Maintenance requests come in all shapes and sizes, from burst pipes to refreshing exterior painting and everything in between. Experienced facilities managers know that not all maintenance requests are created equal.
All work orders need to be prioritized in order to know what order to complete each request. Knowing how to prioritize comes from years of experience and knowing that some tasks need immediate attention while others can wait. Either way, regular maintenance is meant to keep your tenants safe, the property protected, and ultimately to keep your tenants happy.
While tenants may feel as though every request deserves the highest priority, it is important for the safety of the property and the people living there to rank work orders or requests.
Most maintenance requests can be categorized into levels of priorities such as: emergency, high priority, medium priority, low priority, and regularly scheduled maintenance.
Most urgent or emergency tasks are fairly obvious in nature. For instance if your building is on fire, has a flooding issue, a gas leak or safety issue, then all other requests should be put on hold until the property is safe and properly cared for.
Other emergency events such as the following could also fall into this category.
- Exposed power lines
- Total power loss
- Act of nature such as a tree on the structure or loss of functions such as heat, electricity or plumbing
- Loss of water to entire building or flood/overflowing plumbing
- Power or a/c loss in the server rooms
- People stuck in elevator
Not only can these events pose a danger to the people living there, but they can be financially crippling. It is always a good idea to have a list of vendors that can quickly respond in an emergency situation.
This level of priority translates into tasks that need to be completed in a timely manner or they will become larger and more unruly as time passes. Examples of these types of requests could be: minor leaks, pest infestations, broken appliances, or locks in need of repair.
Promptly addressing these tasks will ensure that the property remains safe, habitable, and will potentially decrease financial loss.
Medium priority tasks may not seem a medium level to your tenants as they may not see the larger picture of tasks on your “To Do” list. However, these tasks are important, but not as important as an urgent situation.
These tasks may include seasonal maintenance tasks such as debris and bush removal for fire prevention, slip prevention in the fall and winter, and other issues that could pose a risk in the near future. While each of these are time sensitive, but not urgent.
Lower priority tasks often fall into regularly scheduled maintenance that can wait until the proper time of year. These include: gutter cleaning, exterior painting, capital repairs, landscaping, and aesthetic changes.
Communicating these levels of priority may help members of your community understand why some tasks take precedent while others must wait a bit longer to be addressed. Drop us a comment on your methods of prioritizing maintenance requests.