AS an industry, we’re all looking for the next way to save time. For block managers, particularly, repairs – chasing, logging and managing them – form one of the major drains on both time and resources. But Fixflo’s data shows that if they’re managed well, repairs can actually be resolved swiftly. In 2017, the average time from reporting to resolution for the agents we surveyed was 71 minutes, down from 94 minutes in 2016.
One of the main reasons for the reduction was the use of picture-based reporting systems. Agents using these systems reported even quicker resolution times than average (the average figure being inflated by agents still using telephones and spreadsheets) - here’s why.
Picture-based reporting reaches those with limited English
Given Britain's multicultural society, blocks are likely to play host to a variety of different nationalities. Although most repairs and maintenance software will come with a variety of language options, picture-based reporting cuts through all the confusion and makes sure nothing is lost in translation, saving time at both ends of the repairs process.
It appeals to those with limited practical skills
Millennials may be tech-savvy but they often lack basic skills around the home, and can be reluctant to report issues. Three-quarters of millennial tenants surveyed admitted they’d rather let a repairs issue fester because they didn’t know what the problem was and they didn’t want to confront their landlord. But 91% of the UK’s population own a smartphone and everybody knows their way around an interface, making repairs and maintenance software instantly accessible. For the truly clueless (over half of those questioned by MORE TH>N home insurance said they wouldn’t know how to change a fuse), a picture-based reporting system saves them from having to understand an issue – or front up to the landlord - to report it.
It reduces unnecessary repair reports
On the other side of the spectrum from those who let problems get worse are the tenants who are all too quick to report a repair, even if it’s actually their responsibility to fix it. Issues like changing lightbulbs (which one in five admitted they’d have issues with) which fall to the tenant to resolve are often the subject of needless call-outs, adding to a block manager’s workload and costing both leaseholders and tenants.
However, picture-based reporting systems won’t allow tenants to proceed with reporting an issue that falls within their remit. Instead the system kicks the issue back so the tenant knows the responsibility lies with them before it gets to call-out stage. For some of the more simple DIY issues, most systems will even provide a step-by-step guide to talk the tenant through fixing it themselves.
It allows for an instant fix
With today’s quick-fix mentality, more and more tenants are looking for instant digital solutions. Picture-based reporting systems and their intuitive interfaces allow for issues to be reported more swiftly, with an increased level of detail. Reporting an issue quickly – with the relevant details that can be left out of a lengthy email or not transmitted properly by phone – speeds up the entire process. In cases of emergency (such as faulty boilers or leaky pipes), the ability to click on the appropriate icon instantly can be the difference between smaller concerns becoming dangerous problems.
For more information on picture-based reporting and repairs and maintenance software, download our free eBook, The Definitive Guide to Block Repairs & Maintenance Management Software, by clicking here or below.