Whether you own an investment property or rental property with regular tenants, no one in real estate can deny that the maintenance of a property can be highly beneficial in the long run. Not only does it ensure that you and your clients are happy with the place, but with the right amount of continued maintenance, you can keep your property from getting devalued or depreciating over time. You might even be able to get it re-valued and get a higher return on investment (ROI) with just enough improvements.
Just as you would maintain your own home’s upkeep, you should place a high priority on the maintenance of your investment or rental property. As the property owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that everything in your property is clean and well-maintained. You’ll find that with time, it’ll all pay off in the end. So here are five tips on maintaining your real estate investment property and keep it looking clean and fresh.
1. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure
This saying has been touted back and forth in the medical field, but it can also apply to real estate, funnily enough. As the saying goes, taking measures to prevent any flaws and damages in the first place is better than having to pay the price for those damages later on, especially if they’re reoccurring damages. A lot of things can cause damage to a property, but they’re primarily attributed to cheap materials and shoddy quality. If you’re in charge of construction, invest in high-quality materials and equipment as much as possible. They might be the more expensive up-front option, but they’ll last longer and save you money on damages in the future.
Get sturdy, high-quality furniture for the interior, or invest in storm shutters for the windows. Find long-lasting silicone topcoat formula for your walls to protect them from moisture and sun damage. Ensure that the roof tiles are strong and hardy and won’t easily break or allow leaks to go through. Invest in a central heating and cooling system and make sure to install smoke alarms or sprinklers in case of a fire. Scope out any potential damages before they even occur and get to work preventing them — you’ll thank yourself later.
2. Conduct regular maintenance
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment or rental property before, you’ll know that your landlord will regularly come knocking or send someone over to conduct maintenance on your unit. If they don’t, they were probably a bad landlord, and you shouldn’t follow their example. Don’t wait until someone in your building asks you to check it out. Regular preventative maintenance at least once a year for all of your tenants is essential to running your rental property. It’ll keep your tenants happy and fix any problems they might have with their units.
While you can try your best to prevent them, sometimes there are just some things that can’t be avoided. Broken toilets, faucets, air conditioning, or heating units are common in all homes that see a lot of regular use. If you own a rental property and an asset of yours has broken, it’s your obligation to find a way to fix it. Conducting regular maintenance is one way to check for any damage and see what you may prevent from happening.
3. Listen to your tenants
If you have a lot of tenants, it can be hard to juggle their needs and yours. But if you plan to keep these tenants and continue your transactional relationship with them, you need to listen to their needs and complaints. Learn to filter through their complaints and criticisms and find common ground with them. The best way to do this is by giving in to reasonable demands, like maintenance checks or property damages. If it’s within your power and responsibility as the property owner to fix or change, then you should.
4. Focus on areas that need improvement
Another way you can listen to your tenants and potentially earn more money is by improving the place or renovating it into something better. Renovating and expanding your rental property should be on your to-do list if you can afford to. You can restore an old house or interior by upgrading it to a more modern design or adding more units and, therefore, more tenants. Some renovations might even bring in a higher ROI. If you ever feel like your property could use an improvement, then don’t hesitate to renovate.
5. Hire a property manager
Being a landlord can be challenging, especially when you’re doing it alone. But you don’t have to. With a property manager, you can leave all the particulars of maintenance and upkeep to them while focusing on more important matters. They can essentially almost be described as your second-in-command. They can oversee the daily maintenance of a building as well as field tenant maintenance requests and complaints. They’ll take care of business for you while you’re away or otherwise preoccupied. Finding the right property manager can be challenging, but it shouldn’t be too difficult if you know what to look for.
Property maintenance is a vital part of being a rental property owner. You signed up for it—now you have to do your best to make the most out of your money. Being well-prepared for anything that might come is the best way to keep your tenants and keep that rental income flowing. Sure, maintenance can get tedious, but it comes with every property, not just rental ones. Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, and most of all, be a good and understand landlord to your tenants.