Preventative Maintenance: The Unsung Hero of Property Management

Preventative Maintenance: The Unsung Hero of Property Management

In all great success stories, the hero is the character that cleans up the mess. It’s the surgeon that removes the tumor, the detective that chases down the criminal, the fearless firefighters that save structures and endure the flames of fatal destruction.

But the heroes who prevent disaster from striking don’t get any credit. That’s what we’re here to talk about. It is time for the superhero archetypes to take a coffee break.

In the world of property management, the unsung hero is preventative maintenance. Its noble nature is in its silence, so it is often overlooked. Yet it is the single biggest driver of net operating income because less property maintenance = more time for the growth of your business. Not to mention happier tenants.

Landlord and Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Landlord and Tenant Maintenance Responsibilities

Properties require routine maintenance to keep them in top shape. Rental properties frequently require more continuous maintenance than single family homes because of the size and number of residents. Learn the duties landlords and tenants have under landlord renter law, in addition to optional tasks which a tenant may carry on to help keep the lease in good condition.

Complete Guide for Property Maintenance

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Property management and maintenance services might look like two sides of the same coin. Though they're equally essential for maintaining and enhancing your property's income and value, they are different areas. Whether you manage residential, student housing, or industrial properties, property maintenance services refer to activities involved with the upkeep of your property. Therefore, it's sometimes regarded as only a subset of overall property management actions.

Obviously, property management also contains each of the tasks contained in real estate operations, such as collecting rent, property promotion, bookkeeping, and managing rentals. While handling properties requires more than maintaining them, no property owner or manager wants to simply leave such a critical element of maintenance management to chance. Take a little time to learn more about various facets of building maintenance management, why it's so important, and of course, how to manage it better and more efficiently.

What is Property Maintenance and Why Should it Matter to You?

Property maintenance is the plan and activities involved with maintaining your rental properties. There are routine property maintenance jobs, such as ensuring fire detectors are in working order, pool services (if appropriate ), ensuring lighting is practical, and so on. Additionally, there are larger, less frequent maintenance projects like roof, parking lot or walkway paving, etc..

The main reason maintenance is so critical is to avoid the unexpected maintenance issues that could occur if the upkeep is ignored. You can't overstate the importance of home maintenance services. 1 report pinpointed the epidemic of SARS from Hong Kong to bad construction maintenance. Other potential and more prevalent hazards include injuries from falling construction materials, fires, or poorly kept walkways. No property manager or owner would like to face claims of negligence in court, cope with skyrocketing insurance premiums, or expertise poor press and negative testimonials. To avoid serious difficulties, property managers have to think about maintenance among the most important parts of their job.

Besides reducing the possibility of property injuries on your own, your employees, along with your tenants, you want to have a fantastic property construction maintenance system in place for plenty of other reasons too. Consider just a couple of examples:

Increased home value: A preserved property will hold value or increase in value. The lack of repairs will detract from the home's market value and rental rates.

Satisfied tenants: Poor upkeep of buildings, land, and appliances can generate dissatisfied tenants and might break the terms of your own lease.

Reduced prices: An efficient property management program can save money by minimizing risks, extending the life span of appliances and equipment, fulfilling tenants, and decreasing manual work.

Less work: Property managers have plenty of work to perform. Using a construction maintenance program set up, you can cut back the time you spend calling tenants and tenants, tracking work orders, manually entering data in other software, paying invoices, and dealing with emergencies.

It's no secret that you have to keep your house maintained to maximize its own value. Subsequently, this can provide your company an opportunity to maximize rental prices and also be more selective about tenants. When you meet tenants needs, then you also get to appreciate lower turnover and reduce the probability of fees that you have broken the end of the lease agreement through neglect.

Your prudent investment in a good property maintenance program will help improve your profits, preserve your good reputation, save some time, and reduce hassles. You've got every reason to invest in property care providers.

