“Ask Kari” is a monthly, Question & Answer feature from Kari Negri. Kari has two decades of property management experience, is a featured speaker at many industry trade shows, such as AAGLA’s annual trade show, and is the CEO of SKY Properties, Inc. in Los Angeles.
How to Find a Good Maintenance Person
This month’s question comes from Laura in Los Angeles: “How can I find a good maintenance person for my building?”
Hi Laura, what a great question! So many factors go into the search for a good maintenance person. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Communication foundation.
Make sure your manner of communication fits with theirs. Don’t hire someone you can’t communicate with. With today’s many forms of electronic communication, if you can’t clearly understand or communicate with the maintenance person when he’s standing in front of you, texting or emailing is going to be nightmarish. Communication issues will cost time and money. In an emergency maintenance situation, higher costs may be at stake.
- Walk-thru scenarios.
You might start with simply giving them a very basic test to see what their knowledge actually is. Additionally, think of your most recent two or three maintenance scenarios at your building and ask them to walk you through how they would handle the situations so you know how they process the work. Pay attention to not only how they would go about addressing the problem, but also getting the supplies to do so. Consider tip number 3:
- Stock vs. purchased items.
Ask them what items they would want to have on hand/in stock at your building vs. what items to purchase as needed. Consider the balance of trips to the hardware store, on your dime, with the cost of maintaining a proper inventory. This is one of the best questions to test their level of wisdom and experience with building maintenance.
Remember that maintenance people are so important because they are the ones your tenants will most often see and deal with. Your tenants will likely judge management by your maintenance staff – their looks/dress, personality, ability, timeliness, respectfulness, cleanliness when project is complete, and most of all, trustworthiness. These representatives enter into people’s personal space and they represent everything you are about.
- Background check and health.
Always conduct a criminal background, drug and references check to make sure you know what you are getting into – to some degree. This chases away some candidates. You might also consider sending them for a physical, a tetanus shot, and TB test.
As always, please remember, I am not an attorney. Seek clarification through your attorney. All articles are simply an opinion. Stay in touch at www.GetSky.net
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