For many landlords and property managers, maintenance seems like the biggest pain point, but, it is necessary for every property. Maintenance can include anything from solving regular upkeep issues to after-hours emergencies to preventing any code violations and much more. Ultimately, there are three main reasons why you should do maintenance on your property.
1. Attracting Tenants & Keeping Them Satisfied
Tenants should be the utmost priority. Try putting yourself in their shoes, imagine coming home after a long day at work, and there is no hot water to take a shower. This is frustrating to a tenant, just as it would be to you. It is important to respond to these requests in a timely manner.
Studies have shown that when you take care of the property, so do your tenants. They see that you care and want to match the same effort. If you respond in a timely fashion to their needs, they will feel valued as a customer. Expert Charles Thompson, CEO of Specialized Property Management says that “Landlords who are slow or non-responsive to maintenance requests are the No. 1 cause of tenant turnover, which is expensive.” When the home is well maintained and the tenants are happy, they generally will want to stay longer. This helps you save money because the average property turn costs are on average between $1,500 and $2,000.
2. Avoiding Larger Future Issues
Staying on top of regular maintenance helps control costs and prevents bigger problems from flaring up down the road. By paying for the small, cheap fix now, you reduce the risk of needing to pay for a larger and much more expensive fix in the future.
Some of this prevention can be fixed by doing routine checks for leaks, rodents, roofs, smoke detectors, etc. When a rental property is inspected regularly, you are able to catch small, but necessary repairs that go unnoticed, before they become a bigger problem. When these small repairs go unnoticed or are neglected for an extended period of time, they may cause significant damage to your property that can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Imagine a small leak around the base of a toilet. After months of water leaking into the subfloor, the flooring in that bathroom, as well as the ceiling on the lower level, need to be replaced. The difference between replacing the wax ring under the toilet (when the leak was caught during an inspection), and replacing flooring, sheetrock, and painting after the damage is discovered, will very likely be hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on this one occurrence.
3. Maintaining Property Reputation
Keeping property integrity and aesthetics can increase the property's potential income ability. By doing small upgrades and continuous maintenance, you can keep your property up to date and looking nice which will increase income over time. Some of these maintenance fixes can include: carpet maintenance (typically every 5 years), Exterior maintenance (paint job every 10 years or inspection for cracks), pressure washing, interior paint job or landscaping.
Maintaining property reputation using maintenance can also help avoid accidents, lawsuits, negligence claims and more. Some potential and common hazards include injuries from falling building materials, fires, or poorly kept walkways. No property manager or owner wants to face claims of negligence in court, deal with skyrocketing insurance premiums, or experience bad press and negative reviews. By doing routine maintenance, you are able to minimize these risks from happening in the first place.
Some of the most common difficulties when it comes to property maintenance are that tenants can call anytime, there is a large range of what the potential issues or routine maintenance could be and follow ups. Some tips in managing difficulties and reducing these burdens are to:
Provide a convenient way to communicate. This can be done via an online portal or a 24 hour call line. Keeping open communication is key for maintaining happy tenants.
Track maintenance status online. To reduce the need for follow ups, tracking maintenance online can be a simple solution. Sending pictures back and forth can show proof that the maintenance job is completed to your (and the tenant’s) satisfaction.
Keep a schedule. This simple act can help you stay on top of necessary routine checks and help manage emergency maintenance needs as they come up in a timely fashion, thus keeping tenants satisfied.
Ultimately, an investment in maintenance and the right tools can help you save money, reduce the burden, and generate higher rental income.
Keepe is an on-demand maintenance network for property owners and managers. If we can help take care of maintenance issues - big or small - at your property, submit a maintenance request on Keepe today and we will take care of it for you.