Efficient Maintenance and Repairs: Key to Jackson Property Management

When we manage an investment property in Jackson, our goal is to protect your investment and deliver a better and more profitable rental experience. One of the ways we do that is by focusing on maintenance and how to make efficient and cost-effective repairs. 

We want to share with you some of the systems we put in place to ensure maintenance work is completed efficiently and correctly. Work these into your own process and if you still struggle with maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out for additional resources and support. 

Educate Tenants on Maintenance Reporting 

In order to properly protect the condition and value of your investment, you need to know when something needs work. You have to stay ahead of repairs and replacements, and only your tenants can help you with that. 

So, educate your tenants on the process you’ve set up to report maintenance and the importance of making timely requests. Put together a system that allows you to document the work that’s needed and respond to the requests that your tenants submit. 

Here is how we handle our own maintenance requests. We find it’s both efficient and effective, and our tenants have an easy time with it:

  • Emergency Maintenance Reporting. Establish the standards and criteria for an emergency. Your tenants might have a different idea of what an emergency is than you do, and no one should be calling you in the middle of the night because a garbage disposal is jammed or a screen is loose. Let your tenants know that an emergency will typically involve a flood, a fire, or a threat to their safety. A sewer line backing up is an emergency. A toilet that won’t flush in a home that has two toilets can wait until the morning. 

Emergencies should always be reported right away, usually by phone. It’s more efficient than sending in a written request and waiting. You’ll want to respond right away in order to mitigate any further damage. Always provide tenants with your correct contact information and make yourself available; you have to be willing to respond, even on weekends and even after hours.

  • Routine Maintenance Reporting. Efficiency looks a little bit different when we’re talking about routine repairs. Those general fixes that aren’t a matter of life or death can be dealt with as soon as it’s easy for you to give them attention. And so for routine repairs, we believe it’s better to have requests made in writing. This protocol allows you to carefully and accurately document the work that’s needed at your Jackson rental property. 

Maintenance reporting is easy for us as property managers because our technology enables us to use online portals. Tenants log onto their portal to pay rent online and make maintenance requests online. A portal may not be possible for you as an independent landlord, but you can still collect regular maintenance requests in writing. Ask tenants to email you when there’s a problem. They can describe the issue and even include photos. 

Prepare to respond swiftly whether the problem is an emergency or a routine repair. Acknowledge that you’ve heard from the tenants and immediately dispatch your best vendors to take care of the problem. 

Tenants can and should help you maintain your home. While it’s ultimately your responsibility as a landlord to provide a safe, habitable, and well-maintained property, your tenants are living there. They can be expected to help you maintain your property by communicating with you when maintenance is required, being available at home when vendors need access to the property, and taking care of preventative tasks like changing air filters and keeping the home clean and free of pests. 

Talk to your tenants about these expectations during the lease period so they know how you want the relationship and the shared responsibilities to work. Put all of your maintenance expectations in the lease agreement. Maintain a good relationship with your renters so communication about repairs and replacements is open and transparent. 

 

Asking Tenants to Review their Maintenance Service 

It’s always important to follow up with your tenants after the repair has been made. This should be part of your process, and when you automate the request for feedback, it’s efficient and easy. 

Send an email or a text, asking if the problem has been solved. Find out if the vendors were courteous. Ask if there’s anything else they need. This step will not only help you deliver better maintenance services, it will also go a long way towards establishing trust with your tenants. 

 

Create Relationships with Outstanding Jackson Maintenance Vendors

You cannot deliver efficient and cost-effective maintenance services without a great team of reliable vendors. This is not as easy as it sounds. Vendors are busier than ever now, thanks to labor shortages and an increase in new construction work and other jobs. They can be selective about the jobs they choose to take on, and you want to be sure they’re willing to work with you. 

The prices you’ll pay for minor projects and major repairs are also higher, so don’t forget to work the cost of inflation into your maintenance budget. 

In order to be sure you have a great team of vendors ready to help you when the need arises, we recommend that you establish these relationships with high quality repair professionals early. Don’t wait until you need them. Give them regular work, too, which helps us as property managers. Our team of vendors is always willing to respond to our needs because of the volume of work we provide. This also enables us to negotiate their best rates. 

Always work with licensed and insured vendors. It’s tempting to save some money and get work done faster by hiring any guy off the street with a truck and a toolbox. Don’t do it. You could end up spending a lot more money in lawsuits, claims, and paying to repair property damage. 

 

Prioritize Preventative Maintenance in Jackson Rentals 

When you’re looking for an efficient way to maintain your rental property, focus on preventative maintenance. 

This is the best way to keep costs down and to avoid expensive emergency repairs. 

Here are some of our preventative maintenance protocols for the Jackson rental homes we are managing. 

  • Annual HVAC Inspections

In Mississippi, it’s essential that you have a service contract in place with a trusted HVAC technician who can inspect and service your heating and cooling systems at least once a year. You’ll know that the systems is working and you’ll be able to troubleshoot any minor issues before they become major maintenance requests. With preventative maintenance, you can also expect to extend the lifespan of this expensive unit. 

  • Regular Roofing Inspections 

The roof on most rental homes will last for around 20 years. You’ll want to make sure your roof is in good shape, and have it looked at by a professional from time to time. Get leaves, branches, debris, and pests cleared off the roof and look for areas where water may be intruding into the property.  

  • Be Proactive with Plumbing

Water can do serious and expensive damage a property. Check your plumbing system routinely. Look under sinks, tubs, and behind toilets. Even a slow drip can quickly turn into a major plumbing disaster. 

  • Watch those Appliances

Inspecting the appliances in your rental property is part of preventative maintenance, and you shouldn’t hesitate to replace rather than repair appliances when they’re aging and breaking down frequently.  

 

calculating-money-close-up-min-200x300Efficient Spending and Your Maintenance Budget 

How will you pay for the repairs that your Jackson rental property needs? 

We recommend a maintenance reserve. Some experts will suggest that you save between one and three percent of your property’s value for maintenance needs. You could also hold 10 percent of your monthly rental income in a maintenance reserve. 

Go ahead and structure the maintenance budget any way you want. Just make sure that a budget exists, and you won’t be surprised and ill-equipped when a maintenance expense arises.  

As you know, expenses are going to vary from year to year, and what you spend will often depend on the age and the existing condition of your investment. 

Maintenance budgets are a good way to plan for current and future needs. Additionally, if you set aside a percentage in a maintenance savings account one year and you don’t use all of it, roll it over to the next year. This will allow you to continue building a reserve for any surprise expenses or major repairs. When a roof needs to be replaced, you’ll have a healthy amount of money saved to pay for that large expense. 

We know that different maintenance protocols work for different owners and properties. We’re happy to provide some customized advice that’s specific to your needs. Contact us at Lucroy Residential, and learn more about our Jackson property management plans. 

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