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Managing the critical shortage of trade suppliers.

You would have heard about the current shortage of building contractors which is causing massive delays and price increases across the construction industry.

Queensland has been hit exceptionally hard due to the widespread damage caused by the Feb 2022 floods, with many properties still waiting on roof and internal repairs to be completed.

Trade suppliers are reporting staff shortages, wage rises, and increased costs for materials and fuel. With demand for contractors at an all-time high, they can afford to be selective on the jobs they take, and their prices are increasing.

As a result, managing maintenance for our properties has become challenging and we are dealing with delays, no-shows, and cancellations on a daily basis.

Time is of the Essence!

As a property owner, you are required by law to ensure the property is fit to live in and inclusions are all in working order (Section 185 of the RTRA Act).

Of course, any safety issues must be dealt with immediately to protect you from litigation resulting from injury or death.
However, even if it’s ‘routine’ maintenance, such as a broken appliance or other fixture, you are required to repair them in a reasonable amount of time. If there is even a slight delay, your tenants could be entitled to compensation from you until the problem is fixed – even if the delay is out of your control. The current trade shortage adds to the time pressure so if a repair is not approved immediately, financial risk to you is increased.

Something’s Gotta Give…

Understanding that property owners need to make their investments work for them financially, we work with our contractors to try to minimise repair costs where possible.

While providing free quotes was once expected on all jobs, this is becoming a thing of the past. Contractors simply do not have the time or staff available. Even desktop quotes take time and many small operators are working late into the night to get them done. Contractors are advising us that due to lack of staff and time, quote requests go to the bottom of the list as they prioritise work orders. Even if a contractor does agree to a free quote, you can be sure that they will build it into the cost of the job.

A Question of Trust

The benefits of having us as your managing agent is that we can leverage our size and reputation to attract good quality contractors who are careful to keep their prices reasonable.

We have a strict selection process for our contractors, including conducting an interview and reference checks, and confirm their qualifications and insurance. This is imperative for us to place them in a position of trust, which includes handing out keys to someone’s home.

So it all comes down to trust. Of course, our contractors will try to quote on larger jobs. But for many jobs, waiting to obtain several quotes will cause delays and start costing you money even before the job begins.

As your agent, the best advice we can give you is to trust in the trades that have proven themselves to us and don’t delay on approving maintenance.

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