COVID-19 Lockdown Trends in Multifamily (Webinar Summary)

Lockdown was pretty crazy, right?! The data thinks so too...but will they stick moving forward?

Our friends at MRI Software hosted a webinar, Impact of COVID-19 on Multifamily - Part 2, and asked us to share some maintenance-related data points from lockdown and beyond.
We were stoked to participate and blown away by some of the data presented by MRI SoftwareG5, Landlord Web Solutions (now RentSync), Nexus Systems, & Zego. The following is a 4 minute review/summary of the 60-min webinar.
(PS - links to the webinar recording and full MRI Market Insights report are at the bottom)

Leasing Traffic

  • A trend seen throughout the data, leasing is back to pre-pandemic levels (courtesy MRI).


  • Analysis of inbound prospective renter calls indicate a shift in renter priorities from inquiries about availability & tours leading up to lockdown, to a post-lockdown focus on general property inquiries related to contact info, rent/payments, and emergency response protocols (courtesy G5).
  • Another theme throughout the webinar, the use of technology to contact and interact with properties is up, both in tour requests and online applications (courtesy G5).
  • Landlord Web Solutions offered some insight that they are seeing traditionally short-term rentals (think, AirBnB inventory) in Urban markets move to long-term rentals. This could create some additional competitive pressures in some urban markets.
  • From an applications perspective, all segments (conventional, affordable & public) remain off pre-lockdown and 2019 pace (courtesy MRI)


  • Consequently, Move-In's are off annually and 36% off YoY for May...

  • ...and Notice-to-Vacates cancellations and Renewals are slightly outpacing 2019 as residents seem slightly more inclined to stay in their current apartment, a trend that experts expect to continue through 2020 (courtesy MRI).

Term & Pricing Trends

  • The frequency of 12-month lease terms for New Leases increased 12% YoY in May...
  • ...and New Lease pricing is down 5% YoY; down 7% from pre-pandemic levels (courtesy MRI).

  • Predictably, concessions are up from 2019, especially during lockdown months of March, April & May. Concessions on New Leases are expected to continue to surpass 2019 levels for the remainder of 2020 (courtesy MRI)
  • Renewal pricing is also off 2019 pace, though only by 3% through May (courtesy MRI).
  • Exiting lockdown, the market data is indicating a desire by Multifamily Operators to lockdown revenue in anticipation of a generally softer market through the balance of 2020 (courtesy MRI).


Resident & Property Behaviors

  • Similarly to increases seen web search behavior in leasing, portal usage by residents to pay rent & enter service requests is up significantly (courtesy MRI).


  • MRI and Zego are reporting a substantial increase in rent payments via credit card through April, May and into June


  • Several factors are driving credit card usage including, mutual desire for a "touchless" rent payment transaction", waived transaction fees for residents along with speculation that a portion of the resident population is becoming cash-strapped and starting to relying on credit.
  • General Observations: COVID-19 has significantly stimulated Multifamily operators to increase adoption of currently available, yet under-utilized, technology like Online Leasing, Virtual Tours & Mobile Maintenance & Work Orders.

Maintenance Operations & Work Orders

  • MRI & ServusConnect are reporting Resident-submitted work order volume was down 40% during lockdown, April being the peak of the trough.


  • On-hold volumes were also up, but data through June show this backlog is clearing. This indicates that Multifamily Operators are lifting the "enter-for-emergency-only" protocols instituted during lockdowns.
  • As noted, adoption of online work order submission methods were up considerably during lockdowns. This change in resident behavior has long-term positive implications for staff by reducing the number of call-in, walk-in, passer-by work orders they need to manually document and keep track of. This should result in considerable time-savings and improved record-keeping.
  • On the same track of self-service, Residents became increasingly willing during lockdown to tackling repairs themselves, knowing that a technician could not enter their unit to fix a jammed garbage disposal, replace a lightbulb or HVAC filter. Many operators adjusted their procedures to enable remote assistance or leaving parts and/or tools at the resident's door to facilitate a successful DIY experience. This is expected to be a lasting trend moving forward.
  • As COVID-19 is not going away, operators are starting to view Mobile Maintenance as a necessity due to the inherent "touch-less" nature of the technology.
  • There is some concern by multifamily operators that increased usage during lockdown, along with the massive uptick in work-from-home and remote learning, will result in long-term expense increases due to premature failure in mechanical equipment like garbage disposals, HVAC components, dishwashers, etc. because of increased daily utilization.


Vendor Spend & Make-Ready

  • As anticipated, Make-Ready spending is down significantly from 2019. Nexus Systems is reporting their client base is off 77% from last year through mid-June.


  • Vendor acceptance of electronic payment methods for services rendered is up 42% over 2019. This follows the the theme of increased digital interaction between residents and multifamily operators (courtesy Nexus Systems)
  • Operators are expecting a surge in Make-Ready spending in the summer months and into the fall. Key drivers for this are said to be the expiration of eviction moratoriums and pent-up demand.

View the full recorded webinar here.

Download this and other full MRI Market Insights Reports here.

PS - If you are in need of a solid Mobile Maintenance solution for "touch-less" work orders, let's talk!

Connect with our Team

Designing a Better Maintenance Dashboard

The team here at ServusConnect is super-stoked to announce the release of our redesigned dashboard - or, v3, as we've been calling it! This new dashboard is the culmination of 5 years of learnings, working closely with multifamily maintenance professionals to deliver the best possible optics into daily maintenance operations. 

Before we get into v3, we thought it might be interesting to give you a peek behind the curtain of why dashboards are important and how we got here.

How Important is a Dashboard?

Dashboards are commonplace in most software-as-a-service (SaaS) products these days. But other than a visually appealing launch point that makes the product look good when you first log in, how important are they?

Generally speaking, dashboard methodology falls into two buckets: Historical & Operational.

Historical dashboards are typically analytical in nature, displaying various KPI's for events/actions that have already been completed. They are more a reference point to the question, "How are things going this week, month, year, etc?". These dashboards absolutely have their place and we have them in ServusConnect in our maintenance analytics tool, ServusInsights.

Operational dashboards display more current-state information and help answer questions such as, "What is happening now?" and "What do I need to do next?". They also tend to be more relied-upon by users because they are used as a point of orientation, possibly even mission critical.

So for ServusConnect, a SaaS product that helps apartment operators organize and streamline their maintenance operations, having an excellent operational dashboard is REALLY important!

User Feedback & Behavior

We spend a good bit of time talking to our clients about what they like about ServusConnect and what should be improved. A really interesting observation from these conversations is that once property management professionals start using a purpose-built system to manage their maintenance requests, they generally become more organized in their overall approach to managing their maintenance operations.

