Property management sounds like an excellent option to earn a large income, and many people get started in the industry focused on this objective only. But like anything else, property management is more than just a profit-generating field, as you need to put a lot of hard work and effort back into it and make sure you are committed fully to the business as a property manager. Having a clear idea of what to expect from a property management career will save you from getting overwhelmed by all the responsibilities and challenges coming with it on a day-to-day basis. In fact, many property managers complain about the massive workload they face and the lack of time to manage everything, from managing tenant screenings and lease agreements up to handling home maintenance plans and tenant complaints.
Of all the responsibilities and tasks in property management, home maintenance is agreeably the most time-consuming one and can require big efforts, especially if you manage multiple properties at the same time. From regular routine maintenance tasks that can take up days and weeks to organize and manage up to unpredictable emergency maintenance calls, it all seems manageable until the moment arrives, and you need to organize everything on time to ensure your clients are satisfied. However, working closely with a variety of property managers, we have noticed that most of the complaints and unmanageable workloads come from common sources, the most crucial of which are working with unprofessional crews and not having good home maintenance plans for each property. In this article, we will focus on home maintenance plans and help you understand where to get started.
Now, before diving into the how-to, it is important to understand what home maintenance plans are and how they benefit property managers. Home maintenance plan is a detailed and pre-planned schedule of all the maintenance activities required to keep the property in a sound and well-functioning condition. In addition to all maintenance activities, home maintenance plans also include a detailed list of all assets of the property, their location, how they are used, and other relevant information.
Thus, creating a home maintenance plan is where you should start your property maintenance, and it is important if you want to achieve successful results. But why exactly start from a maintenance plan, and what makes it so important? In fact, there are many reasons. But to narrow down to the most important ones, first of all, a good maintenance plan will ensure the house is safe to be lived in and all areas of the property operate properly. The last thing you want as a property manager is to receive tenant complaints and emergency maintenance calls one after another, which usually happens when the overall preventive maintenance is not handled properly. This is why a well-designed maintenance plan will ensure the main problems in the house are addressed and lower the costs coming with emergency repairs and bigger renovation problems that arise from poor maintenance.
Now, the question is, how to create home maintenance plans for your properties that will actually work and bring successful results? When it comes to planning maintenance activities and implementing them successfully, we always recommend working with reliable and experienced experts who know the market and can provide their insight in designing your custom maintenance plan. However, if you want to get started by yourself before hiring professionals, here are some tips that will help you create an effective maintenance plan.
1. Start with annual planning.
Ideally, a home maintenance plan will include an annual overview of all the maintenance activities required to keep the house in good condition. This is why it is recommended to start with a yearly overview and list all activities that need to be done each year. Include a schedule for each of these activities to be as precise as possible.
2. Make a list for each season.
Now that you’re done with the yearly overview, start breaking down the year to seasons and identify what needs to be done for each season. Start from spring and list all the maintenance activities that need to be done. If you are not sure about what to include in this section, we recommend researching online and finding reliable resources to guide you through the process. There are effective spring home maintenance guides available online that will help you plan the process.
Some of the most important activities for spring include:
- Cleaning the gutters
- Repairing damaged shingles
- Checking the house for mold
- Repairing windows and doors
- Trimming bushes and trees
Just like spring, move to the summer activities and identify the most important things that need to be done during this season. Spring usually requires more effort and time in terms of maintenance since properties are usually damaged from the low temperature and storms of winter. However, if you do proper maintenance during spring, it will be much easier in summer. Once again, write down all the maintenance activities needed to be done in the summer and create a schedule for each of them to simplify the process. Consult with professionals or research online, if necessary.
Summer maintenance may include:
- Painting the house or specific areas
- Washing the outdoor space
- Checking for any destructive insects
- Maintaining the lawn
Once you’re done with spring and summer, move to the colder seasons and start planning for fall and winter, taking into account all activities to prepare the house for the colder months. There are many important factors to consider, and we recommend doing thorough research if you’re not sure what to include in your fall and winter schedules. One of the most important maintenance activities to include during this period is home winterization as it will ensure the house is well-prepared to endure the harsh climate of winter and not get damaged heavily.
3. Plan all costs required.
Once you have successfully made a detailed plan to maintain the house, it is important to also plan all the costs associated with it to be well-prepared and avoid additional and unplanned expenses. This is why it is important to start planning all services you will need to implement your maintenance plan. If you already work with maintenance professionals, then we recommend you start planning the activities to determine the budget you will need. However, if you don’t have a reliable team to work with, it is important to at least find professionals that will guide you through the budgeting and help you identify how much money you will need to invest in the maintenance plan. This way you will be sure your maintenance plan is good to go.
Once you’re done creating your home maintenance plan, it is important to consult and get professional insight on the overall plan before starting to work with it. Ideally, your home maintenance plan should be realistic, time-efficient, and effective enough to address all areas of the house requiring preventive maintenance. However, if you’re not sure whether your maintenance plan can be successful and ensure the longevity of the house, then start seeking professional help by outsourcing your home maintenance plan and all the activities associated with it. Many property managers choose to go with this option and ensure all the work is being done with the utmost quality and professionalism while they get more time to focus on other, less time-consuming tasks.
Outsourcing all maintenance services has become the most optimal choice for most property managers, as it ensures high quality together with flexibility and less involvement from their side required to handle everything. When it comes to creating a successful and workable home maintenance plan, it is important to find a reliable and licensed partner company that will be in charge of the entire process, from creating a successful and detailed home maintenance plan to executing everything with high-quality and responsibility, providing all professionals and equipment needed and freeing you up from the organization, management, and insurance responsibilities.