What Every Property Manager Should Know About HVAC
If you've managed multiple properties for any amount of time, you've probably realized how essential it is to have a go-to HVAC company.
You've seen it all, right? ACs going kaput in July. Furnaces not heating in January. Tenants are mad; they're badgering you about when it's going to get fixed. Things can get… pretty ugly.
We get it. In our time servicing HVAC systems for property managers around Atlanta, we've seen a lot and heard a lot of stories. That's why we decided to put together this quick guide to HVAC service for property managers.
Before choosing an HVAC company, be sure the company you select is able to tick the following boxes.
1. Priority service is a must.
Tenants in a third story apartment aren't going to be happy when the air conditioner quits working on a hot day. Neither will the business owners at a retail establishment when their customers complain about how hot it feels. When you hire an HVAC company, you need someone who can get there — fast.
Your HVAC maintenance agreement should include priority service. It's essential.
We can't speak for all HVAC companies out there, but our team really gets how important response time is for property managers. If you have a service agreement, we move you to the top of the list for service calls. We get someone there as fast as humanly possible.
Even when you don't have a maintenance agreement, we can typically get there within 24 to 48 hours to address the problem. That's not as fast as if you had priority service, but it's still pretty quick!
2. Get an account manager who knows HVAC.
A lot of contractors use call centers, which is ok just for booking appointments. However, it's very much not ok when you need an answer to a question.
Look for an HVAC contractor who can be your go-to contact for anything HVAC-related. Sometimes, you just have a quick question about something that's going on. You might even be able to solve the problem yourself and avoid a service call if somebody could just give you a straight answer to a simple question!
Call center employees can't do that. They're trained to answer the phone, not troubleshoot air conditioner mishaps. For this reason, we think you should avoid service providers who can't offer you a dedicated account manager.
One thing our property management clients love about working with us is that they have one account manager — someone they know by name. They can call this person whenever they want and get a straight answer to any question or quick, down-to-earth advice about any issue.
While we're on the subject of being candid…
3. Find someone who tells the truth.
We're not saying that HVAC contractors are dishonest, although some are.
What we're saying is that there are many well-meaning contractors who just tell clients what they want to hear. The client is convinced he needs a new AC, so… ok! Let's give him a new AC!
In some cases, the client might not need a new AC. If your tenants are complaining that an air conditioner can't keep up, any number of factors could be contributing that problem. Maybe the ductwork needs to be adjusted, insulated, or replaced. Maybe air sealing the building envelope would be more impactful than getting a new AC.
An honest contractor will look for these things and tell you the truth about what you need - and what you don't need.
In other cases, technicians make commissions on sales, so there's an incentive to sell the client a service or a part. You want a contractor whose technicians don't make a cut of service or parts sales.
At PV, our technicians are paid an hourly wage. They have every incentive to tell the truth and point you toward the best possible solution. There's no incentive to sell you anything you don't need. Ever.
Need HVAC service for your properties?
Our team can help! We service HVAC units for property managers across Metro Atlanta. Give us a call today or schedule service online! We'll listen to your concerns and tell you everything you need to know about our maintenance plans.
And we'll always tell it to you straight.