One common thread from our users was that we need to show them more specific to their current state, ie., "What is happening now & what do I need to do next?".

User behavior supports this. In tracking how users navigate through the system, we observed that over half of all the navigation inside of ServusConnect originates from our dashboard. This tells us it's not just the starting point when users log in, they refer back to it through out the day.

Now the question is what data should we show?

Evolution of our dashboards

It's not like ServusConnect didn't have a dashboard before now. :-)

Our v1 dashboard focussed mostly on gross volume. We wanted our users to easily assess the amount of service requests that were actively working their way through our "New-Open-Complete" workflow.

This was great initially, but as the platform grew over the years and more functionality was added (Resident Surveys, Make-Ready, Preventative Maintenance, Vendor Invoice Collection), the gross volume method didn't really help our users sort through the chaos.

Version 2, released early in 2019, introduced dashboard widgets that broke down various operational attributes of the system. We had widgets for action items, service tags (categories), aging, request volume by service professional, etc. This was a huge step, but still more was needed.


Our v3 dashboard is the latest evolution of our learnings and involves organizing the widgets, introduced in v2, into separate areas of focus, or channels as we call them. These channels are designed to help multifamily property management & maintenance professionals evaluate status and progress in each area, actively during the work-week.

There are four major channels the v3 dashboard:

  1. Service Requests - unit-based resident requests and other individually-created ad-hoc requests, such as for buildings or common areas. Also includes widgets for action items, week-to-date resident feedback and progress.
  2. Make-Ready/Projects - pending & active make-ready/projects and associated requests. Includes widgets for action items, unit status & week-to-date progress for the channel.
  3. Highlights - system-wide widgets for requests by tag (HVAC, plumbing, etc), by Service Professional, Top-10 Aging & Inactive requests.
  4. Activities - system-wide running event log of service request activity, listed chronologically in descending order.

We'll release a fifth channel in the coming weeks for Preventative Maintenance.

Ok, enough talk! Check out the Youtube video below for a more detailed overview of the v3 dashboard:

As always, if you have feedback on how we can continue to evolve the dashboard in ServusConnect, we'd love to hear from you! Just send us an email to and we'll gladly connect back with you.

Our commitment to help Multifamily Maintenance Teams during COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus is creating disruption and risk for multifamily operators everywhere.

A few weeks ago we started to review and consider what it is we should be doing now, later, and longer-term. The features & details below detail work done to date by our team in response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak to multifamily maintenance operations.

We don't know how long the outbreak and subsequent lockdowns will last (hopefully not long!), but we do have a pretty good idea that the impact will be far reaching for the multifamily industry.

In the meantime, ServusConnect is committed to being as helpful as possible during these times. If you've got ideas for additional features that would be relevant, please feel free to email me directly at - we'd love to hear your ideas!

Jamie Signature

What we've done so far...

Free usage of ServusConnect through Q3-2020

Many, if not most, Multifamily Operators in the US are under growing financial pressure due to the economic impact of the pandemic on resident populations. With Maintenance Teams being in the thick of the COVID-19 response and paper-less work orders now being a critical aspect of safety, we're making our platform free of charge for any net-new implementations until the end of September 2020.

This is a limited-time, first-come-first-serve offer with no contracts or long-term agreements. Our goal is to make ServusConnect freely available to as many companies/properties as possible as long as we can do a good job for everyone, which includes platform provisioning, user training and on-going support. Please use the link below to schedule a call with one or our team members to learn more.

Connect with our Team

Covid-19 Response & Resource Center

There is a ton of information floating around the internet related to protocols, best-practices & good ideas on keeping residents taken care of and staff safe. Our new COVID-19 Multifamily Operator’s Response & Resource Center is meant to consolidate as much of this info as possible (from a maintenance-perspective) into one location that you can bookmark, refer back to, or share with friends & colleagues.


New Safety & Awareness Features

With Maintenance Teams being in the thick of the COVID-19 response, we've made several safety & awareness features to the product. Our goal is to do our part to keep maintenance team members and residents safe & aware when requesting and responding to service requests, and property managers informed.


Quarantine Flagging

1. Quarantine Unit Flagging

This feature will flag a unit that has been identified as having a resident that is under quarantine. When the flag is present, any service request created against the unit (current or future) will prominently display the flag for operations personnel.


Quarantine mapping

2. Quarantine Mapping

Using our ServusInsights business intelligence engine, we've added capabilities to visually map quarantine flags. This is done both the property level and the unit level. This is excellent for regional managers and COVID-19 Taskforce teams working to monitor the outbreak within their portfolios.


3. Resident Request Auto-Response

We've adapted our resident survey system to proactively sent out Emergency Maintenance Response Updates to residents when they create new service requests. As the onsite maintenance response situation changes, the policy can be actively updated to reflect the changes.

Resident Maintenance Notifications


4. Service Request Re-Prioritization & On-Hold Queue

Operating under emergency maintenance response protocols means not every service request can be addressed right away. But keeping track of them in an orderly fashion is important such that they can be addressed when restrictions ease. We've beefed up our re-prioritization capabilities and added an on-hold queue so operators can focus on what's important right now, while still keeping track of the backlog.

On-Hold & Prioritization



Multifamily Gets Creative During COVID-19 Lockdown

COVID-19 is forcing all of us to get creative on how to stay connected with each other during this global initiative to "flatten the curve".

Where I live in North Carolina, my family's favorite restaurant, like many others around the country, has scaled back menu options, lowered prices and setup an impressive assembly line of dedicated employees to prepare and deliver food curbside. Among other safety precautions, all employees undergo daily health screening before being allowed to work. This extra effort, along with the desire from loyal patrons to support their favorite establishments, will hopefully keep them in business during this odd time in our history.

Small businesses are the only ones getting creative.

Many traditionally face-to-face organizations such as not-for-profits, clubs, gyms, schools, and churches have completely gone online with virtual meetups in an effort to do their part in responsible social-distancing. My family's place of worship is completely online; streaming Sunday services with Facebook Live as well as weekly studies, classes and social meetups, all via Zoom meetings. Interestingly, attendance is up!

Multifamily in the Thick of COVID-19 Response

Multifamily operators have quite a different challenge - not because apartments are empty, but because they are full.

With near-record occupancy in many markets around the country and residents under shelter-in-place orders, multifamily operators are squarely in the middle of the national COVID-19 response.

I can't reference any specific data on this statement, but there has likely never been a time in modern history where more residents were at home for more hours of the day, for such an elongated period, as there will be in the month of April 2020.

