From time to time, every property needs regular upkeep and repair. When important items are left unattended it'll begin to underperform and lose its functionality, leaving your tenants unhappy and dissatisfied. So how do you prevent maintenance problems in the first place? Start by understanding the source of the problem.
The Maintenance Trap
Imagine that you had an eviction in your property and the former tenant caused several maintenance issues. However, you don’t want to keep losing money, so you fill the property despite the problems. Unfortunately, because the property is in disrepair, you can’t attract ideal tenants. You settle for a tenant who is less likely to alert you to maintenance issues and is more likely to cause them. So, your property degrades even after you’ve fixed your first maintenance problems. It becomes harder to find quality tenants and the cycle continues.
This scenario is a common example of what we refer to as the "maintenance trap".
You can also fall into the maintenance trap by having poor communication with your tenants. They need to see you as a professional who responds well to their concerns and cares about the property. With ideal lines of communication, your tenants will inform you of problems right away.
However, if you don’t have great communication with your tenants you won’t be able to address a maintenance problem immediately. Small leaks can become water damaged walls, simple clogs can become pipe-bursting problems, and a broken lock can lead to a break-in and more damage. It’s important to deal with small maintenance tasks before they cause larger problems.
Other Property Owner Mishaps
One major mistake property owners make when trying to handle maintenance issues is not addressing the issue in a timely fashion. If your tenant alerts you about a problem, fix that problem right away. This prevents the problem from becoming more serious and tenants will be more content with responsive property managers who care about their property and concerns. The tenant will always be the first to notice property maintenance issues, so maintaining their trust is imperative.
Don't Cut Corners With Contractors
Another mistake property managers make is choosing low-cost maintenance solutions or hiring sub-par contractors. It makes sense to save money where you can, but sacrificing repair quality for smaller costs is a mistake in the long-run. You’ll spend more time returning to fix a problem that wasn’t handled properly the first time. The problem may get worse after a botched repair job. What’s worse, you’ll erode your tenant’s trust when you choose low-cost repair options that require several attempts to properly fix.
On the other hand, the most expensive contractor isn’t the best either. Inexperienced property managers can easily be tricked by the highest prices, believing that high-priced contractors must have the most skill. Instead, having a basic understanding of home maintenance topics from HVAC systems to electrical codes will prevent you from being taken advantage of. With some basic knowledge, you can assess if the contractor knows what they are talking about and if they are doing what is best for the property.
Professional Property Management Services
Hiring a professional property management company is the simplest way for you to avoid property maintenance issues. Central Erin Property Management has the excellent communication skills, timely responses, home maintenance knowledge and connections with skilled contractors that will ensure your property performs as it should.