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The Secret Weapon of Multifamily Maintenance

AppWork Maintenance Interview with Josh Hayes

When Josh Hayes started as a groundskeeper, few could have predicted his rise to Regional Maintenance Director now at Weidner Apartment Homes. But his journey, spanning properties big and small, new and classic, gave him a unique 360-degree view of the multifamily housing world. We sat down with Josh to glean his hard-earned wisdom on maintenance, leadership, and the often-overlooked ways a well-run maintenance team creates thriving communities.

Details Matter: The Foundation of Excellence

"Whether it's a sprawling luxury complex or a cozy neighborhood building," Josh explains, "the difference between good and great lies in the details." His own journey taught him that. Starting at a property known for its impeccable appearance, Josh learned that details make all the difference. A spotless walkway, a freshly-painted trim – these elements elevate a property, influencing first impressions and boosting resident satisfaction long-term.

Tech Evolution: From Skeptic to Champion

Josh freely admits he was once old-school, resisting the rise of tech in maintenance. But his role as a regional director opened his eyes. "App-based platforms changed everything," he says. "They streamline work orders, communication... it's the future." And the future, he predicts, includes smart homes. "Smart locks giving secure access, remote thermostat control to prevent frozen pipes... these aren't luxuries anymore, they're significant time and money savers for teams and huge convenience factors for residents."

Leading the Charge: Adapting to Every Team

Managing dozens of technicians across multiple properties demands adaptability. "Teams are like puzzles," Josh muses. "Each piece is unique, and finding the right fit is the leader's job." His secret lies in communication and genuine support: "During chaotic times, I'm the calm presence. That lets my team focus on solutions, not panic." This leadership style has proven effective across his career, helping build high-performing teams regardless of size.

Forecasting the Future: Trends to Watch

What's next for maintenance? Josh is bullish on "dispatch" models, where specialized techs serve multiple properties. "Think of it as the Uber of maintenance," he explains. "Better efficiency, happier techs with less on-call stress – that's win-win."

He emphasizes continued investment in tech that simplifies processes. "Today's residents expect it," he says, "And it makes our teams' lives easier. That's the best outcome."

Words for the Wise: Tips for Newbies

Josh champions continuous learning. "Don't be afraid to ask questions, even if it means admitting you messed up," he says to those considering a maintenance career. "Making mistakes is how you grow, and support from experienced techs is key." But what's the one skill he deems most valuable? "Master electrical work. Everything else builds on that foundation."

The Big Picture: Maintenance = Success

Josh's final message is crystal clear: "People lease online, but they live offline. They notice paint splatters, a lingering odor, a broken appliance. Maintenance teams are why residents sign that next lease, so never underestimate your impact!"

The Hayes Effect

Josh Hayes embodies the ideal mix of hands-on experience, forward-thinking vision, and genuine care for his team. With leaders like him in the industry, the future of multifamily maintenance looks bright, focused on efficiency, innovation, and creating homes where residents want to stay.