In a move to mitigate the health risks to residents and staff, most operators have closed rental offices, common spaces such as pools, fitness centers, even playgrounds; and are only responding to emergency maintenance requests.

These measures are essential as the threat of virus spread in multifamily communities is real. Several of our clients indicate residents are actively self-reporting their quarantining efforts to management staff. In an effort to help multifamily operators track this, our Product Team rushed out several new product enhancements to help.

Property Teams Get Creative

In all of this, there is creative awesomeness coming out of the multifamily community! Though rental offices are closed and maintenance teams are only handling emergency requests, residents still need attending to, leasing is still happening, and a broken garbage disposal isn't going to fix itself!

Here are a few great examples creativity and engagement that we've seen and heard over the past week:

  • Leveraging Social Media to engage with residents and deliver light-hearted messages.Social Media Self-Quarantine Humor
  • Using Facetime or Google DUO for live virtual tours with prospects.

Creative Virtual Tours

  • Creative Maintenance Teams recording DIY how-to videos for residents.

Video Maintenance Service

  • Going old-school and hitting the phones to check-in on residents and share an encouraging word.
  • Delivering DIY maintenance supplies (filters, light-bulbs, plungers, tools, etc) to residents and then using web conferencing to walk them through the fix.
  • Sending SMS and email confirmations to residents when they submit online service requests; also letting them know what your emergency maintenance guidelines are.

ServusConnect Resident Notifications

  • And, my favorite. Hosting #SocialDistancing balcony workouts for residents!

Northwood Raven Balcony Workouts

These are just a few we've seen and there are a ton of creative folks who work in all aspects of multifamily working to stay connected with residents and deliver unparalleled service!

Keep Inspiring & Stay Safe!

Amid so much bad news in the media related to coronavirus, it is easy to get down. But these examples of creativity inspire me, and all us here at ServusConnect. They are terrific examples of the fortitude & ingenuity of the human spirit during very challenging times!

Thank you to all of the multifamily property teams all over the country, and folks behind the scenes who support them. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for your zeal for your work. Thank you for putting residents first. And please, please keep innovating!

Last but not least, thank you to all the healthcare professionals battling COVID-19. These people are a testament to human compassion and decency. Please keep them in your prayers daily!

On that, I'll leave you with Adam Sandler's new musical tribute to doctors and nurses called Quarantine Song. I hope it lifts your spirits as much as it did mine!

Please stay safe & be smart!




PS - If you have or know of other examples of the multifamily community being creative during these uncertain times, please share them with us at or link to use on Twitter & LinkedIn at @ServusConnect - we'd love to re-share them!

Amid COVID-19 We're Thankful For Multifamily Maintenance Teams

One of the really great parts of my job as CEO of ServusConnect is traveling around the country, meeting with multifamily operators (executives & practitioners alike) and having discussions about their successes & challenges with maintenance operations.

Needless to say, we're not traveling any longer, but the week before the NBA suspended play and the NCAA conference tournaments were shut down, I was doing just this in New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania.

At the time of my trip, there were already several confirmed COVID-19 cases in NYC.

During a meeting in NJ (about 20 minutes outside the city) with an operations exec at an owner-operator for several thousand units in the region, it was mentioned that a maintenance employee had called into the corporate office earlier that day to ask the question:

"What if we're scared to come to work because of how close we might be to residents under quarantine for coronavirus?"

This was exactly the point where the weight of the COVID-19 outbreak and risk to health & safety of maintenance team members started to press on me.

Maintenance Teams Are First Responders

We believe maintenance team members are the lifeblood of apartment operations and the men and woman who's jobs we strive to improve with ServusConnect.

We also know that, often times, they are first responders at the properties they serve.

More than a few times we've seen resident feedback go through our system, specifically thanking a maintenance person by name when a resident, or a loved-one, needed assistance with something that had nothing to do with repairing something.

The greatest example of this happened last year, when a resident relayed a message to the management office letting them know a family member had passed away, but thanking the "maintenance man" for administering CPR a few days earlier while waiting for EMS to arrive, and, ultimately, for giving them more time to say goodbye.

These selfless acts and countless others have been and will continue to be carried out amid the COVID-19 outbreak by apartment maintenance professionals every single day in our country.

More Time at Home = More Things to Fix

Based on how COVID-19 continues to impact us all, apartment residents will be spending significantly more time at home over the next several weeks, maybe longer.

In fact, even if the general shutdown of the economy only lasts 3-4 weeks, there may not be a time in our history where so many people are at home all at the same time for such a prolonged period.

For apartment operators, this means more wear-n-tear, more things breaking; ultimately more service requests - putting our maintenance professionals right in the thick of it!

Thank You!

So, whether you're in the multifamily industry, live in an apartment, or just happened upon this post, please don't forget the men and woman who come and fix stuff when it breaks in our apartment homes.

If you employ, work with or know any of these individuals, provide them with a word of encouragement and please thank them for what they do - this goes a long way.

And if you are on the receiving side of their services and the response-time is a little longer than normal, please extend them some additional grace and understanding.

That sounds like good advice for all of us!


3 Simple Incentive Programs for Multifamily Maintenance Technicians

There is no doubt we are living in a data-driven world - and Multifamily has always loved it's data!Using property or regional performance data to evaluate and incentivize property management staff is well-worn using metrics such as lease quotas, occupancy-rates, renewals, on/off budget, etc.

When it comes to evaluating & incentivizing maintenance staff, things get a bit more difficult. There are some macro-metrics such as average turn-times and budget performance that might be good to evaluate the maintenance supervisor, but finding good, consistently-generated metrics to evaluate technician staff can prove more difficult.

For multifamily operators using field-enablement maintenance technology, such as ServusConnect, there is likely quite a lot more data to work with...and hopefully more easily accessible!

With the goal of creating technician incentives based on tangible data, we've partnered with a handful of clients to dissect & reassemble their maintenance data to find correlation points. Below are 3 Data-Driven Incentive Programs for Multifamily Maintenance Technicians our clients are using that are powered by field-captured maintenance data...and we'd like to share them with you!


1. "Get a '10' and get $10"

This incentive is using data correlated from technician completion data and instant resident feedback using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey scale, ie. a 0-10 rating on completed requests. This can be used as an individual or team incentive, but we typically see it used for individual technicians. It can be run weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.


It's a great, simple incentive and can really motivate technicians to go above and beyond to not only make sure the repair was done correctly, but that the resident is happy. We hear all sorts of great stories about how resident follow-up is completely transformed from being previously non-existent, to where creative technicians are leaving Hershey kisses and personal notes for residents.


