Of all the many duties a property manager is responsible for, perhaps none is quite as essential as maintenance. After all, the better maintained your properties, the more you’ll be able to charge for rent, the higher your renewal rates, and the greater your overall investment value will be. That said, property maintenance isn’t always a simple, straightforward task. In fact, it takes strategy and organization. Below, our experts share some guidance on how to proactively and efficiently maintain your portfolio.
Step 1 – Understand your responsibilities.
The initial step to successful property maintenance involves gaining a thorough understanding of the various laws and requirements that apply to the properties in your area. Not only will this ensure that your properties remain in compliance, but it will also improve tenant and owner satisfaction. An example of basic responsibilities include ensuring that properties maintain standards of habitability at all time while they are rented or leased.
Step 2 – Schedule regular inspections.
Property managers should perform inspections on a regular basis in order to confirm the property’s condition, identify an unreported repairs and carry out routine maintenance activities. Not only is this common and acceptable practice, but it’s strongly recommended. In addition to inspections at move-in and move-out, you should schedule inspections of all of your managed properties at least twice per year. Just make sure that you provide adequate advanced notice to tenants (typically at least 24 hours).
Step 3 – Plan routine, preventative maintenance.
Failure of certain systems, such as plumbing and HVAC, can result in significant and costly repairs or replacements. This can usually be avoided, or at least delayed, by routinely having these systems professionally serviced as recommended. Likewise, other preventative measures, like cleaning out the gutters every spring, can help keep your properties in good shape and prevent potential damages from occurring in the first place.
Step 4 – Be prompt with repair requests.
Oftentimes a seemingly small repair can prevent much larger and more expensive repairs in the future. For instance, that leaky pipe one of your tenants is complaining about may not seem like a big deal now, but the water damage it could cause if not addressed promptly could end up costing you far more in the long run. Make sure that you are staying up to date on any and all repair requests. Your properties will stay in better shape and your tenants will appreciate it.
Step 5 – Utilize technology to track maintenance requests and mitigate expenses.
One of your duties as a property manager is to maximize owners’ profits. By implementing the steps above, you can do this much more effectively and efficiently. That said, the bigger your portfolio, the more challenging these tasks become. That’s where technology comes into play. Property management software can help by enabling maintenance and repair requests to be submitted and tracked electronically. It also provides greater visibility for both PMs as well as owners and tenants.
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