This pandemic has created a lot of disruption in supply-side logistics. Lumber yards, in particular, were hit hard. But really everything has been impacted. Order times for routine parts have been extended to unimaginable lengths. Things that used to take days to stock are now out weeks and even months. Just the other day I was talking with a friend of mine who is in the tech industry. Orders that used to take a few days are now taking 8 months or more!
As they say “Time is money.” And when supply chains get drug out in time you can figure that is only going to add cost and/or inconvenience to the maintenance issue.
To compound the situation, labor shortages are also contributing to delays. Finding good, qualified contractors is not as easy as it used to be. The good contractors are booked out weeks, sometimes months, in advance. We hope and expect labor will return to work in 2022, but there are no guarantees.
Until supply-chain logistics reduce backorder times, and the labor shortage decreases, rental property owners are well advised to expect increaased maintenance costs and repair times through 2022. The increases can be dramatic — sometimes 100-200% of ‘normal’, expected costs.
At Full Service Property Management we have developed relationships with many sub-contractors who have come to trust us. That gives us a slight edge on the labor side of things as oftentimes these contractors will give us preferential treatment in order to maintain the relationship. But even these contractors cannot wave a magic wand when it comes to getting needed parts.
In what has become the norm these past COVID years, we are asking our owners and our tenants to practice patience with maintenance issues, and to expect higher pricing. We will do everything we can to reduce turn times and costs on repairs and turnovers, but there is only so much we can do.
We thank you for your continued understanding and patience.