Make this one your own - put up a scoreboard in the maintenance shop, make a big deal out it, pit property-against-property...there's a million variations! One thing is for sure - cash is king for motivation and happy residents renew at a higher rates than unhappy ones, making this incentive worth its weight in gold.


Pre-Requisites: you'll want an easy way to correlate resident feedback with completed resident requests and by which technician. You'll obviously need an effective, consistent way to survey residents. If you need help with this, give us a call - we're happy to show you how we do it (and dashboard it) in ServusConnect


2. Average Service Cycle / Net Promoter Score

This incentive uses a couple of key metrics that every property should be measuring: average service cycle & NPS. These metrics are great to base team-based monthly goals on; either by comparing property-to-property, or for meeting/exceeding the goal. The actual incentive varies, but cash rewards are popular, as are fun team outings where the Regional Manager pays. :-).


For those unfamiliar with these metrics and their basis data, here are the formulas:

Average Service Cycle = (SR completion timestamp - SR creation timestamp of all SR's) / total # of SR's in a given date range

NPS = (Number of Promoters — Number of Detractors) / (Number of Respondents in a given date range) x 100.

When measured over time, both metrics are key indicators of maintenance org health and resident satisfaction. Running team-based incentive programs around them will help create greater awareness and motivation to get resident request handled quickly & correctly as well as improve customer-service skills.


Pre-requisites: most PM softwares track these timestamps, but may or may not report on them, so you may have to do some report generation to get at it. NPS is a survey methodology that many multifamily resident survey systems use, so you may not have far to go to get to the data.

For more information on these metrics and their correlation to Resident Experience, check out our white paper on the topic. If you don't have access to either of these, give us a call - we actively track and dashboard these metrics in real-time.

3. Call-Back Bank

Number of Call-backs is a classic piece of data tracked by multifamily operators. This is a simple and easy piece of data that can be used in an individual or team-based incentive program.


It's great to shoot for no call-backs in any given time period, but in multifamily, call-backs happen, they just do. Some residents are hard to please and regardless of how well it's fixed or how well the technician cleaned up after him or herself, they will always call and complain, ie. a callback!


That being the case, we've seen clients run a monthly Call-Back Bank incentive. At the beginning of the month, a sum of cash (for example: $100 worth of $10 bills) is put into a lock-box that the manager or supervisor manages. Every time there is a call-back, $10 comes out. Money remaining at the end of the month gets split with the team.

Pre-requisites: track call-back frequency. Most PM systems have tagging systems or categories that can be applied to service requests. You could also have the manager or supervisor review service request history for a given period to check for multiple requests generated on the same unit for the same problem. ServusConnect clients can request a customization of their real-time dashboards to include call-back data, making the tracking of this program effortless!


Hopefully this helps you get your creative juices flowing and motivated to use your maintenance data to develop a technician incentive program of your own. Or you can just use these!

If you are curious about what maintenance data we track at ServusConnect and how we report on it, please don't hesitate to reach out - we're happy to share!

Considering Smart-Home Tech In Your Multifamily Apartments? Read This First...

Previously posted in Multifamily Insider

It seems everything is "Smart" these days. Smart....locks, speakers, thermostats, lights, TVs, register-vents, refrigerators, faucets, security systems, cameras....the list goes on!

It seems there are plenty of options in the market for multifamily apartment operators to offer "smart" amenities. So should you start adding gadgets to your units in hopes of attracting new residents?

For a short-term spike, maybe. But what happens next year when when Google, Amazon, Nest, Apple, Iris, etc. push out new models, features and functionality and all of a sudden your tech is more of a deterrent than an attraction? Do you throw out everything you bought last year and get the next new thing?

The real question here is how do you get ahead, and stay ahead with tech in apartments. And, how to you get Residents to consider your brand "tech-forward"?

You might consider changing the lens of how you look at the problem. Said another way, how can your multifamily brand leverage consumer technology in a way that enables your Residents to have fast & easy digital access to apartment services from devices they already own. Things like:


  • leveraging SMS to communicate with residents (95% of all text messages are read by the recipient)
  • enabling Residents to voice-create service requests using their SmartSpeaker
  • mobile-enable your multifamily apartment maintenance staff to speed up service-response-times and get better metrics on how your service teams are performing
  • use chat-bots to auto-notify Residents when they have packages waiting for them at the office


These are just a few examples - there are many others to be sure! The gist here is that you don't have to deploy smart-home tech to every unit in your portfolio to be considered "tech-forward".

At the end of the day, consumer technology is fickle and next new gadget is literally a Christmas-shopping-season away.  Software interfaces on the other hand (or API's as application vendors call them) are literal digital bridges to your Residents. They can be leveraged to technologically-empower your multifamily brand in all sorts of unique ways. Just deploying a mobile maintenance operations apps to your technicians can have a huge impact on resident experience!

So, where do you start? A great place would be to empower a trusted employee to spearhead the effort - a Chief Innovation Officer, if you will. The best-suited candidates have both marketing and property operations experience. They should also be technology-forward in their personal use of technology.

Then start doing research - talk to site-operations team members. Survey Residents; talk to the marketing department; talk to IT. Then talk to your existing software vendors - chances are they already have some of the capabilities you are looking for. If they don't, seek out ones that do - you will learn a lot in a 30 minute demo!

Certainly none of us have a crystal-ball regarding what smart-home types/brands/accessories are going to be a home-run with residents long-term, but recent resident survey results indicate that residents want a "smart-tech" experience associated with their stay in your apartments. As long as you keep the focus utilizing this tech to show real value to residents, you will be on the right track!

If you are interested in learning more about how ServusConnect can technology-enable your maintenance operations teams and improve Resident Experience, SCHEDULE YOUR DEMO - we'd love to show you!

5 Things Your Technicians Want You To Know About Mobile Maintenance

Getting rid of paper work orders and enabling mobile/digital service response for your maintenance teams will speed up service, provide precise repair documentation and significantly improve resident experience.

These alone are great reasons to make the move to mobile, as significantly more and more multifamily operators are transitioning, according to a recent Multifamily Insiders survey.

That being said, there are several tactical items for operators to decide on that could significantly impact success of the initiative. The most important of which is: Will your technicians actually adopt (and use) the software?

This isn't without risk; at the end of the day we're asking a predominately non-technical group of users to completely abandon a well-worn way of working (paper work orders, minimal documentation & tracking) and migrate to a completely digital/mobile process.

Let's face it, technician adoption of your digital/mobile maintenance initiative is your baseline key to success. Given that, we've assembled the Top 5 Factors that will ensure successful adoption, based on direct feedback we received from multifamily maintenance technicians located all over the country.

1. Please Make It Easy!

So what does EASY mean?

