Local maintenance supervisor, JP Davis can control test a deadbolt key, replace heating coils and drip pans on a stove, install a ceiling fan and carbon monoxide monitor, covert a toilet to a water-saving dual flush system, and replace valve stems on bath faucet. In 2 minutes, 11 seconds. And he calls that “a pretty good time.”

The tasks landed Davis in the top 20 of 3,000 entrants in the 6th annual Maintenance Mania competition, held in Boston during the National Apartment Association’s annual conference. Davis didn’t win the event, but certainly did himself, his company and profession proud.

His top-notch tinkering and handiwork fueled the Boston Globe’s article, “... Handyman Makes His Mark…” which opens by making a distinction between the people we love and the people we need. I happen to think people can be both, but the point was that this competition was one way to recognize the people on the front lines who can make such a difference in our lives. Maintenance personnel are a principal user of our application and services at Building Engines. I’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand the devotion most of them have to their jobs and the impact they have on a property’s performance and the overall satisfaction of the building’s occupants.

Professional maintenance people accumulate years of training and continuous education in order to manage increasingly complex pieces of equipment and systems. They must know fire and life safety regulations and local codes that apply to the buildings they work in. Additionally, they have to deal with demanding tenants and often limited resources. The bottom line is, they are often the people most responsible for keeping the building running and the people in it comfortable, safe and happy. Those are some pretty big requirements for anyone.

As tenants in our own building, maintenance professionals are the people we see and interact with the most. They represent management and ownership to us and are a direct reflection of the company we lease our space from.

I was happy to see the recognition offered by the competition to this deserving and rarely glorified group. They are without question the people we need… and when we are freezing in our offices and they come to adjust the heat, there might be a little love in there as well.