Managing Property Maintenance
The first experience many rental property landlords have with property management companies is their search for property maintenance services.
Of course, property maintenance services range from esoteric lawn cutting to technical building & equipment repair. You may have to screen many companies before you find the right mix of services, skils and price you need.
The service of property maintenance is vital to keeping property assets in good condition and to keep tenants leased. Homeowners associations, multifamily developments and even house rental landlords need a property maintenance strategy to avoid big losses, maintain equity, and keep tenants happy.
Value of Property Maintenance Services
- increased property value as assets kept in good working condition
- extends the working life of HVAC, laundry appliances, flooring, roofing, windows, building structures
- reduced costs for emergency repairs, staff time spent, fees, extra financing, and replacements
- save on unscheduled repairs, contractor fees,
- better control of assets and less stress from the unexpected
For the public and for many landlords, property maintenance is property management. Yet, these are actually two separate activities.
Property maintenance includes multifaceted services which we discuss below. Nice to know that you can hire a property maintenance services firm, and integrate them with your property management software (ManageCasa). Let’s discuss all you need to know to improve how you manage maintenance services.
What is Property Maintenance?
Property maintenance includes caring for the landscape, building mechanical equipment and infrastructure, roadways, shared areas of buildings, and exterior elements. The benefits include avoiding fires, floods, disease transmission, bylaw infractions, and avoiding tenant injuries and lawsuits.
The services provided for apartment building managers is quite different from HOA managers or a cluster of single-detached house rentals.
It’s essential to review your property and equipment maintenance needs, and find a property maintenance company with the right skills and certifications. Reviewing the property management company post might help you hire the right property maintenance company.
Typical Property Maintenance Services
Whether you’re a landlord or a busy commercial property management company, you’ll likely need property maintenance service providers to handle these inspection and repair tasks listed below. Some of them such as electrical and plumbing must be conducted by licensed technicians.
- general cleaning and disinfecting of units before showing and move-ins
- lawn maintenance, tree trimming, garden tending, watering and landscaping
- sanding prepping and painting
- swimming pool and hot tub maintenance
- testing alarms and inspecting fire extinguishers
- carpentry, flooring, cabinet and door repairs
- appliance maintenance and repairs (HVAC, washers, dishwashers, water heaters
- snow removal
- power washing, parking lot cleaning
- refuse pickup
- painting and drywall replacement
- storm clean-up
- external repairs to sidewalks, roofs, gutters, and windows
- sign changing and updating
- removing graffiti and wall defacement
- plumbing & electrical
- pest extermination
Winter & Spring Maintenance
The spring maintenance season is not far off. Winter’s warm or cold put a heavy burden on roofing, windows, and heating systems.
For this spring of 2021, you’ll want to schedule maintenance work and put in place an inspection routine that allows you to keep up on maintenance checks as required by manufacturers or your landlord insurance policy.
This keeping of good records of what you’ve inspected, maintained and repaired means your property maintenance provider can accomplish more during the summer and fall. A regular, controlled service is manageable and more cost-effective.
Information collected on property and equipment maintenance is vital for landlords who need to plan financing for future equipment repairs, appliance purchases, contractor service agreements, and replacement purchases (e.g., windows, roofing, HVAC, and plumbing fixtures). Managers need to be on top of these items.
The more expensive your renovations or apartment amenities, the more you need to be on top of their condition. Routine inspections are key to protecting these amenities which are key parts of your renter value proposition.
Property Maintenance Strategy
For any property maintenance company, having a management strategy helps to guide and streamline activities and cover key upkeep needs.
There are 3 different maintenance strategies:
- reactive maintenance (wait for issues and failure to happen and respond to emergencies)
- preventive maintenance (perform inspections in regular intervals to record condition)
- predictive maintenance (using sensors and inspections to establish when maintenance actually needed)
It’s likely your maintenance company will use all three strategies, but hopefully less of the first.
Top Trends in Property Maintenance
- use of energy-efficient appliances
- buying low maintenance appliances
- installing LED lighting
- installing better home insulation
- using property management software to enable contractor automation
- mobile technology online tenant portals via smartphones for automatic maintenance requests
- building monitoring technology such as sensors for heat and water condensation
- property management software with tenant portals to communicate to tenants how to manage their responsibilities for care and maintenance
- self-cleaning roof gutters
- long-lasting roofing requiring little maintenance and repair
Property Maintenance Services
When you don’t have time or the expertise to maintain your buildings, mechanicals, landscaping, and utilities, you’ll be looking for a good property maintenance company to do this for you efficiently. The cleaning and maintenance of equipment today requires technical skills and training. In this way, you’re cheaply leveraging the training and efficiency in maintenance that these providers possess. It’s a bargain for landlords with large portfolios.
One advantage in outsourcing maintenance is that these contractors can respond quickly and they have tools, skills, resources and capabilities you don’t possess.
An additional matter with respect to tenants is that tenants are more compliant and respectful of expert technicians who know why machines or other equipment break down. Their dialog/expert advice with tenants and explanations may carry more weight than your own.
Of course, as with any provider, they make direct contact with your customers and CRM issues can occur. You must screen and hire well, to avoid any over charging, wrong repairs, and tenant relations issues.
Property management companies will often contract out maintenance and repairs to a specialized property maintenance company. It’s a world of specialization now.
Benefits of Maintenance Management Software
If you use a property maintenance management software such as ManageCasa, you may be able to connect directly with a property maintenance firm online. You’ll be in complete control of purchases, expenses, tenant communications, and certain of the firm’s task completion. The lease terms will specify which costs are charged to which account or tenants.
Tenants can contact you immediately via the software for emergencies in their units providing photos of their situation so you can better understand what is needed.
Via the software you can arrange to dispatch them to a property for routine maintenance or emergency repairs.
So, as your portfolio builds, you may still be able to save a lot of money (avoiding property maintenance management companies) and working directly with contractors. If you hire a property maintenance company or property management company, they can adopt the ManageCasa platform too.
You’ll appreciate how a professional quality property management software such as ManageCasa can help you manage your properties, tenants and contractors efficiently.
By April, we’re into the property maintenance peak time of the year. Good luck with your property maintenance management strategy in 2021.
In need of a property maintenance services company near you? Get your sourcing started with California property management companies, Arizona property management companies, Hawaii property management companies, Florida property management companies, Colorado property management companies, Illinois property management companies and Boston property management companies.
Learn more about how ManageCasa can transform who you manage your properties.
See also: Property Maintenance Checklist | Property Maintenance Management | Maintenance | Inspection and Maintenance | Home Inspection Tips | Property Management Tips | Landlord App | Best Rental Property Management Software | Lease Management | Will Rent Prices Drop? | Property Management Strategy | Will Rental Prices Drop? | Rental Housing Market | Rental Property Management Software | Time Management for Landlords | Apartment Rental Price Growth | Energy Efficiency Tips | Renters Insurance | How to Reduce Tenant Turnover | How to Use Rental Property Software