Property Maintenance : The Least Appreciated Branch of the Property Management Tree.
In a country where 92% of households own at least one vehicle, an automobile analogy seems appropriate. In a state where officials are offering free commuter train rides for half a year to try to pry Rhode Islanders out of their cars, it's even more appropriate.
Preventative Maintenance Can Reduce The Risk Of Vacancies or Evictions
Now, you don't need to be from southern New England to understand that a car needs fuel for it to be of any use. Without gas, your shiny new Chevy Malibu is pretty worthless, as is your F-150 if it can't leave your driveway. Similarly, an apartment with vacant units is of no use to you as a property owner. At Nexus Property Management™ we take pride in our low vacancy rates and our leasing department's ability to place qualified, expertly screened tenants into units for our clients. It is in everyone's best interest that we place reliable tenants who will pay their rent on time, be respectful of property, communicate effectively, and see this placement as a long term arrangement. In essence, Nexus is working hard to keep your gas tank filled so that you, as an owner, can always rely on your investment to work for you.
Most people are also well aware that in addition to fuel, your vehicle needs motor oil. Motor oil helps reduce wear on moving parts, inhibits corrosion, and cleans important engine components. It is also essential in cooling the engine. Oil, quite bluntly, helps combat friction and allows your automobile to provide the value that you paid for. You can get by with dirty oil for a little while if you're looking to save a couple bucks; you can extend the time period between oil changes to keep some cash in your pocket; or you could just skip it altogether and hope that your blue 1992 Dodge Grand Caravan doesn't break down on Great Road with your three young children (who thought they were going to the beach) inside...
The Correct Property Improvements Can Raise Returns.
It can be annoying and seem inconsequential, but spending money along the way to make sure your engine is in great shape is important. Similarly, it is essential that as a property owner who wants to attract and retain quality tenants, you need to keep your units in the best shape possible. If tenancy is the fuel, maintenance is the motor oil. At Nexus Property Management™ we can't stress enough how important it is to take advantage of our maintenance department. No one is excited to pay $60 here, $45 there, for things that seem minor at the time, but these expenditures pale in comparison to turnover costs should a tenant decide to leave or worse, discontinue payment and require eviction (this is the Dodge Caravan breaking down when you were hoping to be soaking up some rays by the ocean). Any good property manager, or any manager of people for that matter, appreciates the value of decreased friction. Keeping up with maintenance in occupied units is essential to keeping tenants in units for long periods of time. Conflicts are rare and payment is consistent not because we found the greatest tenants on the planet, but because you, as the property owner, kept any moving parts that could lead to a corrosive relationship from becoming problematic...and instead kept everything nice and cool by approving maintenance work orders and thinking long term instead of short term.
To close the analogy: our goal is to keep your tank full of the best fuel out there and we are dedicated and skilled at doing so...but if property owners don't change their oil, don't keep up with maintenance of their properties, that tank of gas isn't going to do much for an engine that can't run. Keeping your eye on the long term is essential with any major investment, whether it provides transportation or shelter. Even when you've got the experts at Nexus Property Management™ in your corner, it's important to play your part to help maximize the return on your investment.
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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