One maintenance call after another: when does it end? When you're a property manager, maintenance costs can eat up a significant portion of your budget. However, you don't need to get to a crisis point. If you're wondering how to reduce your maintenance and repair costs, being proactive rather than reactive can yield the savings you need.
Avoid Extra Fees: Get There Before the Crisis Hits
We've all been there: the water heater cracks or the furnace quits in the middle of a winter's night. These emergency repairs can be expensive. While these types of situations happen, being proactive with your repair and maintenance schedule can help you get there before the crisis hits and avoid huge emergency call-out fees. If larger troubles do arise, keep your warranties handy. Net Integrity recommends spending the extra money on warranties when purchasing large appliances, such as refrigerators or water heaters. The cost of expensive repairs or replacements will far outweigh the small expense you'll pay upfront.
Ongoing Care Can Reduce Rental Property Maintenance Costs
Regular property maintenance includes everything from annual checkups for ACs and furnaces, assessing decks, railings, and steps for repairs, and inspecting roofs for loose shingles. All of these services and more are items that you probably outsource, and all of them are activities that each of your properties will need one or more times a year. Being consistent about your rental property maintenance not only keeps you from being surprised by larger fees, it also allows you to set up a consistent fee schedule with your vendors. Standardizing your costs for specific repair and maintenance activities helps you manage your budget.
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Proactive Maintenance Protects Larger Assets
While a strong maintenance schedule is important to ensure that your tenants are comfortable in their home and that all of the smaller aspects of your rental are in good condition, it's particularly important to ensure that your property's larger assets are in good repair. For example, a pool that's poorly maintained may need significant restoration while a pool that's well maintained is a valuable asset for your property. The larger the asset, the larger the potential cost if it's neglected.
Simple Rules Can Reduce Maintenance Costs
Being proactive isn't only related to repairs and maintenance. It's also about preventing repairs and maintenance from occurring. First, you can be picky about your tenants. Mutual Property Management says that by being extremely selective during the tenant screening process, property managers are able to select a tenant who has a proven history of taking excellent care of previously rented properties.
While you have a damage deposit from your tenants, it's better to be proactive and avoid using that deposit if at all possible. Regular property inspections and simple guidelines that encourage tenants to smoke outdoors can make a big impact on the future repairs and maintenance that you need to do on your rental properties. You can also add a list of simple maintenance activities to your agreement with your tenants, saving money and making your property more livable.
Maintenance Gives You Access to the Best Vendors and Contractors
When you've planned ahead, it's much easier to plan for cost savings and high-quality work. Creating a maintenance schedule allows you to contact your favorite contractors to ensure that they can complete the maintenance that your properties need. When you notice that a number of your properties need work in a particular area such as gutter repairs or new windows, you may be able to get a deal from local vendors for a project that's larger than one individual building.
Improve the Livability of Your Single Family Rental Properties
Your tenants want to live in a home that's attractive and comfortable. Regular maintenance can improve the affordability and livability of the homes you rent out. By implementing rules and a regular maintenance schedule with your preferred vendors, you can ensure that your tenants have lower turnover. They'll be happier and more likely to stay in the same location for years to come.
When you need help maintaining a maintenance schedule, Propertyware can help. Our software products keep track of your maintenance needs and records and even provide you with reminders. Sign up for a free tour today.