Cost, time, and service quality are the three main things you want to think about when deciding how to manage the physical maintenance of your rental property.
The time spent on maintenance affects the overall performance of a property. As a landlord or property manager, you want to divide your time fairly among the different aspects of managing the investment. That means assigning time for marketing, maintenance, networking, and improving your professional competence.
The problem with allocating time for maintenance is that maintenance issues don’t announce themselves. More often than not, problems happen when you least expect them and often require immediate action. Maintenance emergencies can disrupt your well-laid-out plans for managing the property.
Every time something goes wrong on your property, you lose money. That could be the money spent on fixing the problem. It could also be the cost of lost opportunities: things you cannot do because of that problem. This cost can influence the overall performance of your property.
On the other hand, maintenance offers you the best chance to save money on a property. That is because maintenance cost is the one expense you control the most. There is nothing much you can do to reduce spending on tax, wages, or professional fees. But you can find ways to cut the cost of maintenance.
Nothing disrupts the life of tenants more than poor handling of maintenance issues. Several conflicts between landlords/property managers and renters are rooted in late responses to tenants’ maintenance requests. This problem can result in lawsuits, elevated vacancy rates, and loss of business opportunities.
Conversely, tenants are likely to remain in a rental property if the maintenance is efficient. That happens even when the building is not the most attractive or affordable. Maintenance that is done promptly and to a high standard is one of the most cost-effective ways to attract high-paying renters and have them stay for the long term.
How do you approach the maintenance of a rental property to achieve decent service quality and lower fees without sacrificing an inordinately large amount of your time? The proven way is to have a service agreement with a professional handyman. Who is a handyman, and how does a handyman improve the performance of your property?
Who is a handyman?
When you have a maintenance problem in your rental property, there are two persons you can call to fix it; a specialist technician or handyman. What is the difference between the two? Handymen handle the minor, quick, and inexpensive projects in the home. However, specialists are better for those bigger, lengthier, and more costly repairs.
As a landlord or property manager, you are more likely to need a handyman than a specialist. That’s because specialists typically take care of things like upgrades and system overhauls. But a handyman is more suited to fix the myriad of things that can go wrong in a rental. Also, unlike specialists, handymen have the competence to fix almost anything.
But does this not make a handyman an incompetent jack-of-all-trades. No, handymen go through a lot of training to become licensed. They have the training to serve as a general maintenance person for the entire home. That is why they are knowledgeable about every aspect of the property. Having a handyman at hand will help your real estate business in unexpected ways.
Why you need a handyman
Most landlords or property managers only contact their handyman when there is an emergency; they do not have a service agreement with the handyman. That is not the best way to use your handyman. If you want to get the most out of handymen, you should have a formal contract with them. Here is why:
1. Consistent quality
A handyman who often works in your building will become familiar with the issues in the property. That person will know the history of the different systems in the home, from plumbing issues to the issues with your roof and everything in between. That will make it easier to solve problems efficiently.
2. Professional advice
The handyman will serve as your adviser. They will tell you when the problems require the attention of a specialist. The handyman will recommend the best specialist and collaborate with that person to ensure a successful job.
3. Lower costs
A competent handyman will save you money by creating a plan for preventative maintenance of the home. Given that the handyman is the one who handles the systems, they can detect problems before they happen and help you prevent them.
4. Preferential service during emergencies
When you have a service agreement with a professional handyman, you are sure of timely service in periods of general emergency. The handyman will treat your home as a priority ahead of other customers who only use the handyman’s service occasionally.
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