So as we return to our offices after the Great Blizzard of 2018 we reflect on how we managed to keep on working despite not being able to get into our offices.
I personally ‘fixed’ 3 boilers that had stopped working due to the freezing conditions by diagnosing the potential issue over the phone and suggesting ways to get them back up and running.
I used video calling to look at one of them remotely, which is something we use on a regular basis, whether that is via Facebook, Facetime, Skype or WhatsApp.
With one of them, I spoke to one of our regular heating engineers to ask their advice before going back to the tenants to tell them what to try.
I thought I’d completed a clean sweep of fixes for the day only to be outdone by the 4th call, it was an older boiler that had had faults recently and it was a recurrence of the same issue that needed an engineer visit.
What we sometimes forget to do is to tell our landlords that we’ve dealt with these problems without disturbing them and without incurring them any expense. Most heating engineers will charge to come out and assess any problem which I think is fair enough, but if it is a simple issue that could be fixed by the tenant it really is a waste of their money.
All of our tenants have access to an online fault reporting system that allows them to log details of any problems, it also talks them through simple checks such as the following for :
- Is there power to the boiler?
- Are other Gas appliances working?
- Have you pressed the reset button?
None of this replaces the knowledge and skills of a trained professional of course, as both us and the tenants are only allowed to do basic things without removing the boiler cover but if it gets someone’s heating back up and running it’s a win-win situation.
If you currently have a property managed by an agent who simply picks up the phone for a tradesman without trying to resolve it themselves first, perhaps we should have a chat about how we can help you to keep more of your money in your pocket?