As a real estate investor who wants to maximize profits and minimize expenses, you know that it’s important to keep your rental properties well-maintained. Regular property maintenance and repairs are essential for ensuring that your investment is running smoothly. Preventative maintenance will also protect the condition of your investment and increase its value.
Working to keep your rental property in top shape will require a great team of vendors, a schedule of inspections, and a commitment to responsive maintenance practices.
Here are some of the specific actions we recommend you take.
Partner with Tenants on a Responsive Maintenance Process
Property maintenance needs to be completed on a regular basis. Avoid deferred and unreported repairs, which will only be more expensive and difficult than responding to issues while they’re minor.
To respond to repairs as they’re needed, your tenants will need to understand the importance of making maintenance requests in a timely manner. Help them understand that you want to know immediately when something is wrong, even if it’s minor. Set up a process for reporting emergencies (probably a phone call is best), and also for reporting routine repairs. This process is better done in writing. When the maintenance need is documented, you can track when it was received, how it was responded to, and what the ultimate outcome was.
Respond with a sense of urgency. Taking care of repairs and replacements right away is cheaper for you, it protects the long-term condition of your property, and it demonstrates to your tenants that you care about their comfort and your property.
Budget for Rental Property Repair Costs
Put together a budget that addresses your routine and preventative maintenance costs. Leave a reserve for emergency repairs as well, since you’ll rarely expect them and they’ll almost always be more expensive than you imagined.
The amount you need to set aside will depend on your property’s age and condition. Start with something like 10 percent of the rent you collect every month. If you can save that in a maintenance reserve, it will grow steadily from month to month, especially if it’s not used. When an emergency repair is needed, you won’t have to be anxious about paying for it.
Put Together a Preferred Vendor List
If you’re a hands-on landlord, it may be tempting to try tackling some property repairs yourself, especially if they seem relatively small or manageable. Fight this urge. It’s better to hire a professional who is experienced, licensed, and insured. Not only will this save you time, it will also ensure that the job is done correctly the first time (which could potentially save you money down the line).
Verify licensure and insurance. This will protect them while they’re working at your property, and it will also protect you from any potential liability that could result if a worker is injured at your rental home.
When you’re looking for vendors, ask for referrals. Read reviews. Make sure they have experience with rental properties, and look for vendors with whom you can develop a long term relationship. This will save you money and reduce the wait time when you need emergency help.
Properly maintaining your rental property is essential for protecting its value. This attention to maintenance will also deliver a better rental experience for your tenants, which means you’ll have fewer turnover and vacancy costs.
Does this seem overwhelming? Reach out to a professional property manager, and you won’t have to worry about maintaining your home at all. We’ll do it for you.
Contact our team at Oceans Managing Group by calling (386) 255-8585, or visit www.oceanspropertymanagement.com for support and resources around property rental home maintenance.