No job is easy, and there’s no job that’s not at least a bit stressful from time to time. Being a property manager is definitely no exception, regardless of the popular perception. Being in charge of so many different properties, trying to keep up with every single one of them, fixing different things that need fixing and still having to pay attention to all the potential clients can certainly take its toll. Now, it’s very important that you tried to do whatever you can to make this job just a bit easier for you, and there definitely are ways. So, what are the most important tips for property maintenance and upkeep if you’re a property manager? Where to start?
Mind how you choose your tenants
If you have a certain vacancy, then you probably won’t pay any attention to the tenants themselves. This happens mostly because you want to keep the revenue flowing so you will do whatever you can to fill in that vacancy as soon as possible. However, what you need to do is spend a bit of time trying to differentiate the good tenants from the bad ones. There are ones who stick around for a longer period of time, pay regularly, don’t do any damage to the property and keep it well-maintained for you – and these are the tenants that you want. If you see that your new potential tenants are hesitant to complete an application or if they’ve had plenty of different jobs and addresses in the past year or two, it would be a good idea to let them go. There are also other ways in which you can spot a bad tenant, but bear in mind that this is one of the most important tips for property maintenance.
Have “the guy” for everything
You never know what’s waiting behind the corner – a leaky pipe, a bad paint job or a door that won’t properly shut or lock. In order to have everything in control and still save some time is to have the phone number of any handymen that you need. The most important phone number to have is that of a plumber – a plumbing problem is indeed the biggest problem when it comes to property maintenance. Try to find a good one who will always be there for you and whose work you know is good. What you could also do is build up a good rapport with them and make sure that they’ll always be available for you, no matter when you call them.
Make use of the technology
It might be pretty tricky to manage more than one property, especially because you have to keep track of all the things that need to be done. Now, bear in mind that this is where you need to make use of the technology that’s available to you (and hey, we do live in the 21st century!). Having a good property management software will, for instance, help you keep track of all the day-to-day to-dos and tasks, it will definitely save you some time and more importantly, money on a personal assistant in case you need one. You can of course opt for the pen and paper technique but this could make the whole process even more disorganized and you might get lost in all the spreadsheets. Opting for this kind of software will help you schedule maintenance for individual properties, keep track of vacancies and your finances and much more. Definitely a thing you should consider.
Mind the nature
Even though it seems unimportant, keeping the nature around your property in perfect order is extremely important. First of all, they provide a nice aesthetic for your tenants, which is always a good advantage, and also healthy, which might attract more clients. However, this is also important as you don’t want to have neglected trees around your property. They can pose a lot of problems – tree branches can sometimes fall and damage your roof, they can mess with the power lines or even block entrances into the parking lots. Moreover, tree roots can damage the asphalt surface which is never aesthetically pleasing and create tripping hazards.
Keep everything clean
Just like you have to keep your trees, flowers or bushes in perfect shape, you need to make sure everything is rather clean, especially your parking lot and the area in front and next to your property. The most obvious reason is aesthetics, as keeping everything neat will attract more clients. The parking space is very important nowadays, so keeping it clean, neat and well-maintained means that your tenants will be able to use it for a longer period of time, which is always a plus.
Speak with your clients
If you want to be the perfect property manager, you need to maintain not only your property, but your relationship with your tenants and clients as well. There certainly are landlords and property managers who are very reserved, which is never advisable. Your tenants want to have a hands-on landlord or a manager, especially when they’re experiencing a problem or when they have a complaint. Give your clients numerous ways to reach you – this is always a plus.
Finally, if you need some extra help in this department, don’t be scared to ask for help. You might also want to spend a bit more in order to get that parking lot cleaned or those trees around your property trimmed, but this will definitely pay off in the end.
By Mike Johnston