The Way to Provide Superior Property Maintenance Services

At the Maximum level, your property maintenance services must include:

A record of routine upkeep, that you perform on a monthly, seasonal, or annual basis; like this Winter Checklist. A very simple example could include having the HVAC system serviced twice a year or making sure the roof was cleared of debris before it snows. Scheduled maintenance can extend the helpful lifetime of valuable assets and decrease the chance of expensive, urgent repairs. As a property manager, you or your workers may also notice maintenance problems, such as ice on paths, that you will need to address instantly. You require a means to communicate, manage, and monitor maintenance problems to keep your property safe and renters satisfied.

Great property maintenance will supply you and your company with a lot of benefits. By providing both renters and owners the advantages of outstanding upkeep, property managers can even personally benefit by increasing their own productivity and value for their employers and connection with renters.

Still, achieving these advantages requires an ability to communicate with tenants and vendors, handle work orders, budget for work and supplies, and stay on top of programs. To get a handle on how much effort successful property management requires, it's crucial that you drill down from the high-level overview above into the main activities which must get managed to assure appropriate property maintenance.

Respond to Requests From Tenants

Tenants may call in at any moment with maintenance requests that range from routine to urgent. Some examples could include anything from regular requests to alter light bulbs to urgent problems with leaky or clogged plumbing. You might field requests by phone/text or email, and of course, a few of those requests will happen after average working hours.

You need a maintenance management system to be sure tenants are satisfied by offering a handy way to communicate. Tenants also need assurance that somebody is getting the message and fixing their difficulty. Some property managers discover that handling phone calls to report and then ask information about repairs requires more time than simply tackling the repairs.

The very best property maintenance programs make it possible for tenants to publish requests and also track their status online. Nowadays, polls have discovered that customers increasingly want to serve themselves. Self-serve choices make coping with maintenance issues simpler for you and much more convenient for your tenants.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

Property maintenance supervisors should schedule certain maintenance tasks. Some examples could include routine maintenance like cleaning leaves off the roof at the fall or altering HVAC filters every few months. To keep the property, keep expensive systems running, ensure nothing falls through the cracks, and reduce risks, somebody has to manage work orders to be certain these periodic tasks have been completed on schedule.

Without maintenance tracking software, the property manager must spend some time following up and sometimes, communicating with tenants and owners. Fortunately, the same apps that may handle requests from tenants may also have calendar features that allow property managers to program jobs using a calendar.

This type of property maintenance scheduling applications will make sure important deadlines don't fall through the cracks. They can even automatically send messages to interested parties.

Track and Handle Expenses

Of course, property managers also must be certain contractors get paid and expenses get tracked. Without integrated maintenance software programs, the house manager may have to handle each of these tasks manually. This kind of manual effort constantly wastes time and allows for errors.

Good property maintenance software should also integrate with accounting applications and other applications. There is no reason to have to manually take information from the property management app and then enter it by hand in additional applications.

If you're an experienced property manager, you know how much work goes into handling property needs. Once you drill down into all the tasks involved with property management, you will also see that supplying property maintenance service is only 1 task out of many.

You understand why you need to invest in excellent maintenance. An investment in the appropriate tools can help you save money, decrease burden, and generate higher profits.

Simplifying and Improving Property Care

To simplify and enhance property upkeep, you should consider the benefits of these good options:

The ideal property management software will include features that will please clients, building owners, and of course, home supervisors. It allows renters to make maintenance requests online. Following that, they could use the same app to monitor the status of the request and get communication. Many property managers realize that they save plenty of time on telephone calls, particularly at inconvenient times, to warrant the program.

Meanwhile, you,personally, property owners, and some other stakeholders can watch the status of work orders. When it's time to send information to bookkeeping, this integrated application removes the need for manual data entry simply by exporting the information electronically. This sort of software lets you automate a lot of your business processes and improve renter satisfaction through self-serve alternatives.

Experienced property managers can benefit from contracting out almost all the hard work involved with maintenance services for renters. Trained customer service agents may take calls or online requests, troubleshoot care requests to mitigate problems, dispatch approved vendors, and update the property maintenance software themselves. Trained maintenance experts allow you to have a expert care department available instantly with no startup costs or training delays. Meanwhile, tenants, property managers, and the other stakeholders will have access to the requests, so that everybody can track the work order status.

Mostly, hiring property maintenance services will free your time to concentrate on other tasks involved in handling tenants and properties. You may also consider the benefits of making certain that your property is represented by specialized service agents and mended by licensed contractors.

