To understand how cost-effective maintenance programs work, consider how you approach filling up your car with gas.
When do you usually get gas?
Do you wait until you run out and get stuck on the side of the road?
Or when your low fuel light pops on, do you panic, drop everything, and head to the nearest gas station?
If you’re like most people, you don’t do either
Both strategies are ridiculous.
Instead, you get gas sometime between those two points.
You never risk waiting too long and running out. But you also don’t panic when your car warns that you need gas soon.
The sneakily useful tool called “condition ratings” follows the same logic as a low fuel light.
And when you use them right, it can help you make smart decisions almost automatically (like getting gas before running out.)
What are condition ratings?
Before diving into how you can leverage the power of condition ratings, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.
Property managers should assign a condition rating to each building component after completing an inspection.
The ratings should be based on a scale that’s created beforehand. Every car has a condition rating scale for fuel:
Condition rating scales for properties can be simple (good-fair-poor-critical.) Or they can be involved (1-10 numerical index.) It’s entirely up to you and what works best at your property.
Now that we know what condition ratings are let’s take a look at how you can use them to save tons of time, money, and effort.
#1: Know condition changes
A building component’s condition going from Good to Fair is like a low fuel warning light popping on.
A change in condition provides you with a valuable warning, which helps you make the right maintenance decisions in critical situations.
#2: Know if you need to fix something
The low fuel warning light also takes out the guesswork of when we should fill up our car.
When should you make a repair? How can you time it to save as much money as possible?
Using condition ratings can automatically answer both questions for you.
#3: Make inspection data objective
Condition ratings that everyone understands help make inspections more accurate and reduce the subjectivity of individuals’ judgments.
A good tip for helping your staff on using condition ratings is to provide pictures of components in each condition.
#4: Make inspection data easier to digest
Condition ratings help you see the big picture at your property.
By indicating the condition rating of each component in your inventory, you’ll have a 30,000-foot view of your property’s condition that you can understand by quickly glancing at the document.
This helps with strategy and efficiency.
#5: Make prioritizing and budgeting easier
By combining condition ratings with other risk management and cost evaluation tools, you’ll be able to set the right priorities and make useful budgets.
Ratings not only make the process easier for you, but they help with communicating with ownership as well.