Savvy landlords know the importance of keeping their units well maintained. Such units make tenants feel comfortable and happy. A little preventive maintenance not only saves on costly repairs but also makes your tenants feel safe. On top of that, your appliances will last longer.
However, it may be easier to keep a single property well-maintained but not so easy when you manage many units. You will need to manage emergency repairs as well as schedule maintenance requests. And for that you will need a solid strategy.
While developing an effective maintenance strategy for your rental units, you will face a major challenge. This challenge is contractors. You need professionals to keep your units in tip-top shape. People who can be trusted and are also available when you need them.
Fortunately, there are many ways to devise a fool-proof strategy for your rental units. And there is enough technology available to advance your strategy and streamline your process.
Why Landlords Need a Maintenance Strategy?
Some landlords out there would not go for a fix unless an appliance is broken. And that is where they pay big price because it is more expensive to fix a broken appliance than maintain it before it breaks down.
This approach is costly and when repeats, can act as a huge blow to your revenue.
For example, HVAC filters need to be changed every three months. And you choose to save money and decide to change the filters only once a year, the dirt that goes inside HVAC system adds up inside. Now it has to work harder to heat or cool your property. Resultantly, you will pay higher bills which could have been avoided.
Developing a Maintenance Strategy
Let us find out how to devise a strategy that we can follow later to keep your rental units in great shape.
1. Find People
Decide who is going to carry out the maintenance tasks on your units. If you are starting out with fewer units, you can manage by DIYing some jobs. However, the best option is to get professional help. By hiring a professional team, you can get high quality work done. On top of that, professionals are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
So, it is recommended to form good working relationships with maintenance contractors. Make sure you find a reliable team.
2. Schedule Regular Inspections
Like a typical approach maintenance should not be about repairs. It should be all about preventive measures. Landlords need to inspect the property regularly for issues especially when a tenancy ends and during renewals of lease. This way small issues can be spotted before they turn into bigger and more serious issues which costs a lot more than regular small maintenance issues.
3. Servicing Appliances
Maintenance strategy should not be limited to fixing and repairing appliances. It should also include regular service of appliances. Create a list of appliances that need regular servicing to function efficiently. Based on that list, create a schedule for servicing.
Communication plays a key role in maintenance of your rental property. It is vital to tell your tenants to inform you about problems as early as possible. It is their responsibility to keep you updated on the condition of the unit. On top of that, they also need to know how to stop potential disasters like flood and short circuit. To do that, they need to know emergency switches.
Using a property management app makes it a lot easier to streamline property maintenance. Tenants can send maintenance requests inside the app and also attach photos of the site. On the other hand, landlords can respond to requests and let the tenant know about when the contractor will visit their unit.
Moreover, these apps help you track repairs. You can notice in the app what breaks very often. For instance, if there is frequent leakage problem in the bathroom or kitchen, it is time to invest in plumbing and fix the leakage once and for all. Don’t forget to notice to your tenants before you send a maintenance contractor unless it is an emergency. It is because, by law you can not just enter your property without a prior notice.
5. Respond Timely
Whether it is an emergency or a routine maintenance request, never delay in responding to maintenance requests. Tenants really appreciate landlords that are responsive. It is best to assess the situation and make arrangements for repairs.
Of course, you need to fix emergency issues like flooding, gas leakages, or problem in electrical wiring. Moreover, urgent issues also need to be fixed urgently.
Other requests like broken tiles, or windows are not urgent requests but tenants would still expect landlords to fix these issues in a reasonable timeframe.
How Tech Helps?
With the advancement in technology, we can find more ways to streamline our processes and make more time available for other tasks. In rental property business, a simple rental app can be used for communication and streamlining the property management. Tenants do not need to send emails that may end up in spam folders or being lost in dozens of emails we landlords receive from different subscriptions. All tenants need to do is to send a maintenance request through the mobile application and landlords can acknowledge those requests at the earliest and keep track of the maintenance tasks.
Additionally, many of these applications let landlords even do more. They can keep a database of maintenance contractors. They can further assign different tasks to different contractors and then make payments. And furthermore, keep tenants updated about the maintenance tasks.
Since, you are making payments within the application and keeping track of it in the same, you can easily figure when is the best time to replace appliances instead of paying contractors for maintaining that particular appliance.
A landlord need be good at multitasking in order to run a profitable rental property business. You will need to make arrangements for viewing, fill vacancies and collect rent payments.
To make tenants happy and get maximum renewals every year, landlords need to keep the property well-maintained. To achieve this goal, landlords need an effective maintenance strategy. This way landlords can not only run a profitable rental business, but also have a great units and happy tenants.