This week has been all about handling maintenance as a property manager. On Tuesday I talked about the importance of developing a proper maintenance plan. Yesterday I discussed two important types of maintenance - emergency and preventative.
Those two are on either end of the spectrum – in one situation you have maintenance that is sudden and critical, while on the other you are performing maintenance that may not seem necessary but in reality helps the longevity of your property and management business. Today we will look at three more different types of maintenance to round out the categories you will look at.
The standard type of maintenance you will come across – and what you probably think of when you hear the word – is corrective. This is basically maintenance that is needed when something breaks. You can’t always predecit these sorts of problems, but over the long run – especially if you use a preventative maintenance strategy – the amount of things that need regular fixing will probably average out.
Regardless of how easy it is to budget, the fact of the matter is that if something breaks, you need to fix it. Hopefully this doesn’t happen too much, but it will happen. Everything has a lifespan and will eventually break – plumbing gets clogged, doors sag and can jam, stair railings can break, etc.
This type of maintenance is most likely what you will hear from your tenants about. If you use a system like Propertyware, you can have a great web based maintenance reporting utility that helps to streamline your process. Receiving and answering these requests in a timely manner is critical to tenant hapiness.
Following the standard corrective maintenance is just your typical day to day necessities. This is usually custodial type work, keeping the grounds and property clean. It is best to create a schedule for regular cleaning of things like windows, sidewalks, driveways, parking areas, hallways, etc. This can of course be outsourced and budgeting this into maintenance is a fairly simple task.
Lastly we get to cosmetic maintenance. This somewhat overlaps with the custodial type work as it has to do with the appearance of the property, but it can be good to separate these things. Cosmetic work on a property is not necessarily a day-to-day (or week-to-week) necessity. This can include things like freshening the paint on the building and gardening, to interior things like replacing cabinetry when it gets old, repainting interiors, and other such details.
You as the owner or manager may seem content to not repaint the interior or exterior of the building every so often – but keep an eye on how it looks. When people live in the building, freshening the look and feel simply by renewing a coat of paint can pay dividends down the line when you look to renew people’s leases.
All in all, maintenance is relatively straight forward. You plan or the unexpected, you plan to prevent and to handle the inevitable, and you just keep the property nice for people to live. This may be required by law, but that doesn’t mean you should only do what is necessary – consider this a place to add value, and to enrich people’s lives.