Benefits of relying on trusted property care managers include:

  • Your renters can enjoy the ease of self-serve care requests and tracking.

  • You will benefit from the ease of having automatic property maintenance services managed by people that you can trust.

  • Property owners, investors, and landlords will be happy to know that approved vendors will soon be dispatched to maintain their property's value and reputation.

  • How to Offer the Very Best Property Maintenance Services

  • Care and renovation solutions for investors and owners help maintain property value and reduce risks.

  • Care services for renters keep them happy and also make it feasible to optimize rents, decrease turnover, and hopefully, attract better renters.

As soon as you are able to work more efficiently, everybody involved gains. At Latchel we believe that you cannot get better by staying the same- so we set out revolutionize property maintenance coordination. Want to learn how Latchel can help you save time, money, and work order hassles? Schedule a free consult here:

9 Maintenance Issues that Tenant's Are Responsible For

9 Maintenance Issues that Tenant's Are Responsible For

Landlords cannot control how tenants live their lives, but they've the right to expect appropriate use of the possessions and care of the rental unit. Tenant’s must share some responsibility of maintenance problems. As a landlord or property manager, you should be clearly laying out what items a tenant is responsible for maintaining, so that when contractors must be sent out you have a clear way to bill tenant for misuse or neglect. Below are the 9 things that tenants should be responsible for in any well written lease:

4 Ways to Optimize Your Rehab for Maximum Profits

4 Ways to Optimize Your Rehab for Maximum Profits

Choosing what to include and what not to include on a rehab job is just as crucial as choosing the right contractors. Some work is obviously necessary (repainting a weary house), while other updates are more elective. When it comes to discretionary work, there are some improvements that are worth the bang for the dollar and you will find others that most surely are not.

Here are the key things to create your own “Do Not Do" list in regards to rehabbing investment properties.

Four Ways Landlords Can Hold on to Their Best Renters

Four Ways Landlords Can Hold on to Their Best Renters

Whenever a renter leaves, you have to put time and money into preparing the unit for the next tenants. During that time, you are also missing out on the rental income that you rely on. With turnover being as costly as it is, landlords should do what they can to keep the existing tenants they already have, especially if they’re reliable.

It’s far more desirable to hold on to renters that have things like apartment insurance and pay their rent on time than to potentially have difficult tenants. Even spending a little money on your tenant retention efforts could potentially save you more in the long-run.

5 Ways Property Investors Should Use Technology

5 Ways Property Investors Should Use Technology

While the effects of technology on rental property hasn't been as tumultuous as it's been around some of the other industries, it's been every bit as powerful. That is due to the unique character of the industry.

You see, in this market, the majority of the critical decisions continue to be performed by individuals -- not tech. And that is something which is unlikely to change. Fantastic thing is, the effects of technology on rentals is less about disturbance and more about empowerment.

I’ve listed 5 ways to use technology that are among the most effective ways to empower your property investment business. Here’s how you start to leverage technologies to enhance your rental business.

Housing Market Cools, Home Prices Too High

Housing Market Cools, Home Prices Too High

The affordability of starter-homes has hit a decade low and Bloomberg says that the US housing market is cooling because prices are just too high. First time buyers need 23% of their income to purchase a home. Just a year ago that figure was 21%. The cost of these starter homes is the highest it has been since the housing bubble blew up back in 2008. 

Independent Contractors, After-hours Maintenance Calls, Overtime, On-site Managers: Are You Protected?

Independent Contractors, After-hours Maintenance Calls, Overtime, On-site Managers: Are You Protected?

Are you protected when it comes to paying your employees and independent contractors? Recent legal challenges in California draw from case law in Connecticut may open up the real estate profession to employment questions around independent contractors. In this article, we also review the laws around overtime and on-site managers in California. These decisions may have an impact far beyond California.

Book Summary: The ABCs of Property Management

Book Summary: The ABCs of Property Management

The ABCs or Property Management by Ken McElroy is part of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of books. Like most Rich Dad, Poor Dad books this is heavy in anecdotes and inspiration, but light on practical how-tos or step by step instructions.

