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Summertime is here and you’re done with class studies for a while. But that’s no excuse to not try and improve your skills before the next semester in the fall. One way you can do that if you plan on joining instructor Mike Roloff in the Facilities Maintenance Technician program at Pickens is by understanding the wealth of resources property owners and other future customers who need your expertise and skill have at their disposal. These resources are mostly Internet-related and are always aimed at helping customers limit costs to them and helping them find the best possible technicians for their maintenance issues.

Writing out a full list of all the websites and apps customers can now use to find quality facilities maintenance technicians and negotiate effectively would be a very long article. Instead, while you’re enjoying the summer, consider these examples as the types of tools many customers will be using when you find work as a facilities maintenance technician one day.

Estimation Tools

Before the dawning of the Internet, property owners had to rely on their contractors for estimates. As a technician, you, of course, know how much parts and labor cost for many different jobs and tasks. Customers relied on the honesty of the technicians they worked with, whether they were doing small repairs or ongoing maintenance work in a commercial building. In order to get the lowest estimate or at least a general average of what the work should cost, customers would play contractors off each other, asking several different companies and workers what it would cost to perform the task.

Today, there are apps like Homewyse, which provides the costs of materials in specific areas, accurate installation costs based on typical productivity rates and labor costs, and price estimates for maintenance jobs. Users can input their job and find out exactly how much they can expect it to cost before they call any contractor.

Finding the Perfect Maintenance Technician

Services such as Angie’s List have come a long way. It used to be that when property owners needed repairs or maintenance done, they had to Google maintenance technicians and start the process of elimination based on reputation and estimates. Today, there are services that use algorithms to match professionals to customer preferences and what work they need to be done.

As a maintenance tech, you’re more likely to be matched with a customer who already knows your skills and expertise. They’ve sought you out, and all you’d have to do is deliver.

What This Means

Knowing what tools customers will have to find what they need and what you provide will give you more opportunities to market your services better. Getting referrals through Angie’s List and similar services could mean using these services yourself and establishing a profile for yourself there. If you know your customer will be getting calculated estimates for a job you’ve been hired for, make your own calculations and be prepared to show your work, or defer to the estimate your customer has already found. There will be innovations that will hurt maintenance workers in the future, but there are plenty out there now that you can take advantage of.