Vital Maintenance Services for Rental Properties
Whether you’re a single-family landlord, multifamily unit investor, or mixed-use property manager, professional maintenance service providers can contribute a great deal to asset value and profitability.
A key task in property management is the provision of professional quality maintenance and that often involves hirign contractors.
Keeping customers leased, avoiding major repairs and easing asset depreciation adds up to significant value in real dollars.
And with property prices so high, we might try to calculate the full long term value of property maintenance (repair technicians, cleaners, custodians) staff in property management service firms, who are ready to help you.
Without excellent maintenance, many properties are really not investible. Breakdowns and poor operating condition puts stress on your valued tenants and leads to rising costs of upkeep.
Property maintenance pros can help you focus on predictive maintenance. This service/capability exceeds the results from only scheduled maintenance and reactive maintenance (fixing things that wear out or break right away) by inspecting and foreseeing when equipment is actually wearing out. This reduces maintenance costs further.
7 Key Benefits with Property Maintenance Service
- lower actual depreciation of assets, while still claiming normal wear and tear on your taxes
- happier tenants, leasing commitments kept, and the ability to raise rent prices
- fewer big losses via emergency calls and lower costly repairs and replacements
- fewer maintenance tickets, calls, complaints and other matters that use staff time
- increased owner confidence in property management company
- improved brand image and ability to attract new landlord accounts
- focus on predictive management via inspections, rather than reactive management strategy (which increases confidence and more timely service as it’s actually needed, thus reducing the time waste of scheduled maintenance)
Maintaining Asset Value and Business Revenue
Maintenance service companies as an example, not only keep properties in tip top shape, but also help maintain good tenant relations, keep tenants safe, and generate the amazing tenant experience everyone expects.
Property maintenance services are the collective responsibilities of inspecting, cleaning, repairing, and regularly scheduled upkeep of a building or property to avoid safety issues, tenant dissatisfaction, legal costs, and emergency repair of equipment and assets.
Since repairs have to be done immediately in most situation, the cost of emergencies is a significant issue. Often, rental owners lose sight of the dollar value of maintenance services, which might be why maintenance is underappreciated. It’s important for property managers to calculate that dollar value so owners do invest for long term property management.
Finding a Credible Property Service Provider
And if you’re a landlord considering hiring a property maintenance company or a maintenance technician in-house to assist with the upkeep of your properties, and handle various seasonal maintenance projects, you want to hire well.
Whether in-house or outsourced to a property maintenance company, you need expertise and reliability. If we appreciate the technicians and other staff accomplish, then we’re more likely to hire the skilled providers needed.
If rental property financing and transaction costs rise, and tenant turnover is an issue, then landlords may be holding onto their properties longer they imagine. That’s how property maintenance services become more relevant and valuable.
The Value of Maintenance Staff
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a maintenance service worker is $33,337. In Boston, the rate is $54,718, while in San Francisco, pay is $59,297, while in New York City the pay is $50,652 per year. The demand and salaries would vary depending on the age and condition of buildings/houses in those regions. Older neighborhoods and cities, such as Boston would have need for maintenance, especially on historically designated properties.
Consider the amounts local governments invest in maintaining buildings, properties and landscaping, and you realize the emphasis is on safety and getting maximum value from assets.
A key part of maintenance service value is to retain asset value, keeping tenants happy and leased, and avoid costly, major emergency repairs. Those are significant financial management factors. Over the course of ten to 20 years alone, as assets age, the value of maintenance increases. Long term value (LTV) is a factor for owner profits and asset resale value.
- keep equipment serviced and appliances clean, lubricated, and optimized for heavy duty work
- provide specialized skills/training or older or newer equipment
- ensure operations meets government safety standards and other regulations to avoid costly fines and law suits
- keep shared common areas and pedestrian paths clean and safe
- respond to emergencies at any time of day or night
- work indoors or outdoors often in uncomfortable conditions
- respond to risky assignments on ladders, cramped conditions, heat extremes, near dangerous machines
- responding to accident/disaster remediation
It’s advised to set your property maintenance budget at 2% to 4% of the property value. For that small amount you may get an excellent return in work provided. And using your property software solution, time efficiencies help you accomplish more.
What Do Property Maintenance Staff Do?
- learn best practices associate with maintenance planning and scheduling
- routine inspection of property, appliances, structural conditions, and machinery
- purchase and replace damaged materials, parts, and equipment
- understanding mechanical systems and where they are likely to deteriorate or break down (preventative maintenance plan)
- maintenance of heating and cooling systems, plumbing systems, doorways, windows, roofing
- recording maintenance and repair work done
- acquire and maintain their own tools such as floor and power-washing tools, specialized tools, and service trucks (saving you the cost of buying or leasing these)
- track and organize work orders via property management system
- arranging for hiring of contractors for any specialized repairs/replacements needed
- ensuring safety systems and fire detection systems are in working order
- installing new furniture, cabinetry, ceiling fans, lights, fixtures
- repairing/replacing rooftop A/C systems (spiders, bug, snakes)
- working on plumbing, electrical, lighting, swimming pool machinery
- cleaning windows, painting, repairing drywall, and driveway snow removal
- repairing concrete, asphalt driveways and sidewalks
- painting and graffiti prevention & removal
- trash removal
- interior & exterior facade coating and painting and repairs
- cleaning roof gutters and storm drains
- cleaning and repairing signs
The work then is the conscientious and consistent upkeep of operational components of your valued rental property. It’s the maintenance staff/company’s professionalism and service orientation that is the deliverable, although skills and resources obviously come into play too.
