The Importance of Routine Maintenance, Part 1

With marketing activity being ramped up in a tough rental market, property managers are sometimes guilty of neglecting property maintenance. Warning: you do so at your own risk. While the majority of property managers are very responsive to routine maintenance requests, sometimes we forget that performing some routine maintenance at regularly scheduled intervals can reduce and in some cases eliminate the need for that emergency maintenance call.
If you find yourself more times than not running around frantically, trying to respond to these maintenance requests, it might be time for a refresher course in Property Maintenance.
There are five separate types of maintenance that property managers should be aware of and on top of. They are:

  1. Routine Maintenance – This area is usually the cause of least concern for property managers. They simply assign maintenance personnel a series of jobs that are to be undertaken at a scheduled time; typically daily, weekly, or monthly. These include items such as regular landscaping, cleaning, and vacuuming of common areas.
  2. Preventive Maintenance – Preventive maintenance can be easily neglected, so it’s important for managers to keep their maintenance staff on their toes when it comes to scheduling preventive maintenance. Changing an air filter or inspecting a water heater on a regular basis keeps maintenance personnel on top of any smaller problems that can be taken care of before they become big problems.
  3. Corrective Maintenance – Most property managers and maintenance personnel spend the majority of their time responding to calls to fix a problem. While a necessary part of property management, and one that will never be eliminated, many problems can be prevented with the proper preventive maintenance.
  4. Cosmetic Maintenance – Cosmetic maintenance is most often performed during the make-ready process. New carpeting, fresh paint, and new light fixtures are often part of the maintenance that will need to be performed between tenant rental periods.
  5. Deferred Maintenance – Deferred maintenance is often found in properties with little to no funds available for needed repairs. While deferred maintenance can provide property managers with a little breathing room, it’s important that repairs be initiated in the near future, or the value of the property can be negatively impacted.

While using good property management software with a solid maintenance module can make scheduling and tracking maintenance work easier, remember that it’s only as good as the person putting the information into the system. Make sure your maintenance staff knows what to look for and what needs to be tracked.

 Posted by Mary Girsch-Bock in Resident Retention