Last modified on November 11th, 2021
By Rae Parker
Are you spending too much time managing maintenance requests around the clock? Streamline this process and cut down the time it takes to respond and resolve issues by implementing an online maintenance workflow. Eliminate inefficiencies with automation, built within your property management software, so that your team has the bandwidth to focus on other aspects of running your business. The latest innovation from AppFolio, Smart Maintenance intelligently manages all maintenance requests that come in — no matter the time of day or night — so your team can focus on what matters most.
Digitizing the Way You Work
Finding and retaining maintenance talent has always been a challenge in the rental housing industry. One of the best ways to empower your techs is giving them the ability to leverage technology to do their jobs. Having an online maintenance workflow lets you effectively manage your properties and common areas, resolve issues quickly, and communicate progress with residents.
If you’re still using a paper-based method for your maintenance, your techs may have to go back and forth between a central location — like to your leasing office or maintenance area — just to access the information they need when receiving requests. Using a solution like AppFolio Property Manager provides your team with a single solution that does it all — and on one platform. With the ability to access this software from anywhere and on any device, your team is able to increase their efficiency from the moment a work order comes through, or a resident has moved out and the unit is ready for turn. Your maintenance teams are the unsung heroes of your communities — and they play a significant role in your residents’ satisfaction.
The Latest in Innovation
Here at AppFolio, we are constantly listening and incorporating our customers’ feedback and needs into the services we provide. To gain insight on the how and why Smart Maintenance was designed, here are some takeaways from my conversations with some experts:
- Erikah Lushaj (Sr. Manager of Onboarding & Retention) and her team touches the lifecycle of AppFolio customers — from onboarding, training, utilization, and account optimization. They’re able to connect with customers, hear exactly how they feel about our services and then partner with the product team to develop an even better experience. By seeing how customers have adopted this service, the AppFolio team is most proud to know that they’re solutions are addressing their toughest maintenance challenges.
“My goal for Smart Maintenance is to see it impact our property managers in a positive way, so that it gives them time back to focus on things that are more meaningful to them — like improving their residents’ experience and alleviating their maintenance workload.” (Erikah L.)
- In order to figure out how to build a new maintenance product, Sr. Product Manager Garvin Chen connected with customers, tested new solutions, and incorporated learnings from customer feedback into something that our customers would love.
“We’re always looking to provide more value and delight for our customers. There’s plenty of opportunity to further automate maintenance for our customers, from the moment a resident calls or texts in, all the way to closing the maintenance request.” (Garvin C.)
- An important focus for Andrew Mutz (Chief Technology Officer, Software Engineering) is focusing on the technological changes and landscape that most affects our customers’ businesses. He believes that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be a real source of big breakthroughs in improvements to our customers’ business.
“While we are still finding new ways to apply AI, our goal will always be to make a product that fits into our customer’s life in a way that’s useful and they have a great overall experience.” (Andrew M.)
They all shared that our customers faced some tough challenges when it came to executing maintenance requests. Those challenges included poor phone hold times and overall experience for residents; lack of consistency when it came to dispatching maintenance technicians; and confusion around how maintenance requests are defined as an emergency or non-emergency.
By understanding these maintenance challenges, the team was able to work closely with early adopters of Smart Maintenance to discuss what was working well and what was missing, in order to further shape the product into what it is today. We are proud to incorporate their feedback into solutions such as providing clarity around what’s defined as a maintenance emergency, as well as being able to customize how those emergencies are responded to between properties. “Today, we have a product we are confident in launching to our customer base and beyond,” Garvin C. says.
A Smarter Way to Manage Maintenance
We know that maintenance can be time-consuming and cumbersome to run without the right tools, but imagine a world where your intake, triages, and dispatches for your maintenance requests are handled for you. And thus, Smart Maintenance was born. Smart Maintenance is designed to address your toughest maintenance challenges: responding to requests at all hours of the day, even with a limited staff; satisfying frustrated residents due to slow response times; and providing instant visibility into your maintenance workflow process.
So how does it work? Smart Maintenance works intelligently and quickly — all within AppFolio Property Manager — no matter the time of day or night so your team can focus on running your business. Long gone are the days of you or your residents having to fill out stacks of paperwork if something breaks. With multiple forms of communication, residents can easily submit a text message, make a quick call, or use their online tenant portal to get started. From there, the request is received and the resident receives an immediate response within minutes to follow up and determine the urgency of the issue. Smart Maintenance’s software is able to diagnose and troubleshoot the issue and automatically create a work order for you and your team to have instant visibility. If the job can be completed by your maintenance team on-site, Smart Maintenance will dispatch that out without a problem, or send the work order to the appropriate vendor per your clear instructions.
The AppFolio team designed Smart Maintenance to be simple and intuitive to use to delight our customers. By using Smart Maintenance, you gain efficiency and can now spend time on what matters most to your business and eliminate the stress it takes to run a successful maintenance program. For your maintenance team, this means that there is less effort needed to handle maintenance requests since everything is tracked and managed in AppFolio. For your residents, faster response times can lead to their greater satisfaction in knowing that their requests are being met with timely service and emergencies are being handled efficiently.
The maintenance workflow has always been a prime area of automation and innovation. Both residents and your staff can find satisfaction in digitizing the maintenance process. Are you ready to save time and increase efficiency with the help of Smart Maintenance? Current AppFolio Property Manager customers can learn more about this product’s functionality and get in touch with us here.
New to AppFolio Property Manager, and want to know more about Smart Maintenance? Schedule a demo today!