Most of the book is an inspirational sales pitch for the property management industry. Towards the end book, McElroy gives practical advice on how to pick the right property manager. If you are already a property manager, this book references many best practices, but does little to tell you how to implement them.

My favorite part of the book was the introduction. It outlines the characteristics and mindset of the best property managers.

Improving Tenant Retention

Improving Tenant Retention

Propertyware just posted a piece on how to improve tenant retention. I summarize the two key takeaways here and add to their list with some of my own thoughts. First, it is important to understand the value that tenant retention has on your business. Many property managers see tenant turnover as "part of the job," but effectively reducing turnover improves your operating margin and can bring much bigger returns to your business. If your fee per month is greater than any turnover fees you charge, there is even more incentive to reduce turnover. In fact, the idea of a turnover fee is against a property owner's best interest as you should see your job as creating a tenant experience that keeps tenant's renting. So here are 3 things that will have the biggest impact on retention - my input comes first.

3 Step Process to Take Maintenance Calls the Right Way

3 Step Process to Take Maintenance Calls the Right Way

I took some time to do a Facebook Live video describing Latchel's 3 step process. The reason we use 3 steps when taking maintenance calls is that it reduces our cost and ensures the right people are taking the right actions for their skill set.

Here's the 3 Step Process along with the video:

  1. Screen for Emergency or Non-Emergency

  2. Troubleshoot in order to de-escalate an emergency

  3. Dispatch a vendor within 2 hours to mitigate damage

Book Summary: First-Time Landlord

Book Summary: First-Time Landlord’s First Time Landlord is a great resource for new landlords. The book’s subtitle is “Your Guide to Renting Out a Single-Family Home”. The book reads more like a reference manual than a guide. It is full of checklists, worksheets, and bulleted summaries of the information you may need.

Property Manager Daily Update: Save Money on Maintenance, Communicating with Contractors, and Retail Gains

Property Manager Daily Update: Save Money on Maintenance, Communicating with Contractors, and Retail Gains

 Larry Alton gives us 4 tips to save money on maintenance during a turnover. You need to focus on cash flow as a property investor. That means getting through turnover maintenance fast so your unit isn't sitting vacant. Here are the 4 tips he gives:

Book Summary: The Effective Landlord

Book Summary: The Effective Landlord

Dan Lieberman’s The Effective Landlord is an essential read for any property investor or manager. It contains the basic formula for acquiring low quality properties and turning them into reliable positive cash flow machines.

  • Attractive properties can command higher rents.

  • Higher rents at desirable properties attract higher quality tenants.

  • Higher quality tenants commit fewer damages and move out less often.

  • Fewer damages, move outs, and higher rents generate greater profits.

  • Greater profits allow you to invest more into making properties more attractive.

  • And on and on as your wallet gets fatter and fatter and your tenants become happier and happier.

Property Manager Daily Update: Checkout FinRET and Other RE Disruption

Property Manager Daily Update: Checkout FinRET and Other RE Disruption

The most recent Door Grow Show podcast features Robert Hsu, of FinRET. They talk about how you can use the latest technology to digitally verify your applicants’ income, account balances, and cash flow. I've personally discussed FinRET with Robert and can attest to the value they bring property managers and landlords. His technological and business savvy have allowed property managers to cut financial verification processes from 5-days down to only 15 minutes AND he allows you to do this cheaper than other solutions. They're definitely worth checking out.

Property Manager Daily Update: Sell Your Home in July and a Legal Q&A

Property Manager Daily Update: Sell Your Home in July and a Legal Q&A

California state law does not require an annual inspection of a smoke detector inside a rented unit; however, the owner is responsible to maintain and test smoke detectors in common stairwells or other common property of the apartment community. Tenants are required to notify the owner of an inoperable smoke detector in their unit.

The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Work Order Instructions (and how to avoid them)

The 3 Most Common Mistakes in Work Order Instructions (and how to avoid them)

At Latchel we have processed thousands and thousands of work orders. Over these work orders we have learned what helps work orders flow along smoothly and what causes work orders to get stuck. Here is a list of the most common mistakes we have found and what to do to avoid them.


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