In one word: MINIMAL. Minimal menus, buttons, input fields, typing, navigation.

This is in complete contrast to our motivation as operators & managers - we want as much data as possible as to the who, what, where, when & how of every request our staff handles and how that translates to a positive (or negative) resident experiences. We might also be interested in how much we're spending on maintenance services with outside vendors.

The danger here is implementing a solution that forces our staff to provide all of this input. This is a recipe for non-participation, shortcuts and ultimately really poor maintenance data.

A well thought-out mobile maintenance app should extrapolate every bit of the who, what, when, where, how & how much and still present a simple user interface & user experience (UI/UX) for your technicians. This is the most important key to success! If your mobile maintenance app isn't extremely easy, the technicians won't adopt it willingly.

A mobile maintenance app should empower technicians; it should take the burden of paperwork and liability off their shoulders, and ultimately simplify the reporting-aspect of the job.

If you'd like more on the topic, here is a great article: 15 Key Ingredients For A Successful Mobile App.

2. Mobile Web Confuses Me - Don't You Have a Native App?

There are some distinct differences between mobile web and native, although they can be made to appear very similar in styling and functionality. (Here is a blog that talks about some basic differences between the two).

Time-and-time-again, we hear multifamily maintenance technicians express frustration with mobile web-based systems. Here are the most common issues:

  • requires an internet browser and persistent data connection
  • technicians need to remember to bookmark a specific URL
  • mobile websites require frequent logins (technicians are notorious for losing/not-remembering passwords)
  • mobile website UI/UX tends to be cluttered and poorly designed for small screens on mobile devices
  • no push notifications for mobile web so they have to check frequently for new tickets & updates

At the end of the day, this comes down to simplicity and making it as easy as possible for your maintenance technicians and vendors to digitally interact with service tickets. Here are a few reasons why technicians prefer native app experiences:

  • apps are purpose-built for the job; simple to understand
  • push notifications, sounds & visual indicators let users know there is something new
  • apps remembers the technician's passwords - they just click the app icon and go!
  • apps typically work offline and manage poor connections better, allowing tech to still use the app with low/no internet connection

3. I Can't Strap a Tablet To My Belt

Tablets can be appealing for multifamily operators to deploy because they are cheap and have a lot screen real estate. However, based on direct technician feedback, given the option of doing digital work orders from a tablet or a smartphone, tech's prefer a smartphone a 99% of the time.

Operators who have deployed tablets for mobile maintenance see them sitting in the maintenance shop, left in hot vehicles or apartments, or with broken screens from being dropped.

Multifamily maintenance technicians are on-the-go all of the time; in and out of units, in tight spaces, etc. Their hands are full carrying tool bags, power tools & parts. This is pretty simple - if they can't strap the device running the mobile maintenance app onto their belt or stick it in their pocket, they won't use it.

*TIP - if you are providing smartphone devices for your technicians, or even of you aren't, offer to buy your maintenance team members phone cases with belt holsters. You can buy them for around $10-$15 on for pretty much any phone...and your technicians will love you for it!

4. We Want To See Resident Feedback!

We're all familiar with statistics related to how much more likely someone is to escalate a negative service experience versus a positive one.

This certainly holds true in when it comes to resident services requests in multifamily - typically residents don't call the office to tell you how amazing your technicians are, but they will certainly call if the job wasn't finished or their issue persists! The net result is that the job of a multifamily maintenance technicians can feel like a thankless one.

But the reality is that when given an easy opportunity (and medium) to provide feedback in close proximity to their service request being completed, on average, residents provide positive feedback over 70% of the time!

Receiving this feedback is huge pick-me-up for maintenance staff and significantly empowers them to ramp up their customer service skills. A good mobile maintenance app will not only score and report resident sentiment to managers, but directly back to the technician who did the work.

5. Is It In Spanish?

According to 2016 Census data, Hispanic, Spanish-speaking individuals make up 17% of the US population. In states in the southwest and southeast, this percentage gets closer to 30%.

Apartment operators in these markets not only support a large populous of Spanish-speaking residents, they employ a large number of Spanish-speaking technicians.

Additionally, in a competitive job market, it is extremely difficult for operators keep maintenance technician positions filled with 100% English-speaking individuals. As a hiring manager of a national apartment operator recently told us, "we'll provide the training and the tools for our techs to be successful, frankly, we just need people willing to do the job."

A good mobile maintenance app should minimally support Spanish and dynamically adapt to the user-selected language of the device, empowering Spanish-only-speaking technicians to read your work orders and digitally document their work.

8 Must-Have Apps for Multifamily Maintenance Technicians

With apartment maintenance and repairs, getting resident service requests completed correctly and in a timely manner is critical to consistently exceeding resident expectations.

Maintenance Operations, done right, can become a valuable component in the marketing of your brand. Conversely, it can be a scourge upon your online property reputation at influential rating sites such as Google Maps and

The good news is that your service technicians carry an extremely valuable piece of technology, in the form of their smartphone, that can provide a massive assist in getting requests done fast and right!

But, with almost 4 million apps on Google Play and 2 million on Apple App Store, figuring out which are the most valuable to assist your maintenance technicians in keeping repair-completions moving, can seem overwhelming. That is why we went straight to the source, interviewing dozens of technology-embracing multifamily maintenance technicians to see what apps are critical to them!

Here are your 8 must-have apartment maintenance apps:

1. YouTube App

Youtube screenshotHow do you troubleshoot an evaporator coil? What is the correct way to measure for bi-fold doors? Helpful how-to videos to answer these questions (and a million others!) are easily accessible in the field via a quick search on the YouTube app.

Youtube is the primary source for viewing how-to videos on the Internet. And it's not just individuals posting these videos; Youtube is the location of choice for many large brands that supply goods and services to the apartment industry to post helpful how-to content. (For example, HD Supply has over 500 how-to videos posted on their YouTube channel). According to the maintenance professionals we've spoken to, YouTube is at the top of their list for must-have apps.

*Tip from the Pros: YouTube is extremely helpful when training new technicians who may not know how to do everything!

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

2. Google Translate App

Fast, successful repairs are just part of the equation; communication is, in many instances, equally important! But let's face it, English is not a first language of many residents and maintenance technicians that live and work in our communities and/or buildings.


So how would a English or Spanish-speaking technician let a resident who only speaks Arabic know that they need to leave to get a part and that they'll be back shortly?

The Google Translate App is just the ticket. Just type or speak what you want to say in your native language and Translate will it into the desire target language. Turn the smartphone sideways and Translate will use the entire screen to display the translated text so your residents can read it! Super helpful on so many fronts...


