Effectively maintaining your investment property will save you a significant amount of money over time. Preventative maintenance can be hugely beneficial in cutting down on those costly emergency fixes. Regular maintenance also encourages tenants to take care of your property and improves tenant satisfaction, leading to longer lease periods and lower turnover. Let’s take a look at five vital steps to effective property maintenance.
1. Use tenants moving out as an opportunity for improvement
The ideal time to make major upgrades to your property is of course between old tenants moving out and new residents moving in. This is not a time to skimp on maintenance. In the long run, your property will increase in value as you keep it in excellent shape. Some things to consider include pressure-washing the outside, improving the landscaping, changing out carpets (every 5 years), touching up interior paint (especially doors and trim) and, if needed, fully repainting the outside (at least every 10 years). Remember, a prospective tenant will decide for or against your home within the first few minutes of viewing it. First impressions are vital.
2. Preventative maintenance is key
How do you avoid those expensive and stressful emergency maintenance calls? By regularly checking your property and scheduling preventative maintenance. In these long, hot summers it is imperative that air filters are changed out every few months and sprinkler systems are timed correctly. You should plan yearly inspections on hot water heaters and roofs – leaks in these areas can cause major damage, easily avoided by simply fixing issues before they become chronic. You should also check for leaks in faucets and showers and keep an eye on appliances. It’s also a good idea to utilize residents in helping to spot issues. Find opportunities to ask them whether they have noticed any maintenance issues that need to be addressed – they will appreciate your concern.
3. Have a plan to handle maintenance requests
How you respond to your tenants’ maintenance requests will have a significant impact on your relationship. Perceived inadequate response is one of the main reasons tenants leave a property. Make sure you reply swiftly to any messages and keep tenants in the loop regarding when work will take place, even if you are unable to fix issues immediately. Put together a list of trusted vendors that you can call when needed, and make sure to check in with tenants after work has been completed to ensure the problem is solved.
4. Know how to deal with emergencies
There are some emergencies that require immediate action, meaning tenants may need to call you in the middle of the night. Are you available to answer that call? If not, you need a plan in place to deal with such emergencies. You could consider hiring someone specifically to handle these situations, or you could give your tenants permission to call specific vendors for help only in set emergency situations. As unlikely as it may seem, disasters do happen and costly damage can be avoided when residents are able to act fast.
5. Consider hiring a professional
You can avoid the hassle and stress involved in emergency property maintenance, as well as saving time and money in a host of other areas, by simply hiring a professional Property Manager. A property management company can get your home rented fast at the ideal price, write a watertight lease agreement, receive and chase down rent, handle delinquent tenants, take care of all aspects of maintenance, and be available 24/7 to take those emergency calls. The cost of their services is likely to be covered by the increased revenue and money saved though damage prevention. Plus, you’ll be free to spend more time doing the things you love!
If you have questions about property management or want to find out whether a professional property manager could be right for you, we would love to hear from you! Please contact Trisha at email@example.com or call Peebles Property Management on (530) 370-9188.