Console’s Chief Product Officer Matt McGown showcased the highly anticipated update to Console’s Maintenance Workflow, Maintenance Pro, at Console’s NEBULA: beyond 2020 event on October 23, 2020.
NEBULA: beyond 2020 is Console’s first fully-virtual property management conference for Australian and New Zealand property professionals, and garnered more than 2,000 views from over 400 live conference participants.
Maintenance Pro is a revolutionary new feature to Console Cloud that simplifies maintenance management through predictive workflows and automation. It also does this while minimising inefficiencies from managing multiple platforms and manual paperwork.
Matt took the audience through Maintenance Pro’s smart communication feature designed to keep everyone—from property managers and tenants to tradies and landlords—up to date throughout the entire maintenance process.
Managing maintenance is time-consuming
Many property managers know that managing maintenance is one of the biggest pain points of the profession. It’s time consuming coordinating multiple parties across multiple systems—like company checklists, spreadsheets, paper notepads, emails, phone calls and oft-missed voicemails.
Recognising the pain and inefficiencies, Console partnered with industry leaders Maintenance Manager to develop Console Maintenance Pro. The result: it has the power to totally transform the way property managers handle maintenance in Console Cloud.
Ultimately, Maintenance Pro aims to help property managers grow their rent rolls and focus on customer service by freeing up their time from manual maintenance tasks.
In the showcase, Matt talks about:
- A fully-integrated centralised system for property managers
- New self-serve triage features for tenants to troubleshoot their own maintenance issues
- Effortless ways to request quotes and allocate jobs to tradies
- Gaining access to an extensive pool of 75,000 trades across Australia, and New Zealand
- Streamlined owner approval process for work undertaken, with automatic logging and a full audit trail
- Keeping owners, tenants and tradespeople up to date with smart, automated messaging
- One-click approval for invoices for completed work, and
- Automated job closing when the invoice is processed.
That’s quite a handful. Let’s take a look at some of these features in more detail.
Logging maintenance request
Logging a new maintenance job is usually done by a property manager during inspections, or when they get a call or email from a tenant.
You can imagine the steps involved just to create a new maintenance request: taking notes on the phone, heading to a computer to re-enter the details, drafting emails and calling trades for quotes, sending quotes to landlords for approval, chasing tenants for more details, quote revisions, and it goes on.
Integration with the Console Go app
Maintenance Pro is fully integrated with the new Console Go app so property managers can log a new maintenance job directly into Console Cloud from any device with an internet connection.
Integration with the Tenant app
Tenants can log repair or maintenance requests in the Tenant App. Requests are automatically sent to their respective property manager in Console Cloud.
Better yet, the app includes an intelligent triage process that takes the tenant through a troubleshooting process relevant to their request with step-by-step instructions. This ensures they provide all the necessary information to be submitted, while offering guidance when dealing with safety issues like electrical faults.
What about requests outside business hours?
After hours requests even get automatically handled according to the agency’s emergency procedure.
Requesting quotes from trades
A much-welcomed feature with Maintenance Pro is access to a pool of over 75,000 trades in Australia and in New Zealand. This gives property managers access to a wider range of skilled professionals so no time is wasted finding the right tradespeople for the job. That also means jobs get started earlier, and at much more competitive rates.
A key ingredient to providing great customer service to clients and partners is timely communication. Maintenance Pro facilitates this by keeping the owners, tenants and tradies updated with automated emails or SMS, using customisable templates so everyone is kept informed at key stages. Agencies can use their own brand voice in the templates so communication is consistent for their clients.
Quotes for owner approval
Property managers know that it can sometimes take time and effort getting an owner’s approval.
In his product demonstration, Matt shows the steps taken after a quote has been received from the tradesperson, and how easy it is for the property manager to get the owner’s approval to proceed with the work.
Console Maintenance Pro sends the owner an email with all the info needed to approve the job. And to make sure you get a response faster, this email has snap replies baked into it.
Snap replies are replies that generate an instant reply to the sender by pressing a button or a link in an email, for example. It means you can tap an approve button in an email you were sent to respond to an email, rather than replying and manually typing in ‘approve’.
Allocate job to trade
Communication is a powerful component of Console Maintenance Pro. When an owner’s response is received, Maintenance Pro presents this clearly on the property manager’s dashboard.
Following this notification, property managers can add notes for the trades in the next screen. When that’s done, they can send off the automated updates to let the owner and tenant know that the job has been allocated to a tradesperson.
And finally, Console Maintenance Pro ensures that trades who didn’t win the job will also be automatically sent a courtesy update.
When an invoice is submitted after job completion, Console Maintenance Pro notifies the respective property manager. The property manager can then review the invoice for payment, pay it, and review the service they received.
Without missing a beat, the automated comms templates are at the ready to update the owner about job completion. Both the owner and tradesperson are then informed when the invoice has been approved for payment. Everyone is kept fully across the process, every step of the way.
Pay invoice and close job
When payment is processed, Maintenance Pro automatically closes the job so property managers don’t have to worry about more admin work or having to coordinate with the trust accountant to check if jobs can be closed or invoices have been paid.
Full audit trail
Further lowering workload for property managers, Console Maintenance Pro automatically marks the job as closed when a trade’s payment is processed.
At the end of 2020, a new feature will also be rolled out to Maintenance Pro users where all bills are listed in a single screen. This allows trust accountants to process payments more efficiently.
New features coming soon
Console continues to enhance and improve Maintenance Pro. In the coming days, users will experience powerful new features to make handling repair requests even easier.
Console Cloud customers get full access to Maintenance Pro at no additional charge to their business. You can navigate to the Marketplace to activate the feature for your office and Console’s activation team will be in touch to get you started.
Discover Maintenance Pro: https://www.console.com.au/maintenance-pro/