After profitability and quality of tenants, the appearance of your property is of paramount importance. Unattractive, poorly maintained properties convey many messages, none of which are positive. To attract the highest quality tenants the property must be kept presentable inside and out. In order to achieve this, we have a number of policies and programs we follow for all our properties.
Maintenance Schedule and Budgeting
We start each new management project with a walk around and through each unit of the property. We make a punch list of repairs and maintenance items along with a tentative schedule and estimated costs. Within this schedule we prioritize the repairs based on safety, code requirements, and urgency. We then compare this schedule to revenue projections which in turn alerts us to any needed capital infusion calls. By implementing preventative maintenance practices we strive to reduce overall maintenance costs.
Once initiated, we will carefully oversee, and assume responsibility for the maintenance needs of your building, including the units, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, asphalt and common areas. We will keep these functional components operational as long as feasible and then plan for their replacement when they approach the end of their useful life.
Periodic Property and Unit Inspections
We conduct periodic property inspections to ensure that the property is kept up to our expectations. Each property we manage is visited weekly by the assigned manager, and every 2-3 weeks by someone on the management staff. These inspections are to assess the general appearance and common areas of the property.
Each unit is inspected on an annual basis by the assigned property manager. The manager works through an extensive checklist of items to ensure that all functional components within the unit are operating as expected. This also enables us to assess the overall condition of the unit and that the tenant is abiding by the lease/rental agreement by keeping the unit clean and in good condition. This is also our opportunity to verify that there are no unauthorized pets being kept on the premises. We photograph any violations and problems, and discuss remedies with the tenant at that time.
The unit inspections are generally planned prior to any municipal or housing authority government inspections so we can identify and remediate problems prior to the government inspection. Once scheduled, the property manager will meet the government representative and escort them throughout the entire inspection.
24/7 Emergency Response
While much of the maintenance and repair work is comprised of the day-to-day maintenance and repair of minor or planned items, we are on call 24/7 for any emergency situation involving water, fire or a problem tenant. We have a dedicated mobile phone which the designated on-call property manager carries with him or her at all times. Any emergencies will be handled as quickly as possible as tenant safety and building condition quickly becomes our primary concern.
Upon receiving the call, we will assess the problem and arrange for the work to be done by the most appropriate trades people. Within our management agreement, we stipulate a certain dollar amount for which we can react to problems without owner approval. We only call the owner if the amount exceeds our authorized emergency dollar amount.
Maintenance and Repair Reports
Owners will see work orders and receipts in their monthly or quarterly reports. What the owner will not see is a surcharge for the work order as we do not charge owners for responding to and coordinating repairs. All fees associated with repairs are passed through to the owner without a mark-up. We pay the invoice when it is due and document the repair and the amount in our property management system. By logging all maintenance calls we can identify trends that may indicate the existence of a more extensive underlying problem.
In order to accomplish the multitude of repairs we see on a regular basis, we work with a large on-call staff of reputable vendors. These include: general construction contractors, electricians, plumbers, roofers, asphalt repair, appliance repair, handymen, painters, landscapers, arborists, and cleaning personnel. We have strong relationships with these contractors which have been developed over a number of years which results in fast response times, quality workmanship, and reasonable prices.
Landscaping and General Grounds Maintenance
Landscaping and grounds maintenance is often considered of little importance to the overall property – until it’s too late. We emphatically disagree with this practice. Landscaping is the first impression a prospective tenant has when visiting the property, and the first impression each tenant has when walking out their front door in the morning and returning home in the evening. Attractive and well maintained landscaping reinforces management’s commitment to the quality of the property and leaves a lasting impression with all who visit the property. For this reason we meet with our grounds-keeping staff on a periodic basis to discuss the overall condition and to plan projects to improve or maintain the appearance of the common grounds.