I don’t need to tell you how important maintenance is.
From maintaining HVAC systems to responding to tenant maintenance requests, it’s one of the most important parts of maintaining a rental property.
In fact, it doesn’t really get talked about often enough.
Especially preventative maintenance designed to keep you from having to jump out of bed at 2 A.M. to put out yet another figurative fire.
I’m fairly certain that’s not what you imagined rental investing would be like when you became a landlord.
Fortunately, with some work on your maintenance process and the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
That’s why we put together this guide.
In the next few section, we’ll cover:
- The keys to effective property maintenance management
- Ways to streamline your property maintenance system
- How property management software plays into that
- And a convenient rental maintenance checklist
To grab the checklist now before we continue, click below (we’ll mention it again toward the end, though):
Optimizing the property maintenance process
Before we dive into the various property maintenance services, let’s talk about why optimizing your maintenance process is so important.
Property maintenance is one of those things where having a plan and a process vs. not having one is night-and-day.
Go in blind and you’ll be dealing with sudden and costly maintenance requests from tenants at all hours of the day and night.
And, most importantly, spending more for maintenance than you would otherwise.
But go in with a plan for maintaining the property and you’re able to:
- Mitigate long-term damages
- Reduce the potential for property-related injury for yourself and your team
- Reduce costs due to major issues that can boil over with time such as a leaky roof
- And cut down on surprise repair calls
Not to mention, by having a maintenance plan that handles issues before they arise, you’re able to maintain or increase the property’s value over time.
On the flip side, don’t have a specific maintenance plan and watch damages build up over time that chip away at your property’s value.
4 Keys to effective property maintenance
Now, let’s get into the good stuff.
So, there are all kinds of benefits to having an effective property maintenance plan. But what exactly does that look like?
What are the keys handling property maintenance effectively, in a way that can take advantage of the benefits we just talked about?
These are four of the keys to effective property maintenance management:
1. Streamlined communication
One of the biggest pains with managing maintenance for a rental property, especially multi-family, is the frequent and irregular calls, texts, and/or emails.
One of the first things you need to get down as soon as you tighten your maintenance management process is how tenants communicate with you about maintenance requests.
Multiple communications channels opens you up to mistakes and extra workload managing those multiple channels.
Instead, narrow that down to a single communication channel. Property management software like DoorLoop makes that easy because your tenants can submit maintenance requests from within their tenant portal, giving you one central location to receive communications.
2. Task management
If this one seems a bit basic, that’s because it is– but it’s no less important.
Without an effective system for managing maintenance and repair tasks, you’ll be completely lost in the water.
A task management system includes the:
- Creation of work orders
- Following of that work order to completion
- Assigning to vendors
- Paying that vendor and completing the work order
- And storing those work orders and maintenance records
Workflows are digital systems that allow you to schedule maintenance jobs in advance.
There’s only so much you can do when you can’t plan out maintenance tasks ahead of time, leading you to handle things as they come up.
That’s the worst for maintaining properties, because issues can worsen slowly over time right under your nose, and not appear until the damage has been dealt.
With workflows, you can schedule preventative maintenance and checks to make sure that everything is as it should be.
It also saves you time being able to schedule in advance so you can be more proactive and less reactive.
4. Regular inspections
How often you do inspections is completely up to you as a landlord.
However, one thing is non-negotiable: more frequent inspections are better at helping catch problems before they become a real issue.
You might feel comfortable doing bi-annual inspections, or prefer to do quarterly ones instead.
In either case, while annual inspections might work out for you, there’s a good chance you’ll find them too infrequent to catch issues soon enough for your liking.
More frequent inspections might mean more work, but it will also mean more heads-up when an issue rears its head.
Download Complete Maintenance Checklist
Speaking of inspections, nothing helps simplify inspections more than a good checklist.
With a checklist, you can expedite inspections by knowing exactly what you’re inspecting, and in what order, before you step in the unit.
You also have a simple and convenient way of storing the information from that inspection that’s easy to look back on.
Creating your own checklist can take some time, so we made one you can download for free and take with you.
Click the banner below to download our apartment maintenance checklist:
Then, check out our accompanying guide: The Complete Apartment Maintenance Checklist.
Property management software
Now that we’ve covered the centerpieces of effective property maintenance management, let’s talk about the role that property management software plays in that.
While property management software can’t step into your units and do inspections for you, it’s invaluable for helping you streamline the first three keys:
- Task management
- And workflows
In fact, it plays a big role in simplifying and optimizing all three of those systems that together contribute to your larger maintenance management system.
All property management software is different, so it’s difficult to make blanket statements as one tool might be able to do part of these things while another all.
So, we’ll take a specific look at how DoorLoop’s property management software specifically helps simplify and streamline property management.
Here’s how property management streamlines maintenance:
It centralizes communication into a single platform
One of the biggest benefits, property management software like DoorLoop allows tenants to access a convenient tenant portal that allows them to send in maintenance requests right from the app.
No more receiving requests via calls, texts, and emails and becoming frustrated by receiving requests from multiple communications channels.
Instead, you get all maintenance requests funneled into the same one location, saving you time and headache.
It automates workflows
Talk about a major benefit, this is a biggy.
With property management software you can automate workflows so that all tasks are logged and reminders go out automatically when it’s time for maintenance.
With DoorLoop you can even assign those tasks to a specific team member or vendor, giving you peace of mind that the task will be handled all without you having to lift a finger.
It gives you a complete system for managing tasks and storing work order data
Task management is the core of a good property maintenance system as you need a place for storing and managing work orders, especially while they’re in process.
Without that, your process is a chaotic mess that has nothing to anchor it down.
With DoorLoop, you have a full task management system that allows you to create work orders, edit them and add attachments in-process, assign to a vendor, and pay that vendor out once it’s complete.
Taken together, DoorLoop’s property management software is a simple solution to a big problem.
Not only do you get access to a straightforward task management system you can use to manage all your work orders.
You also get workflows to bring in the power of scheduling and automation to reduce the time investment necessary to handling your property maintenance and furthering streamlining.
Not to mention, you no longer have to deal with maintenance requests coming in from multiple channels, allowing you to reduce the hassle of handling tenant communications while also making your tenants happier.
Learn more by checking out DoorLoop’s maintenance management features and benefits here.
Want to learn more about managing your property's maintenance? Give this article a read!
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