A lot of people assume that property maintenance is similar to property management. There is actually a huge difference between the two. In this article, we’ll focus on property maintenance—both what it includes and the known advantages that come with this type of service.
Preserving and ideally increasing the value of owner properties is one of the chief roles of a property management company. Tenant requests should be addressed promptly, and owners provided with a transparent system for seeing how their money is being spent. A competent manager accomplishes all of this with the assistance of both internal staff and their network of qualified, licensed vendors whom they have vetted for excellent cost-effective service.
Contracting with a property maintenance company isn’t just for commercial buildings or multi-tenant properties. There are a lot of advantages to having a contractor come out to take care of your maintenance needs on a regular schedule. For one, it can stop small problems from turning into large and costly repairs. It can also improve your property value by keeping it looking good and in good repair. It isn’t as expensive as you think to hire someone; property maintenance can wind up being one of the cheapest parts of your budget when you take into account the costs it helps you avoid.
We have a wide range of property maintenance Melbourne services at Hitch Property Constructions.
What is property maintenance?
Property maintenance is the application of cleaning, safety checks, and repairs throughout residential buildings. Applying increases the satisfaction of tenants and guests and thereby improves a company’s reputation. This finer reputation leads to higher retention of tenants and repeats business from visitors.
Some forms of routine are used to maintain properties, but most of it is reactive. Routine maintenance includes building walkthroughs, regular cleaning, and HVAC filter replacements. Reactive maintenance includes repairs for drain clogs, appliance failures, and flooding.
Most people tend to assume that property management is similar to property maintenance, but it’s very different. Property maintenance is the kind of service a person contracts when they do not have the time to maintain their property professionally. Busy landlords and commercial property owners can now get a workable solution from us. We preserve the condition of your property, especially if it gets heavy foot traffic every day.
Types of property maintenance workers
There are three main types of property maintenance workers: the property manager, maintenance technician, and janitor.
The property manager is responsible for maintaining an environment that people want to live in or visit. This means making sure the property is always clean and that appliances are in good working order. To achieve cleanliness, the property manager assigns regular cleaning tasks to one or more janitors. To achieve customer satisfaction, the manager assigns work requests from tenants and guests to the maintenance technician. The faster the technician can complete the work, the better.
The technician is an important part of the effective property because they also manage outside contractors that service elevators, HVAC units, and other systems that require specialised training to repair.
Example of property maintenance
In an apartment complex, a tenant notices a leak coming from the ceiling, so they submit a maintenance request through a community portal. The property manager is notified of this request and assigns it to a technician. After the technician finds a temporary solution, they contact a plumbing contractor that permanently fixes the problem.
This process can take hours or days, but true professionals fix the leak as soon as possible by leveraging the skills of in-house technicians and relationships with local plumbers.
Buildings that utilise property maintenance
Companies that own apartment complexes, hotels and community living buildings like retirement homes benefit the most from this. These buildings often have a boiler, several HVAC units, and one or more elevators that need to be serviced. They also have large spaces like hallways, common areas, and parking lots that need to be cleaned.
With the help of reliable janitors technicians and local contractors, this can be successfully applied to any of these building types.
How do the property manager track incoming resident maintenance requests and the subsequent work orders?
A software solution should be in place here. You want to find a manager with a system that does not allow maintenance requests to fall through the cracks and require multiple tenant requests before the work is done. Ideally, tenants should be able to submit maintenance requests online.
How are after-hours maintenance requests and emergencies handled, and who handles them?
Make sure its someone qualified to handle the problem. The last thing you want is an answering machine or someone saying you will have to wait till Monday to get your or your tenant’s issue resolved.
What system do they have in place to practice preventative maintenance?
Preventative maintenance is the mechanism a manager uses to maintain the value of your property and avoid letting small issues become larger, more expensive problems down the road. This involves things like a predefined maintenance and inspection schedule as well as promptly addressing known issues. This assumes owners are willing to make the necessary repairs when they come up. Slum lords may balk, but successful real estate investors know that when you’re in for the long haul, you have to engage in sustainable practices that maximise property values, not short-term practices that delay (and multiply) costs.
Do they have their own maintenance crew?
If the answer is yes, are they covered by workers compensation and are they licensed, bonded and insured? Additionally, are they available 24/7/365 for emergencies?