3. ServusConnect App

Printing work orders, losing work orders, can't read work orders, selectively ignoring work orders, tracking work orders, logging-in completed work orders, etc, etc....

Paper work orders are a drag on so many fronts and are the number one bottleneck to getting resident service requests done in a timely manner. So much time is wasted in the manual shuffling of paper, not to mention capturing reliable, non-reputable repair data like timestamps, photos, videos, technician comments and putting all of this in one place is extremely difficult.

IMG_40300E480E68-1The ServusConnect Technician App changes all of that. This convenient app is extremely easy to use, even for the least technically-astute members of your staff! Digital work orders are delivered directly to your technician's smartphone and color-coded by severity, sorted by date-received.

When it's time to start the repair, your technicians simply click Accept and start the job - when they are done, they press Complete and move on to the next request. Photo & video-capture capabilities are built-in, allowing for more comprehensive repair documentation.

Timestamps of all of these actions are automatically captured in the app allowing managers to easily piece together the lifecycle of a repair along with actions taken. All of this data is actively synced to the ServusConnect Cloud and easily accessible for manager review and reporting.

ServusConnect also has the ability to integrate with existing Property Management Systems via API (including MRI Software), simplifying deployments and training for staff.

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

Interested in learning more? Click the button below to schedule a call.

Click Here to Learn More

4. HD Supply Easy Order App

Many multifamily maintenance shops maintain a small inventory of commonly used parts in an effort to speed up repairs. But it's very difficult to stock everything, parts need to be re-ordered and managing all of this requires a significant amount of time to keep up with. Wouldn't it be great if your technicians could just order a part from their smartphone while they are in the unit?

HD Supply EasyOrder App-246511-editedThat is why HD Supply, a major supplier to the apartment industry, created their Easy Order App. The app is packed with features that make it easy to search and order parts while in the field:

  • view frequently purchased items
  • part number and barcode scanning
  • google-style catalog searches
  • order history & status
  • in-app ordering

It's easy to see why the HD Supply Easy Order App is high on the list of must have apps for multifamily maintenance supervisors.

View demo video here.

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

4. HappyCo's Happy Inspector App

Apartment operators are famous for having a million forms to document all sorts of inspections that are supposed to take place at all level of the business. Move-in/move-out inspections, periodic maintenance inspections, owner inspections, due-diligence inspections, safety inspections, pool/hot-tub/sauna inspections.... the list goes on-and-on.

The challenge for the average apartment technician is managing the paper, appropriately documenting findings, remediating findings and ultimately making sure these report get into the right hands.Happy Inspector App

HappyCo can help! They have oodles of pre-built, customizable inspection forms specifically tailored to the multifamily industry that makes the process of standardizing inspections across an individual property, portfolio or your entire company simple and seamless.

All of these inspections are neatly organized in the HappyCo Cloud and consolidated into intuitive reporting dashboards, giving managers 360° visibility into operations, findings and resolutions.

Most importantly, the Happy Inspector App makes it extremely easy for staff to perform these inspections and digitally document their finding...without a bunch of paperwork!

For more information on Happy Inspector, click here.

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

5. Centriq App

Centriq home screen

Sometimes complex repairs require schematics, owners manuals, manufacturer parts lists, etc. Anyone who has gone out to a manufacturer's website and tried to find this information can vouch for how time-consuming this can be, especially on equipment that is older than a few years old.

The Centriq App changes all of this - and it's super-cool!

Simply take a picture of a model#/serial# badge on almost anything in an apartment with a power cord. The app uses character-recognition to pull the model#/serial# out of the photo, then cross-references it with their database of almost every major appliance and mechanical manufacturer's product catalog - past & present.

Centriq Item Detail

Behind the scenes, the Centriq App gathers product manuals, parts lists, specification sheets, etc. from respective manufacturers; along with any other documentation the Centriq user community many have added to a specific model. All of this information is neatly organizing it in the app, conveniently accessible while in the field.

Centriq primarily markets their app to home-owners, allowing them to catalog their appliances, organize documents, order parts from, or make connections to repair technicians in their area.

That being said, creative apartment maintenance technicians have found this app highly effective in creating & maintaining a common catalog of manufacturer documents, owners manuals, specification sheets and parts lists for appliance & mechanical equipment on their property.

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

6. Zello Push-To-Talk App

Two-way radios and walkie-talkies have been staples of maintenance teams for 20 years. They are easy to use and the team-wide broadcast is helpful when a resident has an emergency and needs help from the closest/available team member.

The team-wide voice communication is definitely handy, but with staff also being required to carry smartphones to run business-critical apps, they'd rather get of the extra device on their belt. That is where the Zello Push-to-Talk App comes in super-handy!Zello Screenshot_2-512975-edited

This free app allows property teams to setup up a group push-to-talk channel for their property, allowing one-to-one and one-to-many communication within the group. Photo and location sharing are also features, and Zello works seamlessly with your bluetooth accessories - they even have a Microsoft Windows client! If you need advanced features like live GPS mapping of team members, definitely check out Zello For Work

*Authors note: We came across this app while working with maintenance teams in Florida, where hurricanes, power outages & jammed phone networks are part of life. Zello plays a critical role in helping onsite, regional & national resources stay connected and keep residents safe when the only thing that seems to work are the cellular data networks. Here is a link to tips on using Zello for communications during a disaster event.

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

7. HVAC Check & Charge

HVAC Check&Charge App screenshot_2

There are a number of HVAC utility apps on the Google Play and Apple App Store, but the one that keep coming up from multifamily maintenance technicians we've spoken to is Emerson Climate Technologies HVAC Check & Charge App.

Gone are the days of laminated cross-reference charts - this simple-to-use app allows HVAC technicians to easily calculate correct system refrigerant charge for R-22 or R-410A coolants using their Android or Apple-based smartphones.

Technicians can simply choose Subcooling, Superheat, or Airflow and enter the specified system temperatures along with a couple of other parameters. The app calculates the proper system charge and whether the charge amount needs to be changed based on these conditions.

Click here to view a demo of the app.

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

8. MSDSOnline eBinder Safety Data Sheet (SDS) App

Spend any time in a multifamily maintenance shop and you'll find plenty of household and industrial chemicals used for all sorts of things. From cleaning products, to pool chemicals, to pesticides and herbicides - the maintenance shop is a cornucopia of chemicals.

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 1910.1200(g)), revised in 2012, requires that the chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly MSDSs or Material Safety Data Sheets) for each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards. What's more, employers must ensure that the SDSs are readily accessible to employees for all hazardous chemicals in their workplace.

