Maintenance is among the most important factors of property management. If you’re not properly keeping up with your properties, not only will you end up with more costly repairs and expenses down the road, but you’ll also have a hard time retaining tenants, which means a loss of revenue. A formal property management strategy can prevent this and make things infinitely easier. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need a revamp, here’s the framework our experts recommend.
Start with the lease.
Setting expectations right from the start can help lay the foundation for your property maintenance policy. Make it clear upfront who is responsible for what and formalize it in your lease agreement. For instance, you’ll want to specify that tenants have an obligation to take appropriate care of the property. The lease should also serve as a reminder of the importance of timely notification and response. In other words, tenants should notify you of repair needs promptly and you should address issues right away.
Conduct regular inspections.
The next thing your maintenance policy should include is regularly scheduled inspections of each property. By checking things out on a regular basis, you’ll be better able to catch the early signs of a potential problem before it has a chance to worsen (and become more costly). For example, while inspecting you might notice a small leak coming from the boiler. Having that repaired right away can prevent it from failing and causing expensive property damage.
Think outside the box (or unit).
When planning out a checklist for your inspections, make sure you’re including the outside of your properties as well. If not properly maintained, things like roofs, gutters, sidewalks and windows can all break down and result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage. Keep this in mind when giving your properties a once-over. And if you do happen to notice any potential problems, address them as quickly as possible to prevent further issues down the road.
Automate and digitize.
There have been tremendous advancements in technology over the past few decades, many of which directly benefit property management professionals. One powerful and essential tool is property maintenance software. This allows the tenant to submit requests electronically, the appropriate party to be notified and dispatched, and the entire process tracked and documented. Simply put, this tool can revolutionize your maintenance strategy.
Compile a team.
Even if you happen to be pretty handy, there will still be instances in which you’ll need to call in the help of a professional, either because you don’t have the time or the job exceeds your capabilities. In either case, having a list of reliable contractors – like plumbers, electricians, etc. – that you can count on to respond quickly when the need arises is crucial. To ensure optimal results, start building these relationships now and incorporate that list into your property maintenance policy.
If you want to maximize profits and grow your property management business, you must prioritize maintenance. The best way to do that is to establish and implement a formal property maintenance strategy. Doing so will help keep your properties in tip-top shape, resulting in happier tenants and better business outcomes.