What contractors do they work with?
Do the contractors carry workers compensation, and are they licensed, bonded and insured? Does the management company oversee the contractors’ work for quality, code compliance and cost-effectiveness? Some owners like to take the extra step of researching the primary vendors that will be used to make sure there are no red flags.
Do they have any conflicts of interest with their vendors?
Beware of relationships that are based on something other than good work and the best price. Vendors reward management companies for their business, but this should be in the form of discounted rates, which benefit the owner, rather than “referral bonuses” that go to the management firm.
What rules do they have in place regarding contractors entering occupied properties?
Make sure they have an established policy here. Anytime contractors and maintenance personnel are entering occupied units, there is potential for trouble if the situation is not handled carefully.
Do they provide itemised statements with receipts for the work performed?
This adds accountability and transparency to the billing process. You don’t want to work with a management company that is unwilling to provide solid documentation of where your money is going.
Looking for comprehensive services on property maintenance? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Do they let tenants perform repairs?
Tenants perform inferior quality work, and their lack of insurance coverage, liability or workers compensation could leave you liable in the event of an accident or injury. Why take the risk of having them accidentally fall off a roof or ladder, electrocute themselves, or flood your home? If they don’t allow tenant repairs, make sure this is written into the rental agreement. If you are comfortable allowing them, at least have the tenant sign a waiver and agree that the manager must approve the repairs.
Do they allow tenants to hire their own handyman?
This is also inviting trouble, and the rental agreement should prohibit this.
What recurring maintenance tasks (lawn mowing, etc.) do they expect the tenant to perform?
This is not considered a liability hazard, although providing these services eliminates the issue of tenant neglect and can improve tenant satisfaction which helps with retention.
What is involved in their process for preparing a property to be re-rented after a tenant has vacated? How long does this process take?
The property should get the usual cleaning, paint job, re-keying, etc., but this is also a good time to consider strategic improvements that will maximise your rental revenue. You want to find a property manager that will proactively offer this kind of feedback on an as-needed basis. The quicker the turnaround time, the better.
The best crew in the world can’t fix what they can’t see. Regular inspections are a critical component of preventative maintenance.
What Does Property Maintenance Involve?
Planning for seasonal needs
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of property maintenance is the planning for the seasonal needs of your property it allows. This goes beyond making sure that appliances are brought online or hibernated during the season changes and goes to taking care of landscape needs. Making sure that grass and vegetation growth is attended to can prevent seasonal changes in vegetation from causing problems regularly. One of the problems that can occur is having the property drainage blocked by debris. This can lead to flooding within the building. If you have a service that can perform the necessary property upkeep for each season, you can avoid a lot of costly potential problems.
The advantages of having someone on call
While many services advertise 24-hour emergency call numbers, those call numbers come with an extra high price. It is better to have an established contract with a property maintenance company that allows for emergency service. Also, in the event of major weather storms that disrupt power or cause weather-related damage; you want to make sure you are at the top of someone’s list in having your needs responded to. It can also save you a lot of headaches to be able to give tenants a number to call should something be needed in the middle of the night.
Making sure that problems are spotted before they become costly
Another benefit of using a professional property maintenance service is you have a technician who knows what they are looking at. They may come to prime your cooler and be able to spot when belts are frayed and ready to break. They can also tell when furnaces may be coming up on needed repairs. This can prevent your major appliances from giving out when you need them most. Preventing repair costs is one of the essential tasks of performing property maintenance.
Saving your time may be more cost-effective.
One thing you can’t overlook is the cost savings in regards to your own time. Many owners forget to put a value on their time and to take it into account when calculating costs. While it may seem like you are saving money by doing some of the property maintenance tasks yourself, you may be losing money in what it takes you away from doing. Make sure you calculate that cost into your budget to really see what you can save with a service.
Reasons you need professional property managers
Saves you effort and time
When you contact us, you will be saving significant efforts and time you would have used to take care of every detail, no matter how minor the issue may seem. When we maintain your property, and its tenants rent it, your tenants will enjoy their stay since our team will always be at their disposal.
Saves you money
The amount of money you would have to spend when hiring a different cleaning crew would be costly. With us, you will also not need to buy the cleaning equipment.
