What resources are required to be fully prepared for your portfolio’s out of hours needs from a customer service POV?
To know that you need stats, which we have a lot of – these numbers are based on a yearly averages and of course will have seasonal fluctuations (covered below) and come with the caveat that these are also averages across all types of portfolio (block, lettings, BTR etc.) and some will have heavier volumes than others where demises and responsibilities, quality of build, differing profile of residents and differentiating required service levels need to be taken in to account.
All figures are based upon 15 years of statistics compiled by our team. I haven’t said emergencies above because as most people will know, not all the calls received outside office hours are actually urgent but we still have to deal with those.
So, the first question that everything else stems from; how many issues will I get?
Well, the average is 12% (its actually 11 point something but 12 makes the maths a lot more straightforward) of your portfolio per annum. Therefore, if you have 1000 units expect 120 out of hours calls or an average of 10 a month. Now the seasonal variation we mentioned means that in real life this is more like 7.5 in the summer months to 12.5 in the Winter.
Within those issues you should also be aware of the number of calls involved – the average here is 8 to include the original incoming calls and then outbound to include instructing a contractor, updating site/residents and following up to ensure the job is complete. This can be anything up to (as in one recent case for us) 150 though and as low as 1 for non urgent issues where details are taken but action is not required.
When do those issues arise; well, again based on averages some of the highlights are… Monday to Friday 5pm to Midnight will see 35% of your total inbound calls received and Weekends 9am to 5pm would be 37%
Finally, what types of issues will my calls be about? Not surprisingly top is leaks at 16.5% Some other highlights… Alarms and AOV’s at 8% Lifts at 5% Communal Access at 5% Boilers (communal and individual together) at 6%
The full breakdown of averages, times and types of issues are available from us along with the associated costs so if you require more detailed information please do get in touch.
Trends in Property Maintenance? So belatedly here is 2021 against 2022 in a bunch of stats
Headlines: Less calls and tickets in 2022 despite more units as, we think from further examination, agents improved their service overall. Slightly more percentage of calls coming from outside London as PRS schemes outside the capital increase. A significant amount more of outbound calls as it became more difficult to contact contractors plus an uptick in our efforts to keep residents better informed and we increased staff numbers. An increase in costs (inflation anyone?)
A question we are asked quite often as prospective clients try to work out if our service is cost effective or attractive to them.
Now this is a huge generalisation and is one overarching average for Lettings, Block, BtR, commercial, social etc. and portfolio’s of differing stock type, age and condition (plus our figures are over 10 years so smooth out variance over bad winter or unusual periods of activity).
But, approximately, your out of hours service will receive;
0.085 emergencies per unit per month or .85 emergencies per 100 units per month or 8.5 emergencies per 1000 units per month
(you get the idea)
Actual call volumes is a different thing to consider; factor in 5x inbound (so 42 calls for our 1000 unit portfolio example) 4x outbound (34)
We have previously advised the patterns of when calls come in so combine the two and you know what you are letting yourself in for and can make an informed decision.
Contact us if you would like the figures in more detail or broken down by property types.
So a couple of days after our 12 Days ended reviewing the figures;
Over 35,000 combined Inbound and Outbound calls and 3332 Emergencies
The whole team have worked so hard completing over 4000 hours of overtime between them – working 10 long shifts over 12 days when most are with their families – huge effort from all of them to allow clients to close and re-charge over the holidays, we are now going to do the same.
We are running our annual competition, this year giving away £1000.
Over the holiday season we provide not just the usual out of hours response but extra cover to allow our clients to shut fully or partially over the whole period.
Companies begin this shut down on the 23rd December until returning on the 4th (our 12 Days of Christmas).
Whoever can guess the closest to the total number of emergencies (not calls) we will log over those 12 days wins a donation in their name to the charity of their choice.
Submit your guesses via https://www.linkedin.com/posts/colin-stokes-7b0a6a23_propertymanagement-12daysofchristmas-callcentre-activity-6737371234117541889-SgF9
(remembering we look after circa 600,000 block and lettings properties out of hours and approx. 60% for some of the whole period) and we will announce the winner in January.