With residents spending more time in their properties in the past year than ever before, residents have had the opportunity to really assess the conditions they’re living in, and nice-to-haves like fast internet speed and room for a home office have unsurprisingly become need-to-haves. And when it comes to problems around the property, residents want them fixed – and fast. Nowhere has this focus on good service been more pronounced than in the Build to Rent (BTR) sector. With most of BTR’s communal amenities being closed due to the pandemic, repairs and maintenance have taken centre stage – repairs and maintenance were referenced in almost 1 of every 5 reviews according to Homeviews’ 2021 Build to Rent report. We look at how the way you handle repairs and maintenance impacts resident satisfaction and how to get it right.
- Keep it simple – a vast majority of the reviews focused on the need for clear, simple ways to report issues and stay informed as to what was going on in their block. Resident apps like Spike Living and specialist repairs software such as Fixflo were popular – HomeViews’ survey found that BTR operators using Fixflo were rated higher than those who weren’t (4.5/5 to 4.2/5), with those questioned rating the ability to access and report their issue on a portal 24/7 as a key part of their resident satisfaction.
- Speed is of the essence – unsurprisingly quick response times came up in a significant number of reviews. With more residents being at home last year, the need to respond to repairs and maintenance issues in a swift, timely manner has taken on new importance as residents spent most of their time at home; pending maintenance issues could be affecting them more than usual.
- Satisfactory solutions – another key finding of the report was the necessity of achieving satisfactory solutions to the issues at hand. Being able to log your problem and be guaranteed a fast response falls short if the end solution is not satisfactory – residents expect effective contractors to be engaged quickly and efficiently. Again, BTR operators who used Fixflo scored well in this regard, as the software allows contractor qualifications to be verified and their services engaged automatically, while also providing basic maintenance assistance for those solutions that may not require a professional.
While all the report’s findings seem to point firmly at the need to invest in resident and maintenance software to boost resident satisfaction, Fixflo’s managing director Rajeev Nayyar recommends taking an ‘omnichannel approach’ to repairs communication as the best way forward. “The best operators are adopting an omnichannel approach to resident communications, giving them the options to communicate by online or in-person where they have on-site staff. From a resident’s perspective, ease of communication and access to relevant updates are critical, as is getting repairs resolved easily, quickly, and effectively.”
Learn how Spike Global and Fixflo have partnered to create a complete BTR resident communication solution here.