How to Manage Property Maintenance Services With a Remote Team Member
For many property managers, the concept of remote work isn't just a temporary solution; it's a long-term strategy that can offer immense benefits for companies looking to improve productivity, efficiency, customer service, and payroll numbers.
One of the critical roles that can be successfully outsourced is that of a maintenance coordinator. By choosing a virtual assistant for this role, you can significantly improve the efficiency of your maintenance services, ensuring both property owners and tenants are satisfied.
So, how do you effectively incorporate a virtual maintenance coordinator into your team? We talk about that today!
Define the Tasks for Your Maintenance Coordinator
Before you can expect a VA to succeed in the role of maintenance coordinator (or any role, actually), it's essential to lay out what you expect from your property management virtual assistant.
If you've had a maintenance coordinator before, begin by cataloging the tasks they were responsible for. Then, revisit this list to see what tasks might need to be modified for a remote setting.
For instance, while an in-house coordinator may have conducted on-site inspections, a virtual assistant won't be able to handle that task. However, a virtual team member's remote status won't deter their ability to excel in this role.
However, if you're starting the coordinator's task list from scratch, some typical tasks to assign your VA might include:
Finding, vetting, and managing vendors
Receiving and processing maintenance requests
Coordinating repairs with vendors and tenants
Managing costs, invoices, and budgets
Tracking work orders
Reviewing documentation (photos, videos, and reports)
Communicating with property owners and tenants
Supporting property managers
Looking at this list, we can assure you that a virtual contractor can complete all of these tasks (and others)! Being physically in your offices doesn't make it easier to do these tasks. Yet, by choosing a virtual solution for this role, property managers reduce payroll and overhead costs and tap into a broader talent pool than might be available locally.
Find a Property Management Virtual Assistant With Relevant Experience
Once you have clearly defined the tasks you need your virtual maintenance coordinator to perform, your journey moves to its next crucial phase: selecting the ideal virtual assistant for the job.
The search for the right VA goes beyond simply picking someone to fill a role; it's about finding a team member who will become a critical asset to your property maintenance services. Here's how to approach it systematically.
Crafting a Precise Job Description
Armed with your well-defined task list, create a detailed job description covering the range of responsibilities, required experience, and critical competencies. This document serves as your first filtering tool, helping you attract candidates that closely align with your needs.
Clearly state what knowledge they should have about the property management industry and what skills in maintenance coordination are crucial for them to possess.
Look for Candidates With Industry Experience
When you're filling specialized roles like a maintenance coordinator, industry-specific experience is invaluable.
A candidate who understands property management nuances, compliance guidelines, and best practices in maintenance can hit the ground running. This is a considerable advantage that could save you a lot of time and resources in the long run.
If you're using the VPM Solutions platform, you're already ahead of the curve. Our platform offers a pool of candidates with demonstrable property maintenance experience. These VAs understand the language of property management and maintenance coordination, making them highly compatible with your specific requirements.
By leveraging this resource, you can significantly reduce the time and effort you would otherwise expend in sifting through numerous applications.
Assessing Candidate Expertise
While you'll likely get resumes detailing experience and skills, it's prudent to go beyond what's on paper. Conduct video meetings, ask for references, and even consider assigning a small, time-bound project or task.
These steps will give you insights into their problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and adaptability.
Choose a Virtual Assistant and Put Them to Work
In the fast-paced world of property management, onboarding time is a luxury you often can't afford. Here, too, the flexibility of a virtual assistant shines.
Once selected, a well-qualified VA can typically be onboarded by the next business day. With most VAs already possessing a fundamental understanding of property management systems and tools, the time needed for initial training can be substantially reduced.
Real-time Adaptation to Your Needs
One of the standout features of adding a virtual assistant to your team is their ability to adapt in real time to the dynamic needs of your property management operations. As they are already comfortable working in fluid environments, VAs can quickly adjust to your specific workflows, software platforms, and communication channels.
This adaptability allows them to begin contributing almost immediately to the range of tasks you've defined, from coordinating with vendors to processing maintenance requests.
Enhancing Property Maintenance Services from Day One
Given their quick onboarding and adaptability, your new virtual maintenance coordinator can start making a tangible impact on your property maintenance deliverables right from the get-go.
Whether it's streamlining work order processes, facilitating quicker turnarounds on maintenance requests, or effectively communicating with tenants and property owners, a VA can inject efficiency into multiple aspects of your operations almost instantly.
Provide the Necessary Resources
Your VA will typically have their own workspace, internet, and computer. However, they will need specific resources from your end to function effectively.
Access to your property management software
A dedicated email address for communications
Tools for remote communication like ZOOM or Slack
Access to your task management system
Introductions to key team members and vendors
By providing these resources, you empower your VA to integrate seamlessly into your existing team and processes. They bring experience and talent while you provide the resources they need to do their jobs well.
Let Them Work
After the thorough process of defining tasks, selecting the ideal virtual assistant (VA), and providing them with the requisite tools and training, the next step is quite straightforward: Let them work.
So, what does this actually entail, and why is it crucial for maximizing the efficiency of your property maintenance services? Here's what you need to know.
Empowering Independence: Trust is Key
Trusting your VA to take on the role independently is essential for multiple reasons.
First, it provides them the freedom to apply their skills and expertise without constant oversight. If you've chosen a well-experienced VA, rest assured that they can handle the complexities of property management and maintenance coordination. This trust empowers them to make informed decisions that align with your business goals.
Quick Adaptability to Workflows
Experienced VAs are often quick learners and will adapt rapidly to your existing workflows and systems. They're proficient at understanding the intricacies of task management tools, property management software, and communication channels you use, enabling them to blend seamlessly into your operations.
The quicker they adapt, the sooner your property maintenance services will benefit from their contributions.
Enhancing Your Property Maintenance Services
When you let your VA work autonomously, you open up opportunities for innovation and improvement in your property maintenance services. They can identify gaps in the system, recommend process improvements, and even take the initiative to implement them.
Their independent functioning can lead to a more streamlined, efficient, and responsive maintenance service, benefiting both property owners and tenants.
Ongoing Monitoring and Feedback
While allowing your VA to work independently is crucial, that doesn't mean setting them adrift without guidance.
Regular check-ins, performance reviews, and open channels for feedback ensure that they stay aligned with your company's objectives and quality standards. This balance between independence and oversight can create a dynamic, efficient, and collaborative working environment.
VPM Solutions Has the VA for Your Maintenance Coordinator Needs
Incorporating a virtual assistant as your maintenance coordinator can make your property management operations more efficient and responsive. From handling vendor relationships to overseeing maintenance budgets, a qualified VA will bring significant value to your property maintenance services. With the right virtual team member on board, you're well on your way to optimizing maintenance coordination for your property management business.
To expedite the process of finding a skilled virtual maintenance assistant, consider setting up a Free Company Profile with VPM Solutions. As the leading workforce-outsourcing solution in the property management and real estate industries, we offer skilled VAs for various roles, including marketing, maintenance coordination, leasing, transactions, bookkeeping, and more.
You can also find your VA faster with our "Property Management Maintenance Coordinator Job Description and Quickstart Task List." Request your free copy!