Maintenance Officer Janne Kankaisto visits buildings with laptop under his arm

Aalto University Student Union properties are managed by AYY’s real estate team where Janne Kankaisto works as Maintenance Officer.
Maintenance Officer Janne Kankaisto looking at the camera with a laptop in his hand.

Janne Kankaisto works as the Maintenance Officer of AYY properties. If your apartment has been repaired or if you have needed help with a housing inspection when moving in, you have most likely met Janne.

Janne works with technical management and therefore is often in touch with residents  – even daily in some form or other. He usually starts his day by going through emails. The most important thing for Janne is to solve any problems, whether they concern a single apartment or an entire property.

”Sometimes we have acute situations that require urgent measures, such as leaky roofs or sewers, the suspicion of indoor air problems, an inoperative roof ventilator or an urgent need for a pest control visit. I deal with all sorts of situations,” says Janne.

Maintenance Officer’s work requires project management skills

Janne is responsible for the repairs and renovations of student union housing. AYY owns nearly 3,000 apartments, so maintenance repairs are carried out all the time. Maintenance Officer needs to have the ability to organize, as the renovations must stay on schedule and in budget. The goal is to organize renovations in between the leaving and incoming resident.

”First, we will go through planned renovations with the contractor. Once the schedule is clear, we will go over the schedule with residents, especially if the residents are moving in as soon as the renovation is finished. Sometimes household appliances, water fixtures or electrical equipment are also renewed in connection with renovations. We need to get everything done at the right time,” says Janne.

However, the work is rewarding: “It’s brilliant when everything goes smoothly and residents are able to move in on time.”

Cooperation with maintenance companies

Janne also works closely with maintenance companies. He talks with real estate managers almost every day. “It’s important to have close contact with maintenance companies. In general, maintenance companies report detected deficiencies or ask for advice or permission to act in problem situations.”

According to Janne, maintenance companies play an important role in water damage cases, for example: the person on call from the service company is usually the first one in the location to make an assessment of the situation and to call a plumbing service to get the situation under control as quickly as possible.

Janne also goes through properties with real estate managers. “Those are important visits. The best way to see the condition of the building is to go and have a look,” says Janne.

Quality checks with the management of cleaning companies are also part of Janne's job description. The checks are a good way to see the state of cleaning in each property. At the same time, they can evaluate the need for periodic cleaning. Just a little while ago, Janne organized a tender for periodic cleaning for a few buildings.

There are also fire inspections from time to time. Maintenance Officer ensures that sweeping, for example, has been carried out properly and the rescue plan is up to date.

Maintenance Officer monitors the energy consumption of buildings

An important part of Janne’s work is to monitor the energy consumption of the buildings. He receives an alarm email if water consumption has risen to an exceptionally high level. In this case, he must assess whether measures are required. “A leaky toilet seat alone may consume 100 liters an hour. It would cost approximately EUR 9,000 per year when turned into cash,” Janne calculates.

Therefore, monitoring is crucial. Through an electronic maintenance log, Janne monitors the operations and service requests of maintenance companies. “That’s a good way to keep track of whether visits and required maintenance tasks are carried out properly.” Another important tool is a building automation system that allows the remote control of properties. “Through the system, you can check the water temperature, heating curves, ventilation and so on.”

Expertise builds day by day

If you see Janne somewhere, he's more likely to have a laptop under his arm. Maybe you no longer wonder why.

In addition to his other work, Janne goes through real estate bills a couple of times a week: “Quite often I receive bills to a financial management program on my laptop,” explains Janne. The bills of maintenance companies and other contractors pass through Janne. “That’s one way to keep track of everything that has been done,” he says.

There are also many larger projects running on a continuous basis. They are often promoted by the whole team, each team member with its own contribution. As we have noticed by now, Janne's work is truly diverse. “You need to be an expert in almost every field, at least to a certain extent. Your expertise is building day by day and that is one of the best aspects of the job. You keep learning new things. It’s also rewarding when you can be useful to residents by keeping apartments and buildings in order,” concludes Janne.

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