Property maintenance is the most tasking aspect of owning or managing investment real estate. It is also the key to success as a rental property owner or operator. How you approach this aspect of your business determines how much time you have for other things and the appeal of your rental property to renters.
For landlords or property managers who are handy, their natural inclination is often to do all or some maintenance themselves. That works as long as it does not affect their ability to oversee other aspects of the business, such as marketing and tenant management. But for even the handiest landlord/manager, a time comes when they must let someone else handle maintenance.
Effective maintenance is the key to rental property success
If you want your portfolio of properties to grow, you need a system to let you manage several properties from a distance. That requires you to revise your role from a DIY handyman to a supervisor. With this switch, your building will have the highest level of maintenance. You will always need more time, energy, and expertise.
How you choose to handle property maintenance also underlines the mentality you bring to the rental property business. When you decide to do property maintenance yourself, you are in the employee’s mindset. You will be working IN, rather than ON, your business. Your success will depend on the time you put into the work.
On the other hand, when you view your role as being limited to finding the right people to do maintenance issues and putting systems in place for active maintenance, you evolve into the mindset of a business owner. In this role, rather than manage your properties via direct input of your time, you leverage the time and expertise of other people to scale your business.
Your ability to grow your portfolio of properties depends on finding competent technicians to maintain your buildings. If you can find just one person to handle most of the maintenance problems of the home, you can rest easy. That person is a handyman, and they are your most important ally for property maintenance.
Who is a handyman?
A handyman has training and licenses to carry out numerous maintenance or repair work in a building. Unlike workmen who have specialization in specific systems or structures of the home, handymen have the training to do almost everything. Their vast skills make them ideal for handling the issues that often arise in a rental property.
General handymen and specialized contractors are often hard to tell apart because of the overlaps in their roles. But they serve different functions in the maintenance of your rental property. Handymen and specialized contractors are distinct in the following ways:
- Handymen will handle any repair or maintenance job in the home. But specialists only work with the area they are licensed for; this could be the roof, electrical, HVAC, etc.
- Specialists have more in-depth knowledge. Although a handyman can fix a damaged roof or electrical outlet, they should not be hired for floor replacement or rewiring the home’s electrical systems.
- Handymen are more affordable. Because they work on massive projects, specialists charge more. That is why a handyman is perfect for handling the lesser issues that pop up in a rental.
Why landlords and property managers need a handyman
1. They have a range of skills
To become a qualified handyman, one must undergo several years of formal training and apprenticeship. Handymen are very skillful and can serve as a one-stop shop for all the landlord’s or property manager’s property maintenance needs. They offer you the convenience of dealing with one person for property maintenance.
2. They are affordable
A good handyman will help you save money. The handyman’s expertise and familiarity with the maintenance issues in the property mean they can help you implement a program for preventive maintenance. The handyman can alert you to problems before they happen. You also spend less to fix the problem than when you use a specialist.
3. Improved relationship with tenants
Having someone respond quickly to tenants’ maintenance requests will improve property maintenance. You will have a rental property in good shape and tenants who are happy with the service they are getting. Happy tenants will often stay for the long term.
4. Valuable advice
Handymen know various home maintenance issues. They can tell you when you need a specialist to fix a problem and link you up with the best contractor for the job. At the same time, they will work with that contractor to do the best job.
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