockout should be quick, but fixing an HVAC system should not.  

If you are short-staffed, why ask your team to paint walls during apartment turns? That’s something that can be outsourced. 

“When you are getting a lot of callbacks, it’s either the tech does not know what to do, or they just don’t care about their job,” Cukro said. 

Mobile Apps Track Performance 

Today, there are a variety of maintenance mobile app platforms that help properties track the performance of their maintenance techs, one of which is AppWork, which creates dashboards and digital whiteboards that can be used for scheduling and driving greater efficiency. 

“For example, you can use your metrics to better achieve a 3- to 6-hour response time for work order requests. That’s the golden zone for customer service.” 

These can also help staffing, such as giving certain jobs to techs who have proven to be most proficient at that task. 

It will also show management where it is lacking in training. By identifying those employees who need more training, the company can incentivize them by offering that training rather than punishing them for a performance that is subpar. 

“As an industry, we have to do better at training,” Cukro said. “Poor resident work order service because of poor training should not be the cause of the demise of a company. Service should be the reason for its success.” 

As for the property’s financial performance, Cukro said the maintenance supervisor should learn how to read a budget, as it will help improve site performance and expenses. 

“Maintenance employees should ask their managers to sit down with them and explain a profit and loss statement,” Cukro said. “That will make their day. And doing so and applying it to day-to-day operations will help the company to succeed.” 

Cukro said that when it comes to rewarding staff based on how they performed against their budget, preventive maintenance should not be one thing the bonus is tied to. 

“If you do, the maintenance team will cut costs or avoid necessary repairs and upkeep, trying to save money against the budget,” he said. “The property will be degraded over time. 

It’s bad practice if owners disassociate themselves from the on-site field staff, they should be more engaged. 

A set of metrics when in place should define a clear objective to be achieved, develop a way to understand cause and effect, identify specific activities that will achieve it, and evaluate results.  Taking a hard look and becoming metric oriented is the first step in ensuring your maintenance staff, residents and rental housing communities thrive. 

Learn more: TAA Events | ONE Conference & Expo

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