Rental property repairs come with being a real estate investor, and the problem with managing maintenance is that both the tenant and the owner are often feeling displeased and inconvenienced. The owners aren’t thrilled with what maintenance requirements will mean for their bottom line; even an inexpensive repair can seem like a deep cut into rental income and ROI. Tenants get frustrated when things don’t work or aren’t repaired right away.
At Fickling & Company, we respond to routine and emergency repair needs right away. We find this is the best way to ensure both tenants and owners are satisfied and informed.
We’re careful about communicating, working with the best and most cost-effective vendors, and keeping the entire process documented and transparent.
Creating Emergency Maintenance Plans
Emergency maintenance typically happen after hours, and they always take us by surprise. Tenants and owners are taken by surprise too, and there’s a sense of urgency in getting the repair made.
It’s important to ensure both tenants and owners understand the common definition of an emergency. A closet door that’s sticking doesn’t require an immediate response, but a toilet that won’t flush is an emergency in a home with one bathroom. Residents and owners need to know who to contact when there’s an emergency, and there needs to be a reliable and consistent plan in place for managing emergency maintenance.
Documenting Routine Maintenance Requests
We usually expect tenants to call when a pipe bursts and causes a flood or the air conditioning quits in the middle of a hot Georgia summer. For routine requests, we have an online system where tenants can explain the problem and notify us at any time and from any place.
This comes with a few important benefits. First, it helps us stay organized and provides a written record of the work that’s needed. Second, it provides documentation. When a tenant tries to complain that they requested work months ago and you can show that it was only requested a couple of days ago, we are protected and our owners are protected. Both tenants and owners are satisfied and pleased with our online maintenance request system.
Hiring Professional Vendors and Contractors
Licensed and insured workers are a must. We work with plumbers, electricians, roofers, HVAC technicians, cleaners, landscapers, and other professionals all the time. The value and importance of good vendors cannot be overstated; it contributes to a better experience for both owners and tenants. We think it’s important to establish relationships before their help is needed; it makes contacting them in the middle of the night or over a holiday weekend a bit easier.
Communicating about Maintenance and Repairs
We make sure to stay in touch with both owners and tenants while repairs are being made. Communicating more than usual is a good idea. We’ll check with tenants to see if the vendor arrived as planned, and follow up after the work is done. Owners will be able to see quotes, invoices, and descriptions in their owner portal. Both owners and residents are part of the maintenance conversation before, during, and after the work is completed.
When you work with a professional Stockbridge property management company, you can count on maintenance being handled professionally and proactively. We know how to make sure the process serve both our owners and our tenants. For more information about how we work, please contact us at Fickling & Company Property Management.