Do I expect too much? I’m beginning to think this is true and it’s a problem I should get a handle on. Here’s the thing: I see a lot of onsite teams trying to get it together and make it all happen so that move ins can occur on time, work orders are completed in a timely fashion and the property overall is maintained beautifully. When that doesn’t happen, it’s my job to figure out why there is onsite turmoil.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing from Maintenance Techs that their pay is too low. “Give me a raise and I’ll work harder.” Or, “Pay me what I’m worth and I can step in and handle that project. You won’t have to hire a contractor.” This banter is what I am having trouble wrapping my head around so I can sympathize.
Corporate level leaders usually follow that philosophy with, “You knew what the pay was when you signed your Offer Letter. How do you come back six months later demanding more pay?”
Maintenance techs are worth every penny they are paid. More and more companies are looking to hire techs who have certifications in Pool Operations, HVAC, who also have detailed plumbing skills who can install shut off valves for buildings and, can solve drainage issues, can repair drywall … Honestly, that list is even more extensive. So, WILL OFFERING $4.00 MORE AN HOUR OVER THE GOING MARKET SALARY IN YOUR AREA ENSURE YOU HAVE LOYALTY AND A GREAT NEW EMPLOYEE?
Nope, it sure doesn’t.
As a property manager, how many times has a tech or supervisor walked in, laid his/her keys on the desk and walked away? From what I hear from Property Managers all over the country, pay might be the least of it. What I hear is Techs, Managers, Leasing Consultants stating they quit because of the workload and not enough company resources to pay for supplies, marketing materials, and lack of respect by upper management or having a too-demanding boss.
I call bullsh*t.
I love maintenance techs, so do not misunderstand the message I’m trying to make. Techs are the most important role onsite, in my opinion. Without them the property will not function or thrive. However, do not overinflate your skill level, your customer service skills, and/or your ability to do the detail work. Stop turning units where you don’t install a new tub drain cover or pop assembly that are completely rusted. Stop walking out of a unit knowing you just tweaked the issue so it will last one more day or week or month knowing the resident will call back eventually. Fix it right the first time. Don’t skip over one work order because it “looks hard.” And, please, do not turn in a work order as Complete when it is not (because you “think” you did that one but can’t really remember because you lost the actual work order.) It makes the whole team look incompetent and untrustworthy.
Because our Maintenance Teams are so important, I see a lot of egos, either, over-inflated and cocky, or feeling defeated from lack of recognition. Managers, how do you handle this? Until the last couple of years, I had never seen such detached maintenance techs who ignore what a Manager will ask be done and go off on their own agenda. What happened to the team concept? What happened to Morning Meetings (15 minutes) to discuss the Plan for the Day? What happened to the “Go Get ‘em” attitudes?
It’s a lot better onsite when everyone looks out for each other and there is no us against them and us against the Residents philosophical approach to property management. Just wondering how we get there again.