@Colleen We have went through 3 in the last 4 years. Some did okay, one did very bad. I have brought it back in house where I am directly responsible for the training. The two companies that did okay we spent about 40 hours training them, every time they changed the account person.
In the end this is what I found. If you get a good maintenance manager (in house or outsourced) they are a diamond. No company that i know of can provide enough training to individuals at the price point they charge.
It is hard to find people that have the following set of skills:
- Working knowledge of home repairs and trouble shooting
- Critical diagnostic skills that can be applied blindfolded (or over the phone)
- Communication skills to get the information needed from the tenant
- Computer skills to document all of this
- Multitasking skills to handle hundreds of moving parts.
The tendency is to offer these individual less then what a property manager makes. In all honesty you are looking to get individuals with years of experience. This is one area where the least expensive way is not the best.
I am currently working on a model where I have an in house trouble shoot with a sharp virtual assistant.