Most property managers are burdened with the cost, both in terms of time and money, of handling maintenance issues over the phone and by email. Communication issues and repeated calls and messages mean that issues as simple as a leaky tap can take days and even weeks to resolve.
Over time, minor issues like these can accrue major costs. It was reported by Northwood that the annual cost for maintenance and repairs in lettings was a staggering £4.1 billion nationwide, “which equates to around £2,360 per property.” That’s a lot of very costly leaky taps.
Agents’ ability to be transparent with tenants on maintenance and repair issues became even more important with the Deregulation Act which came into force in October 2015 and introduced a mandatory process for dealing with repairs in rental properties.
This Act is designed to protect tenants against unfair eviction in cases where they have raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of their home. As a result, agents must ensure that all forms of communication between themselves and the tenant are properly recorded.
The use of property technology, or proptech, to speed up outdated processes is increasingly prevalent within the property industry. Taking repair reporting online has made the process for property managers much easier, allowing them to cut down on unnecessary calls and costs.
Since launching in 2013, one of the leading repair reporting software providers, as far as letting agents are concerned, has been Fixflo. Its repair reporting service significantly improves efficiency to free up a property manager’s phone line, saving both time and money. This is achieved through the use of picture-based reporting where tenants can report repairs 24/7 through their device by choosing the relevant icon from a list and upload their own images to support their report.
Rajeev Nayyar, co-founder of Fixflo, says “With 40% of maintenance issues being reported outside of office hours by an increasingly diverse tenant base, property managers really are the unsung heroes of the industry.”
Once a tenant reports an issue the Fixflo system will provide them with guided advice. This is particularly helpful with smaller issues as tenants are made aware of their responsibilities and given all the information necessary to solve those frequent “easy-to-fix” problems that they might come across. This ensures that the tenant can take all the right steps to prevent costly damage to a landlord’s property. It also guarantees the transparency and flexibility of the repairs and maintenance process across the entire rental chain.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Fixflo system and how it could help your business, why not book a free twenty-minute demo?