How tracking tenant complaints can benefit your properties in the future

December 05, 2017  •  Alayna Giesting

As a property manager, you receive a lot of requests from your tenants, and one of the many responsibilities you handle is tackling those requests in a timely manner. With so many requests to manage, it’s easy for one to fall through the cracks here and there, or (gasp!) for a request’s entire history to be deleted from your excel sheet. However, keeping track of and completing tenant requests may be even more valuable to the success of your properties than you think. Read our advice below to see why you should be tracking tenant complaints and how to do this in your own facilities.

Use your tenants' maintenance request histories to analyze costs

Are you currently keeping track of the maintenance requests your tenants submit? If not, you should think about implementing a process for this. By tracking requests and analyzing trends, you can increase labor efficiency and determine when to replace a piece of equipment. Let’s take a deeper look!

Increase labor efficiency

If you have a process that allows you to look at each work order submitted, you’ll be able to calculate the average amount of time each tenant request (e.g. heating, cooling, water, etc.) takes. This information will help you assign certain tasks to technicians based on their availability each day. If someone has a broken air conditioner and you know that on average it takes about three hours to work on an AC unit, you wouldn’t want to assign this task to Tom if he only has one hour of availability. A process like this ensures each of your staff is working on the project that benefits your properties the most.

How FMX can help: In FMX, you can track and run reports on average resolution times for work orders and technicians. This way, you can assign work orders to certain technicians based on their availability and the average time it takes them to complete each task.

Review equipment histories to determine when a piece of equipment is nearing the end of its lifecycle

Without a system in place to track equipment histories, it’s difficult to uncover trends within an asset’s maintenance history. For example, if a tenant’s heater constantly requires repairs and if four different members of your team have been out to work on it, they may not be able to let you know it’s an ongoing issue. However, if you track all of the work done on your assets, you would be able to tell that this heater is showing symptoms of a larger problem because of the above average number of work orders. At this point, you would need to decide whether you want to buy a new heater or continue to fix the current one.

When analyzing each of your assets and determining whether it’s best to repair or replace, be sure to analyze the costs, consider the age of the equipment, the cost of repairs, and the downtime associated with repairing and replacing the equipment.

Avoid sticky situations

As a property manager, you know tenants have the power to turn a minor issue into a lawsuit if that issue goes unaddressed. Inspecting your properties and performing preventive maintenance on a regular basis will prevent many issues from arising, but it may require a bit more on your end than just that.

You should make prompt repairs and respond to complaints quickly in order to avoid issues such as subjecting your tenants to injuries (due to icy conditions or a burnt out light on the stairs), which may result in a lawsuit. Keeping a log of all tenant requests will ensure that if a legal issue does arise, you are prepared to tackle it.

How FMX can help: With FMX, you can easily pull up a request history for a tenant, building, or piece of equipment. This list will include every work order submitted and completed for that person, building, or asset. Everything is time-stamped as well, so you can show when the request was made and how long it took to solve that request if a problem ever arises.

Make your job easier with happy tenants!

Making tenants happy is a vital part of being a property manager. Let’s see why!

Happy tenants let their friends know they are happy!

And this means more business for you. Maintenance requests are usually one of the biggest complaints tenants have – even a property manager who consistently maintains their facilities will receive maintenance requests. So, if your tenants are able to tell their friends how great you are at responding to requests, chances are you will gain new ones!

Happy tenants are more understanding.

By consistently making sure your tenants are taken care of, if something does fall through the cracks, they will be more understanding. For example, did the maintenance department forget to stop by Jessica’s apartment on Friday to fix her toilet? Or did it take maintenance a little longer to change the light in conference room B on the third floor than expected? Chances are, your tenants will be more forgiving of slip-ups like these if maintenance was able to promptly fix other issues for your tenants in the past.

Tenants who are happy with your request system will use it more.

If they see that your system is effective and their requests get resolved quickly, they will be more willing to use it in the future. This makes your team’s job a lot easier because now they have one system that shows all of their assigned work orders.

How FMX can help: We help spread happiness! When a tenant submits a request, they will receive a confirmation email letting them know the request was received. They can also receive emails notifying them of when someone will be out to make the repair, when the repair is complete or of any delays in the repair (e.g. a part has not arrived yet). FMX keeps tenants in the loop about their requests, which gives them peace of mind that you are listening to them and their needs.

For more information about improving tenant satisfaction, reducing operating costs, and more, check out our Facilities Management for Property Managers eGuide.  


Alayna is the marketing communications specialist at Facilities Management eXpress. When she’s not drafting up content for the blog or social media, she is most likely reading a good book or taking short weekend trips!

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