Tenant retention is important; it helps you avoid vacancy costs and it ensures your property remains occupied and maintained.
One way to ensure you keep your great tenants as long as possible is by remaining responsive to their maintenance requests. Responding to repair issues promptly is also good for your property; it protects its condition and preserves its value.
We have some ideas about how to complete those maintenance requests properly and professionally.
Document all Repair Requests
Unless it’s an emergency, you should ask your tenants to make their maintenance requests in writing. This could be an email or a text message or some kind of electronic platform where they can provide a description of the problem and maybe even share pictures when possible. This will help you stay organized, and it will also document the work that was requested and the work that was done. When everything is in writing, you can minimize disputes and complaints.
Emergencies, of course, require that your tenants can reach you by phone right away. Make sure they have all your contact information, and if you’re planning to be out of town or unavailable, provide them with a back-up plan for who to contact and how.
Maintain a List of Preferred Vendors
You need to develop relationships with all sorts of vendors when you’re renting out a home. To be committed to good maintenance practices, it’s important to have professionals available to help you whenever a repair is needed. You’ll want a list of plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, cleaners, landscapers, roofers, and other vendors and contractors.
It’s important to maintain these relationships and get them in place early. You want to have a plumber who is already committed to you and your property before you need one. Work with licensed and insured professionals who provide great work at an affordable price.
Communicate with Your Tenants
If you can’t take care of a problem right away, let tenants know when the work will be done. As you’re working with vendors to schedule work and order parts, keep your tenants in the loop. They want to know that you care about their problems, and it will make them feel better to know you’re working on it, even if it’s not happening overnight.
Follow up with those tenants after a repair is made. You want to make sure the problem was fixed and the vendor was professional and respectful.
Think About Preventative Maintenance
You can cut down on unexpected repairs by paying attention to preventative maintenance. For example, schedule an inspection of your heating and cooling system twice a year, when the seasons change. This will ensure it functions properly and it will also help you identify any problems that might be brewing. It’s always cheaper and less of a headache to catch problems while they’re minor. Have the home treated for pests and insects on a regular basis. Flush the water heater and clean the gutters and sprinklers seasonally. Tenants will appreciate your attention to these matters, and your home will remain in good shape.