The value is beyond the service because buying everything and hiring for everything implies a significant investment. And landlords typically outsource property maintenance when they’re ready to do so.
What is the Cost of Not Hiring a Competent Property Maintenance Service Provider?
One way to appreciate the value is to consider the cost of not doing maintenance at all. How much would the property depreciate and by how much would your rent revenue fall and tenant turnover rise? At first, the damage isn’t apparent but as months pass, the collective prices appears in emergency visits, materials delays, and angry tenants. Sometimes landlords have to be reminded.
- expensive machinery and other assets wear out faster and break down causing expensive repair bills
- mistakes and lack of attention mean you’re not aware of your property’s condition and foreseeing big repairs you’ll suffer
- property and buildings look unclean, unsafe, and working poorly thus reducing property value and rent price potential
- tenants are less loyal, complain more, and are more likely to leave their leases
- lack of certainty about future value of property and the costs to maintain properties
- lengthy, costly periods of non-operational features
- reduces property management staff morale and tenant relations
- repairs, equipment and labor become too expensive for you
- prevents you from scaling up your business for greater profitability
- bills for burst pipes, HVAC system breakdown, roof water leaks, and other emergencies is expensive
Property Maintenance Tasks by the Season
Service people keep your property safe and optimized 365 days a year.
Since property maintenance is a physical job, you must prepare for and manage seasonal-related matters. These services ensure you don’t have to deal with repairs at the worst times where costs might really get out of hand. It’s likely you know about all that by now.
Getting things done before winter sets in is vital.
Snow, wind and ice are formidable forces for any type of real estate. Here’s what your maintenance provider does to ease that erosion of value:
- roof inspection to discover potentially damaging weakness in roofs such as loose/missing shingles, gaps in water runoffs and near chimneys
- snow and ice clearance on sidewalks, parking lots and near doorways
- insulating and winterizing pipes and shutting off external water supply to avoid frozen pipes/spiggots
- protecting vulnerable plants, bushes and trees from harsh winter temperatures and wind
- landscaping, tree pruning of weak branches, and debris clearance
- flushing water heater to keep it in working order
- inspecting windows for leads and energy wastage
- checking HVAC and fireplaces for issues before winter sets in
After winter’s long, punishing conditions, your technician will need to check for broken or worn out components. Cracked PVC pipes, torn shingles, wood rot on external structures, ice buildup damage on eavestroughs, side walk tiles heaved, water drainage issues, debris in A/C unit, swimming pool condition, irrigation systems all require inspecting. It’s not summer here yet, so painting, lawn care, tree trimming, and roof repairs may have to wait.
Summer’s heat, humidity and rain storms test your buildings and landscaping in a whole new way. And summer provides us with a great time to inspect and do repairs. Hopefully, your spring maintenance inspections helped you identify what is needed now. In summer, your maintenance service provider will:
- check trees for weak branches
- check roofing for loose shingles where wind and rain will generate problems
- inspect for damage after major storms
- check for structural issues in the house
- powerwash sidewalks, wood decks, walls, and driveways
- prune and clean out problem vegetation
- check lawns for bug infestation
- aerate soil, cut lawns, fertilize and seed the lawn
- inspect for early insect and pest infestation
- wash windows and replace worn out or damaged screens
- inspect water tank, garbage disposal, furnace, and clean washers and dryers
Fall Season Maintenance
Fall provides a quiet time for cleaning and preparing for the winter season. During the fall your provider will:
- paint exterior surface while temperatures aren’t too hot or cold for the paint to adhere and dry properly
- check eavestrough gutters for good structural condition and clear away leaves and debris
- check for loose shingles on roof any gaps or cracks that allow water leaks
- straighten and affix gutter water drainage pipes
- blow out irrigation pipes and clean out HVAC ventilation pipes
- replace batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and test frequently
- drain garden hoses and later turn off exterior water valves
- check insulation in attic and walls
- inspect windows for leaks, cracks and worn sill boards where water will get in
- store summer furniture
- replace air furnace filter and check furnace operation
- check exterior siding is well affixed against coming high winds
- provide with salt, sand, shovels, or other seasonal provisions
Multifamily and apartment building maintenance service firms will have additional facilities, infrastructure and equipment issues to attend to, including elevators, pool systems, common area cleaning, winter use preparation, summer furniture removal, parking lot snow removal, and building mechanical systems. Those buildings/developments often required licensed and skilled trades specialists.
How to Hire a Property Maintenance Service Provider
- find a modern property management system which includes service maintenance ticket and work order management
- using your property management system, take inventory of all your assets and what maintenance work is needed to keep in a good condition
- determine whether you need specialized expertise, or a part time or full-time general contractor
- determine what your yearly maintenance service budget is
- know what services you and your current in-house staff can reliably perform
- understand what your future maintenance needs to be if you grow your portfolio of properties
- use your property maintenance/management software to assign tasks and create a team communications channel
- use the property management software’s reporting system to keep up on all maintenance tickets in progress
The decision on what you can afford to do, and who you should hire is specific to you and your budget. Rather than focusing on the present only, consider the long term value of good maintenance and what your property value and revenue outlook will be in 5 years.
See more on hiring a property maintenance company, and selecting an excellent property maintenance software solution.
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