Improperly managed condo association work orders leave homeowners disgruntled and the board with headaches. In this article, we provide guidance on best practices for managing community association work orders, which are crucial for medium and large condo associations. Not following these five best practices can result in:
- work orders failing to be completed in a timely fashion
- homeowners not receiving appropriate communication
- unknown completion updates
Here are the five best practices that every community association board should adhere to for managing work orders.
- Have vendors vetted and ready to call on. The board should manage the vendors, and the property manager should advise who to issue each new work order to. Each work order itself should contain a description of the work and the vendor chosen.
- The property manager(s) should conduct a regularly scheduled property walk. Depending on the size of the property that manager covers, the cadence of these walks could be as frequently as weekly or twice per month, but many properties only need monthly walks. This walk is a review of the property to identify any issues.
- For each work order out for completion, you should request regular updates from the vendor. If you do not hear updates in a timely fashion, email or otherwise contact the vendor rather than letting time pass.
- Be sure to have a copy of each work order’s invoice from the vendor.
- The property manager should follow up with the homeowner on each closed work order to gauge satisfaction that everything is completed and how the vendor handled the work. Keep a file for each vendor and make note for future reference.
Property management company’s role in work orders
Like with all board tasks, the role of the property management company is to make your lives easier with services and tools, and to take much of the work off your plate. We’ll share how this works at Hillcrest Property Management to shed light across community management services, and property maintenance management in particular. You’ll see that the key is having a system for communication between all parties.
At Hillcrest, association members can request work orders through our website, via email, or by calling our office. If the board desires, they can receive notice each time an owner creates a new work order. Once Client Care receives the order, they discuss with the Property Manager for approval. Once they grant approval, Client Care sends the resident or board member a confirmation email. The work order is issued, and we ask the vendor to send us updates and a copy of the invoice, so Client Care can add these notifications to the work order as it progresses. When these notifications are relevant for the unit owner, the Client Care team sends an email update.
Owners can also view all common area work orders in addition to those for their unit in our website tool upon logging in. Once the vendor completes the work order, Client Care contacts the owner via phone to inquire how Hillcrest and the vendor handled the situation. They then forward the responses to the Property Manager.
Upon work order completion, the Property Manager shares a detailed, organized work order report. Each work order has an assigned category, for sorting or reporting as needed for the board. For example, the board may want to see all roof repair work orders in a given time frame, and we provide a report.