We’ve seen first-hand the challenges that operational teams face during the winter months. With the added pressure of COVID-19 resulting in reduced workforces and lockdown restrictions, it’s easy for landlords and property managers to find themselves battling against a backlog of repairs, maintenance and compliance work.

What makes a winter backlog so severe?

Broken boilers, plumbing problems and temperamental electrics can have a serious impact on basic winter necessities like heating and hot water. For vulnerable residents, and those with pre-existing health conditions, this can become critical very quickly.

Winter months also see an unprecedented increase in contractor callouts. However, current challenges have made it tougher on housing providers to flex their procurement and adapt to fluctuations in demand. That’s why it’s essential for operational teams to be equipped with practical methods and back-up solutions to manage the current demand for contractors.

Here are our top tips for battling backlog pressures whilst ensuring the safety of your residents throughout the winter months:

1. Use historic data for preemptive work orders.

Data is key. Our clients have access to real-time data which can be traced back throughout their entire journey on our software solution. This way, they can spot trends to understand when their peak times for placing work orders historically are, and preemptively address issues before they’re reported by residents.

2. Smarter asset management.

Keeping strong asset data can also be important. It's time to move away from area-based replacement programmes and instead work smarter and more efficiently.

By analysing your asset condition you can replace poor quality or old assets before they cause an issue. For example, if your asset data shows that a number of boilers are at the end of their life cycle and are due to be replaced in a month’s time, it could be beneficial to explore bringing the replacement forward to prevent a potential breakdown during the winter months.

3. Empower your residents.

Believe it or not, some of the most common winter issues can be easily solved by residents. Cold spots on radiators or frozen condensation pipes are small issues that, with the right education, can be resolved relatively quickly without the need for a contractor callout.

Consider creating a ‘winter tips guide’ or general maintenance explanatory video that your residents can access via your website, resident portal, or have it sent out as part of your resident newsletter. This will not only reduce your backlog of callouts, but it could also save time and money in the long run.

Simple repairs, maintenance and compliance work.

Plentific is an all-in-one delivery platform for property maintenance. Its software integrates repairs, compliance and voids management to streamline the process and improve resident experiences. With advanced analytics, Plentific offers landlords and property managers deep insight into the health of their property portfolio at the touch of a button.

Book a callback to find out more about how our clients are harnessing data and using the information collected by their operatives each day to implement smarter, more efficient processes.

Not yet a Plentific client? Sign-up to Plentific this lockdown and we will waive the set-up fee (valid until 31 March 2021).