When it comes to running a successful property management operation, one thing remains constant: maintenance. It’s a necessary evil. And it doesn’t come cheap. Yet, there are plenty of benefits that come as a result. In addition to the obvious advantage of having readily-available, fully operational properties to generate revenue, investing in preventative maintenance can lead to significant, sustainable cost savings.
Thankfully, there are several strategies that can help defray the expenses that inevitably arise from property maintenance requests. Let’s take a look at five of these tactics below.
As mentioned, prevention should be a central component of any property management firm’s overall business strategy. By developing a detailed plan that includes scheduling routine maintenance, you can effectively prevent serious problems before they occur. Think about it. It’s much cheaper to have a boiler serviced twice a year than to replace one that’s broken down due to neglect.
Keep track of all your assets
The more properties you manage, the more challenging this step becomes, which is why using tools like property management software is so beneficial. You can’t plan ahead and forecast potential problems if you don’t have a clear and accurate picture of all of the assets you’re charged with maintaining. Keep close tabs on equipment lists, maintenance histories and inspections. The more you know, the quicker and more effectively you can respond when needed.
Manage your vendors
Developing relationships with service providers is essential to making sure your properties remain in good standing. Having to turn to the Yellow Pages or Google every time something goes wrong is not only risky, since you don’t know the quality of workmanship, but it’s also more expensive. Not to mention the time it takes away from your schedule every time you have to track someone down. When you find someone trustworthy, put them on the list of who to call whenever XYZ happens. And, if possible, work out a deal for fees on ongoing work, such as retainer or discount for exclusivity.
Use your data
With a robust property maintenance system at your disposal, you will have access to a ton of valuable data. Use this information to your advantage. For instance, analyze your data to identify pieces of equipment that may be more cost-effective to replace rather than continue to maintain and repair.
Stay on top of progress
Sending someone out to inspect a property or check the status of a potential maintenance issue is only half the battle. If you aren’t doing enough to stay on top of the progress of those calls, things could easily slip through the cracks leaving you with a costly mess on your hands down the road. Leverage the tools and technology available to you to monitor and manage the property maintenance process from start to finish.
Property maintenance is par for the course, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With the right tools, technologies and strategies, you can remain a step ahead of your property maintenance needs and keep your book of business running like a well-oiled machine.