Proper cleaning and maintenance of a property need adequate training and experience. When you choose to work with us, you can expect to get the work done efficiently. Our team has the knowledge, and they are also experienced in getting the job done.
For you to enjoy all these benefits, you need to hire a reputable and reliable building maintenance service provider (just like us) capable of delivering more than what you expect.
Common maintenance myths we don’t believe in
We always do our best to make sure that our clients understand the kind of service we offer. Even though it’s important to perform repairs and maintenance on rental properties, these tasks don’t need to be such a nightmare. Here are rental maintenance myths we would like to clear up:
You will save money when you do the maintenance yourself. Not everyone is capable of handling their own repairs around their home. Well, if you can, this could be an excellent way to save money when managing a rental property. If you are a skilled person and you can handle basic appliance fixes, plumbing tasks, and repairs, you can choose to save yourself from calling professionals. However, how good are you and what of the time you will waste while doing the repair? How long will the repair or installation last? Even when you have the skills, time and money, it is always better to allow a dedicated professional to do the job for you.
Additionally, your tenants want you to complete the job quickly, correctly, and conveniently. There is no need to inconvenience your clients to save minimal amounts of money.
Tenants should do the repairs and maintenance
Other than minor cases like a light bulb and battery replacement, we believe that the financial and physical responsibility should lie on the property owner. The only exception should be when a tenant causes the damage knowingly.
Preventative and Ongoing Maintenance
Preventive and ongoing maintenance of rental properties requires a thorough knowledge of the property, its upkeep needs, staffing required to accomplish the tasks (or contracting with service professionals) and budgeting to accomplish them. The real estate property manager must balance the costs of routine and preventive maintenance with the benefits and desired results. Line items on a property manager’s routine maintenance list might include:
- Cleaning of common areas;
- Landscape maintenance;
- Regular service to heating and air conditioning systems;
- Periodic inspection of plumbing and electrical items;
- Proper upkeep of wood, roofing & other building components.
Repairs and Corrective Actions
Repairs and corrective actions are required when things break or cease to function as intended. Sometimes the repair is of an emergency nature, such as a heating malfunction in winter, while at other times these repairs can be scheduled and done efficiently in groups. It is the responsibility of the property manager to know the difference and to serve the needs of the tenants while balancing costs. It’s also important to take care of small problems before they become large ones.
Construction and Remodeling
Construction and remodelling are a part of the facility and building maintenance. Remodel, or construction of the structure might be required:
- For special business requirements of a commercial tenant;
- To correct obsolescence of the structure; or
- To accommodate the special physical needs of a tenant.
A real estate property manager can be very skilled at all the other functions of management. Still, if they drop the ball when it comes to facility maintenance, the property will experience a degradation of condition, loss of tenants, and declining rents.
Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a huge range of Melbourne property maintenance services.
Advantages Of Professional Property Maintenance Service
Contracting property maintenance services will save you significant time and effort in taking care of every detail, no matter how minor, that comes with managing a commercial facility. If your property is rented by several tenants, having a property maintenance crew in place is a must, and also presents an enormous advantage for prospective tenants.
Aside from timesaving, contracting professionals to do the job they are trained for is also cost-effective. Should you decide to maintain the entire property on your own by hiring a separate cleaning crew, you’ll naturally also need to invest in the cost of purchasing all necessary cleaning tools and equipment, which could be substantial.
In hiring a property maintenance service provider, you simply have a fixed monthly fee that you have both agreed upon. Aside from access to the latest tools and equipment, by choosing to entrust your property maintenance to known professionals, you’re freed from the burden of directly overseeing an in-house crew and dealing with any labour-related issues. The managers of the property maintenance service provider company are your hassle-free connection!
Believe it or not, proper and effective cleaning requires training and experience. In choosing to contract the services of professionals, you can expect higher efficiency, better job knowledge and more extensive experience in getting a good job done—one that meets or exceeds industry standards.
Of course, to fully enjoy these benefits, you need to choose a reliable and reputable property maintenance service provider who can deliver on their promises and live up to your expectations. Take time to review the prospective providers and handle the screening process as you normally would when interviewing and scrutinising a job applicant. Your attention to putting in place this important part of maintaining your valuable property will pay off!