“Good Property Management Pays for Itself”

Wendy Tanner – Caldwell Property Solutions

Every home will encounter maintenance issues from time to time and every maintenance issue is unique, like a stressful little snow flake. When I get word of a maintenance issue at one of our properties I am basically put into the middle of a custody battle. I want to resolve the issue for the tenant as quickly as possible without charging the owner unnecessarily. If there is an issue with a major appliance and I immediately replace it without investigating the issue I could find that it was a simple fix that ended up costing the owner hundreds if not thousands of dollars for no reason, which I would feel terrible about, so my first step is always to determine exactly what is going on first.

For example, recently, at one of our Chandler homes, I got a call about a microwave whose door would fall open from time to time while it was still cooking! The tenant was understandably concerned. I sent our appliance repairman to figure out what the problem was and whether it was worth the repair or not. He discovered that the door wouldn’t stay shut because of some bad door springs and the microwave still cooking with the door open was due to some bad interlock switches. Due to the microwave being part of a high end stainless steel oven/microwave wall unit that would be very costly to replace we proceeded with repair as it was worth the expense. The repairman replaced the door springs and interlock switches and the microwave worked properly upon completion, the tenant and owner were very happy.

Later the next week, the tenant called back saying that the microwave stopped working all together, so we sent the same appliance repairman back to take a look at it since his work was under warranty. He found out that the computer board that controls both the oven and microwave in the combo unit was bad. He said he could replace the board, but found out that they weren’t made anymore and couldn’t find a replacement. However, he knew someone that specializes in rebuilding computer boards which was worth a try due to the high replacement cost of the appliance. Due to it being in the middle of the holiday’s and the board still controlled the oven just fine he left the board in place for the time being so the tenant could have an oven for the holiday cooking. After the holiday, the repairman went back out and removed the computer board to have it rebuilt. As soon as the board was repaired it was reinstalled only to find out that just like before, the microwave still wasn’t working while the oven still worked fine. There was no other option but to recommend replacing the microwave/oven wall unit as repair was not possible on this appliance. Since it was such a unique appliance, we couldn’t even obtain the replacement for the owner, but instead provided the owner with a referral to receive a discount on the new appliance. We did not charge the owner for anything as the attempted repairs did not work. This includes us taking the maintenance call, managing it during the whole process, the appliance repairman’s 5 trips to the property (first diagnosis, return to install special order parts after they arrived, return to diagnose, return to remove computer board, return to install computer board) and the cost of parts (2 door springs, 3 interlock switch assemblies and over $180 to have computer board rebuilt).  We always try to offer competitive pricing on repairs, but more importantly feel strongly about honoring our work and doing the right thing.