It's typically the job of the maintenance supervisor to maintain a collection of SDSs, typically a three-ring binder, and have them easily accessible for all employees in case of emergency. This is a tedious task at best and often not maintained upto par, even at the most organized shops.MSDSOnline eBinder screenshot

This is why MSDSOnline, a digital Environment Health & Safety vendor, developed an app-based "electronic-binder", or eBinder for SDSs - allowing simple and fast access to this critical information, all from your technician's smartphone. The system can be centrally managed and organized on a property-by-property basis, as some sites may use different chemicals than others. This is also great from a corporate compliance and regulatory governance perspective.

In the event there is an emergency onsite and the applicable SDS is not listed in the corporate or site-level repository - no worries with eBinder - just scan the barcode or UPC code on the label, and the app will pull down SDS on the fly and add it to your repository. eBinder can also digitally share an SDS with others (like first-responders), even if they don't have the app.

Click here for MSDSOnline Datasheet

  • Google Play link
  • Apple App Store link

Final Point: This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you or your maintenance team has a must-have app they use on the job, by all means, let us know! Just send an email at

Is the Technology Interface the Next Amenity In Multifamily?

Everything seems to be "Smart" these days. Locks, speakers, thermostats, lights, TVs, register vents, refrigerators, faucets, security systems, cameras....the list goes on!

There are plenty of options in the market for multifamily apartment operators to offer "smart" amenities.

Chasing after every smart-home consumer gadget to attract residents might be a zero-sum game, especially considering how fast Google, Amazon, Nest, Iris, etc. push out new models, features and functionality. The device(s) you outfit your apartments with this year, can easily put you behind next year when consumers are looking for the next best thing!

So how do you get ahead, and stay ahead, offering technology as an amenity? ...perhaps creating a software interface to all of this new and ever-changing smart technology may be the next best thing.

ServusConnect CEO, Jamie Wohlschlegel, was recently a guest on MRI Software's "Building Success: a Real Estate Podcast" and talks about technology-as-an-amenity, voice, the software interface to this technology, and how multifamily apartment operators can leverage it to show real value to residents.

You can link to that podcast here:

3 Reasons Why Real-Time Maintenance is Mission Critical

We all know how important a good maintenance team is to the day-to-day operational success of a property.

However, in today's "I need it now" economy, the old ways of manual, paper-driven maintenance processes no longer meet these high expectations. Residents expect event-driven communications/updates, managers can't be everywhere at once, and senior leadership relies on live data to make decisions.

Implementing a real-time maintenance operations platform is not just a nice-to-have, it is actually a necessity. Here are 3 Reasons Why Real-Time Maintenance is "Mission Critical":

1. Good Help is Hard to Find...and KEEP!

Every multifamily operator we speak to faces a common challenge in the current economy: finding and retaining high-performing maintenance supervisors and technicians.

There is such a high demand for maintenance technicians that many community and vocational colleges have started offering CAMT (Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician) programs. 85% of participants with no prior experience have jobs lined up before they even complete the program!

A real-time property operations platform for maintenance can help in this transient employment market in a number of ways:

  • Pictures, videos & timestamps provide managers the visibility needed to ensure both quality control and documentation standards are being met for new and temporary technicians.
  • Instant resident feedback digitally linked to specific service requests make easy to identify and correct customer service issues before they become bad habits.
  • Easy access to unit repair history (with embedded pictures, videos & timestamps of those repairs) can save new technicians significant time in troubleshooting and discerning appropriate course-of-action for the repair.
  • Having state-of-the-art technology for your maintenance technicians can help attract and retain team members; especially the younger generation of workers.


2. Resident Engagement

This seems to be the buzzword in multifamily these days. Engagement goes beyond door-hangers or posting signs - its multi-channel communication that builds a relationship between the resident and their management company. Audrey Ference at Outbrain sums it up really well in her recent blog post:

"...engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth and loyalty."

With maintenance being one of the highest-frequency ways multifamily operators interact with residents, a real-time maintenance platform should be a critical part of your resident engagement strategy.

Real-time text/SMS notifications & surveys to residents regarding the status and gauging the success of your repairs is an easy way to encourage this interaction Aubrey speaks of.

Additionally, when a resident calls up and asks about the status of a repair, a real-time maintenance platform is essential for being able to quickly and simply check if their repair has been started or how far along it is.

Of course - the resident wants to hear their repair is finished. Even if its not, being able to provide real-time data-points to a resident on the following points can be significant:

  • is their request being worked on?
  • who is working on it?
  • when were they in the apartment?
  • what is the current status?
  • how long until its complete?

This real-time info can be the difference between a resident feeling frustrated that nothing seems to be happening, or satisfied that that everything is under control!


3. Quickly Identifying Operational Issues

Real-time data from maintenance operations can be the difference between small operational issues dragging on for months and becoming big issues...or identifying them quickly and nipping a potential problem in the bud.

Weekly monitoring of real-time, online maintenance dashboards can identify:

  • discrepancies in service request volume, (ie., why so many at specific unit or bld)?
  • if a particular technician is consistently receiving poor resident feedback?
  • are service requests are taking longer than they should (as a whole, or for a specific tech)?

Regional & global real-time dashboard views can also be extremely valuable to senior management on a number of levels:

  • are specific regions or sites over, or under-performing compared other sites or regions?
  • are portions of the portfolio understaffed from a maintenance perspective?
  • how do residents feel about their maintenance experiences at site, region and org-wide levels?

This data can also be extremely useful in maintenance personnel conversations/decisions.

These are just a few reasons of many reasons why a real-time maintenance is mission critical to multifamily operators. If you'd like more information on ServusConnect and how our real-time maintenance platform can improve your multifamily maintenance operations, engage residents, and provide the data you need to make decisions, use the button below to schedule a demo and learn more!

Who is Alexa, and what is she doing in my house?!

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you already know that Alexa* is Amazon’s virtual personal assistant that is gaining a massive following and importance in the marketplace. With over 30,000 skills, Amazon is aiming to make your life, and how you interact with your home, easier with voice-requested (and response) services. Check out what they're doing with hand-free home entertainment & streaming:


This is Gonna be HUGE!

Alexa is just one of a suite of smart home technologies that have emerged in the past few years, and the numbers are staggering! Here are a few data points:

  • In 2018, the smart speaker market is expected to be worth $2.68 billion
  • The smart speaker market is expected to grow at 34.4% CAGR until 2023
  • Amazon owns 52% of the smart speaker market share
  • Amazon has sold more than 20 million Alexa enabled devices through Q3 2017

And this isn't just Amazon doing damage - Google is gaining ground quickly with their Home and Home-mini devices.


