Property Management Maintenance Costs Explained:
Background on the #1 Friction Point with our Clients
Hiring a property manager is a smart move for beginning and experienced property owners alike, but no matter how long you’ve been in real estate investment, nobody likes to pay maintenance costs. Nexus Property Management® takes pride in having its own in-house maintenance teams because it allows us to come in well below industry averages time and time again. This ultimately saves our clients thousands of dollars, but it also places any and all blowback regarding maintenance costs squarely on our shoulders.
The short of it is this: maintenance of your property is going to cost you money, time, and potentially tenants if not handled well, no matter what. By providing regular maintenance, you’re adding value to your tenants’ experience (and your own property) in an effort to avoid vacancy and costly evictions. We are all naturally programmed to be loss aversive, so this up-front spending for the sake of passive results (hasslefree, long term tenancy) and gains can be very uncomfortable as an investment strategy.
Unlike typical maintenance vendors, lesser property management companies, or other single stream business models, Nexus’ incentives align with those of the property owner. It is not in our best interest to charge higher prices for maintenance because our goal is to create a long term relationship with you where you feel the value we add is worth the management fee. Just like we want to see your tenants stick around for you, we want you to stick around for us…so short term profits are not part of our equation. Additionally, the less you have in your wallet due to maintenance, the less you have to pay your other bills, your mortgage, and the less likely you are to see real estate investment as a viable option for you. We do not want to see anyone make that decision because we know all too well what a great opportunity real estate investment can be.
It’s also worth noting that the money you spend on maintenance is money very well spent. Every time you improve the habitability of your property through maintenance you’re putting equity into it. You’re making your tenant’s experience more enjoyable. They’re then more likely to take care of their units and the common area both inside and out. You’re improving the overall shape of the property should you have the property appraised for the sake of refinancing or even selling the property. And it doesn’t hurt that most of these maintenance costs qualify as tax write-offs.
[Learn More: Which Kind of Real Estate Investor Are You? ]
A CLOSER LOOK: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT COSTS
There are two major buckets that the largest of maintenance issues fall into: winter conditions and plumbing. Freezing temperatures, ice, snow, thawing and then freezing again…you name it. Winter factors demand attention and maintenance of your property. From no heat, to burst pipes, to slip and fall potential, and loose stair treads, they’re all common this time of year and can cost you a fortune if not handled appropriately and quickly. Many of those needs overlap with plumbing. Additionally, faulty toilets, leaking showers or sinks, mystery water pooling from above, and heating unit issues are all common problems that can be a pain in the neck. You need someone to handle them quickly and quickly often means costly.
We know this and we know that maintenance needs can pile up quickly. So our maintenance technicians are doing their best to keep your costs down. If you receive a bill from our team and it’s higher than expected, please ask about it. We encourage our clients to ask our techs what steps were taken to minimize costs. Often our technicians will satisfy that request and inform property owners how the actions they took could avoid a larger bill down the road. These conversations are important for both sides: Our maintenance technicians get to talk about the often-overlooked value they’ve provided, which is important to them. And, you get to feel that comfort and value that you’ve hired us for. You better understand what you’re paying for, which is important to us. Like all we do, the goal and result is a win-win for all parties.
[ Learn More: How To Deal With Troublesome Vendors As A Property Owner ]
QUICK RECAP AND NEXT STEPS
Nexus’ franchises have had great success since the company began in 2012. A big part of that success lies in creating strong relationships with our clients based on long term goals. To meet this end, our maintenance technicians are cognizant of the importance of keeping prices down. Unlike many of our competitors, maintenance work is not built into our profit model but instead into…well, as simple or corny as it might sound…maintenance. The work our technicians do helps maintain that strong relationship with clients in addition to maintaining the happiness and satisfaction of your tenants. Sticking you with a high bill is counterproductive, from our perspective.
If you’d like to learn more about our business model or would like more information about nationwide franchise opportunities, see the franchise brochure below. For more direct questions, contact our team and we’ll get back to you promptly.
Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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