There are plenty of ways to save money on property maintenance. The best way, in my opinion, is to have great relationships with your trades. The story of the little job we did yesterday is a great way of outlining this.
We had been asked to attend a customers CBD premises to repair two door bolts. You know the type. A double wooden door where one of the doors has bolts top and bottom, and the other door locks into the first. If the bolts aren’t working, it doesn’t matter how locked up it is. Anyone can push the doors open. But when we got there, the bolts were fine. They were in perfect working order.
Now, we know that our competitors would charge a call-out fee for this. They consider that they’ve taken the time to travel and attend, and they should therefore be compensated. That’s fine, for them. It’s a widely used operating policy that many companies employ successfully. This is where the “great relationships” comes in though. We didn’t charge for our visit today, as we know that this particular customer always calls us first for everything, and we want to keep it that way.
Instead, we took photos of the functioning bolts to send off to our customer so they can see there is no issue. We’re happy to do this at no charge, as we see the value in the great relationships we share with our customers.
As we were leaving, we spotted (it was hard to miss) a broken timber board in the decking access ramp at the rear of the building. Now again, though our great relationship with this customer, we know they are REALLY hot on trip and slip hazards. This one was a doozy. A real ankle-breaker.
- We knew they would want it fixed.
- We knew they would want it done straight away
- We knew they liked our pricing
- And we knew they would be thrilled to know that the issue had been remedied before anyone was hurt, and before they even knew the issue existed in the first place.
Thirty minutes later and that decking board was fixed. At the end of the day, we sent them the photos, the description, and the invoice. They were extremely appreciative of the fact that we took care of the whole job with no fuss.
Not all service providers can feel this comfortable in how they manage works for their customers. That’s because they don’t have the great relationships in place that we do. This restricts the level of service they can offer their customers, pushes their overheads up, and costs their customers more.