The Importance of a Strong Lead Maintenance Person

by Joe Killinger

Over the years of investing in real estate, I have learned that building a great team is one of the key items you want to focus on before you take over a property. One position that I have seen overlooked many times has been the lead maintenance person. This person is key to your success in so many ways you really want to look high and low to find the right candidate. The lead maintenance person is much more than someone who knows how to fix a leak or patch a wall, this individual will be in direct contact with all of your residents/tenants and be the person that can take a load off your office staff by being the first line in addressing angry resident/tenants that want something fixed or changed immediately.

When searching for a good lead maintenance person, I would suggest seeking someone that has all the skills you need to handle the maintenance requests that your property has, but also look for someone that can be the leader outside of the office. We have found that individuals in this position have decreased our expenses by simply having the ability to communicate with each of our residents/tenants including the children on property, especially the teenagers.

Here are some other things to consider:

  1. The ability to lead their team is something to take a long hard look at, get solid references from previous employers if possible as their previous team can give you some great insight.
  2. Be sure they are organized. Maintenance requests are coming in and out all day long so be sure this individual can be up to the tasks.
  3. Confirm that the individual knows how to prioritize / triage requests for repairs. Some requests may come in as an emergency but in fact may not be.
  4. Be sure they know how to communicate to outside vendors, in some cases you may not be able to handle all maintenance on your property with the current team or maybe you just need someone to come in and do a quick repair, you want to be sure you team leader knows how to communicate effectively with these vendors to be sure the scope of the job is explained in its entirety.
  5. They need to have the ability to understand his team’s needs and that they have all the necessary tools to do the job properly.
  6. Be sure this person is a good team player. They must work well with the office, residents/tenants, vendors, as well as their own team.

When you have this position filled with the right person, you will be happy that you took the time to find the right individual as your property investment will now run smoother and should add value to your bottom line.