Pros and Cons of using Inhouse or Independent Contractors
We are set up with using only indepedent contractors and will use owner preferred contractors when asked as long as they can take care of the issue in a timely manor
Many management companies use inhouse maintenance people sighting that they can better control the day to day maintenance work load by being able to asign the job sequence and if need be re-asign it if other jobs come in that need to be prioritized. They will further sight that the cost of their inhouse maitenance services is cheaper than that of an independent contractor. The actual reality is that at the end of the day it is not beneficial to the tenant nor the owner.
There are certainly a lot of good and conscientious maitenance guys but they are just one person and can only be at one job at a time, so that guy is always going to be running behind which means maintenance issues may not be dealt with in a timely manor leading to possibly more damage being caused by the unresolved issue or longer inconvenience for the tenant. Adding more maintenance guys means more payroll to cover or have unhappy guys becuase of short hours when the work load becomes less. This is what leads to maintenance guy turnover and subsequently often adds to slow maintenance response because of new poeple getting use to the companies set up or just being less qualified in certain types of maintenance issues or lack of abilities. Since in most cases there is no quality control of how a job was done, it may take a while for slow or poor maintenance work to become evident to the property management company. Obviously by having the maitenance work done by their employees, the property management company is going to bill the owner or in some cases the tenant when they have to pay for something, at a "profitable" rate which makes maintenance calls to them lucrative so making a tenant wait until one of their guys is free to do their job is just the way it is.
The pro to only using independent contractors is multifold. First, we don't have to worry about someone making a fair living off the amount of work we can give them. We have established a repor with various contractors over the years that have proven to be reliable and preform proper repairs at fair costs and will correct any issues immediately if need be without having to be walked behind. We can always use the type of contractor most qualified to the do the job so it will be done correctly and if the one can't get to it in a timely manor we don't have to wait on that one, we just move on to the next on our list so the maintenance issue is dealt in a timely manor. Costs are always billed to the owner at the amount billed on the invoice by the contractor, there is never any kind of upcharge by us - why should there be, you pay a management fee and processing an invoice is just part of the job you are already paying us for.
Yes you may find inhouse maintenance costs to be less on a case to case basis but there may be more individual charges, regardless I assure you at the end of the day your property will be in overall better maintained condition with us which will make for a happier and often longer term tenant as well as retain the value of the property.
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