"Smart speakers continue to be the world’s fastest-growing consumer technology segment, with year-on-year growth in Q1 2018 of 210% as shipments reached 9 million units." - Canalys, May 2018

Opportunity for Apartment Operators

With the growth of this market, it will be challenging for multifamily apartment operators to take a wait-and-see approach. Voice is already having an impact in multifamily as these devices, or other smart home gadgets, have been used as lease-signing incentives. As with other technologies, these are the early adopters that are indicating a technology that will garner main stream appeal.

Here are a few more statistics that should matter to multifamily operators:

  • 69% of users are using Alexa to request information
  • 34% of users are using Alexa to make purchases
  • 19% of users are using Alexa to order food

These survey stats from Visual Capitalist are significant because they show that users have quickly gotten comfortable with allowing Amazon to access, provide, and dictate information to/from a third party via their Echo devices.

What does this mean for apartment operators? In short, it presents a great opportunity to provide residents with access to apartment services via these devices that are showing up in apartment en-mass. The logical services to think about offering to residents are:

  • make maintenance requests
  • pay rent
  • check for packages
  • community updates via daily briefing

What is ServusConnect Doing with Voice & Smart Speakers?

There is a lot that goes into creating a skill that is super-easy-to-use, let alone maintaining one. Large multifamily operators with software development groups that are capable of designing, coding, integrating & maintaining a skill(s) for multiple platforms (Amazon, Google, Apple, etc.) will likely create their own branded skill(s) at some point. This will not be the norm for most multifamily operators.

This is why our team at ServusConnect is investing heavily in creating easy-to-use skills for multifamily operators to easily promote and deploy to their residents. We've starting with our "ServusBot" skill for apartment maintenance requests, which is integrated with MRI Software's Residential Management Suite and available today. Here is a quick look at the experience for a resident.



This skill makes it incredibly easy for residents to verbally request service, have that feed directly into your property management software's unit record and immediately and out to a technician in the field via the native ServusConnect Mobile Maintenance apps - no paper or e-mail required; no trips to the office to pick up new work orders!

This significantly improves the resident experience. Entering and tracking work orders becomes friction-less process and maintenance teams are equipped for rapid response!

The Future is Bright!

Will Smart Speakers become the default "core" of our homes? Is VOICE the key way that we'll interface with the brands that surround us moving forward?

The early indications are that it will be, but ultimately time will tell.

In the meantime, this innovative technology is a great way for apartment operators to craft an innovative & memorable experience for their residents!

Click Here to Learn More

5 Reasons for Better Apartment Repair Documentation

(Author's note: As the CEO of ServusConnect, its my job to stay close to our clients; this is important to not only gauge satisfaction with our product, but also to inspire innovation in our platform by staying close to the operational trends, situations and experiences that multifamily operators deal with on a daily basis. A topic that surfaced during one such visit with a regional management team of a large multifamily owner-operator, was "the importance of repair documentation". Special thanks to Shannon Brummett of GSC and his NC-based regional management team for their insights on this topic.)


Maintenance operations is the lifeblood of apartment property management. Yes, leasing makes a great first impression and gets residents in the door, but maintenance retains them. One multifamily CEO recently expressed this during his interview on the Multifamily Matters radio show in Houston, TX when he indicated that "maintenance is the #1 reason why residents don't renew".

There are many variables (staffing, weather, age-of-property, etc.) that go into producing a maintenance offering that consistently exceeds your resident's expectations. But the glue that could help hold it together through the ebb-and-flow is having good repair documentation. Here are 5 Reasons how good repair documentation can benefit your multifamily property operations:


1. Staff Changes

As every regional and property manager knows, maintenance team staffing is extremely challenging in the current market. What's worse, when a team member leaves, they take with them institution knowledge of a property that can take new team members months or even years to re-acquire, and then they leave. Rinse, wash, repeat...

Having good repair documentation, along easy access to repair history, not only speeds up the institutional knowledge-transfer to new tech's, it also enables them to operate more efficiently on a day-to-day basis. Should they repair or replace? Good documentation on previous repairs aids mightily with decision making on current issues. On that note...


2. Budgeting

Un-budgeted expenses in the form of adhoc repairs and/or replacements of systems can move a good month or quarter to a bad one really fast! HVAC is one of the biggest culprits. It doesn't take a long time hanging out in the maintenance shop on a cold or hot day to see how this happens.

Having good categorization of previous repairs with time and dates stamps, not to mention good documentation in the form of technician notes, photos and videos can aid significantly in budgeting process and in repair vs. replace decision making. We talk more in depth on this topic in our blog post, 4 Ways to Use Maintenance Data During Multifamily Budget Season.


3. Resident Satisfaction (or not...)

It's well established that maintenance is a critical cog in the resident satisfaction machine for multifamily. When its good, residents are happy, which can convert to positive online sentiment which is critical for attracting new residents. When its bad, not only can it bleed out online and negatively impact the online reputation of your property and brand, it can lead to monetary concession or even lawsuits.

Good repair documentation (good technician notes, before/after pictures, videos), along with easy access to this documentation, is absolutely critical in the root-cause analysis of negative resident sentiment. Is there a quality issue, is the repair recurring, was there a mis-communication between the resident and the tech? Good documentation could be the difference between a simple misunderstanding and a monetary concession, a broken lease, or even a lawsuit.


4. Compliance & Legal

If you are provider of tax-credit or affordable housing, you are very familiar with routine and or complaint-based inspections by the governing authorities for the municipalities your serve.

Generally speaking, these inspections typically generate repair findings that require remediation by the management company. Well documented remediation and repair details are typically required to not only have on file and easily accessible, but may also be required to submit for review to meet compliance requirements.

From a legal perspective, nearly every multifamily professional with some tenure has dealt with lawsuits brought by a residents who took issue with the condition and upkeep of their apartment. In conversations with multifamily executives, rich documentation with photos and timestamps of efforts made to remediate the claim (and easy accessibility to said documentation) can be the difference between unnecessary legal expenses and a fast retraction or dismissal.*


5. Speed Up Repairs

Speed is an extremely important component when it comes to apartment repairs. In fact, in a study we conducted comparing total elapsed repair time against resident satisfaction survey results, speed-of-repair is the #1 influencer to resident satisfaction.

Get Whitepaper Now

Arming technicians with data on previous repairs to a particular component (HVAC for example) speeds-up troubleshooting times and overall repair times on current issues. This will have a direct, positive impact on resident satisfaction and not to mention your properties online reputation.


If you'd like more information on ServusConnect and how our web and mobile apps can improve your multifamily repair documentation and make your maintenance teams more efficient, lets schedule a demo and talk!