Typically, when you think of scavenger hunts, you think of fun and excitement.  And that’s why Mobile Doorman will be conducting the ScAPPenger Hunt at the upcoming Apartment Innovation and Marketing (AIM) Conference in Huntington Beach, CA (but more to come on that…)

But there is one type of “not so fun” scavenger hunt that is happening every day at apartment communities nationwide. The work order scavenger hunt. Think about it: could both your maintenance technicians and residents feel like they're in a scavenger hunt when trying to submit and resolve a maintenance request?

Perhaps nothing fuels resident discontent like bad experiences surrounding work orders, and when maintenance techs have to sift through unclear communications for clues about what's going on in a unit, the potential for resident frustration rises. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s some tips to end the frustrating work order scavenger hunt at your property:

Eliminate Confusion

In today’s multifamily landscape, the maintenance request process is cumbersome. For many apartment communities, residents must place work orders by calling or visiting the leasing office – and of course only when the office is open. Other communities provide the ability to submit maintenance requests via a resident portal. Either option leaves the much to be desired. 

In the first instance, associates who talk with the residents might take incomplete notes about what's wrong. Maybe they jot down all of the relevant information but their handwriting is impossible for others to read. Or perhaps they simply don't understand the resident's problem.

Resident portals are limited in the ability for resident to truly indicate what issue they are having. Yes, they can input the request at their convenience but they simply can’t deliver the greatest amount of detail. They are forced to first download and upload any images of the problem they have. This process alone is typically abandoned out of sheer frustration and the time it takes to complete. 

When these things happen, service techs who read the work orders can't prepare as much as they should before visiting the resident's home. This means they might have to make a visit to simply get a clear idea of what's going on before returning later when they're ready to address the issue. 

Wouldn't it be great if techs could have a thorough understanding of what the problem is and be equipped to handle it when they first visit an apartment home? Mobile Doorman's white-labeled community apps certainly make this more likely.

App Technology Provides All the Clues

Apps are designed to make life easier. To bring instant access to the tip of our fingers. Through white-label resident apps powered by Mobile Doorman, residents can easily and quickly submit comprehensive work orders. They can provide as much detail as they want and instantly capture and automatically upload photos to illustrate what their issues are. 

When technicians get direct and detailed information from a resident, see helpful images and not have to decipher an associate's difficult-to-read handwriting, they are able to understand from the start what the problem is and start working towards a solution without wasting time.

Our apps also keep residents up-to-date about the status of their work orders, which eliminates any anger they might feel if they believe they are being kept out of the loop. And the apps benefit leasing agents because residents can place service requests online without having to call or speak with an agent in person. This frees agents up to handle their many other responsibilities, such as taking prospects on property tours and otherwise managing leads.

In the end, we're all for scavenger hunts at Mobile Doorman. We just don't believe they have any place in maintenance requests.