Planning to keep your investment property for many more years to come?
Good. That’s how you build real wealth in real estate, and we appreciate working with investors who have a long term strategy. Buying and holding your investments for as long as it makes sense will allow you to earn consistent rental income in the short term as your investment appreciates in value over the long term. The longer you hold onto your investment property in Pocatello, Idaho Falls, or the surrounding areas, the more money you’ll likely earn with it.
This strategy only works, of course, if you continue to maintain your property year after year.
We think you can maintain your investment property over time when you partner with:
- High quality vendors
- Responsible tenants
- Resourceful property managers
We’ll talk about that. We’ll also talk about how to maximize what you earn as you maintain your property through various tenancies, turnovers, and even vacancy periods. We’ll share some best practices when it comes to choosing and caring for aging appliances, deteriorating floors, snow-covered roofs, and landscaping.
When we think about how to maintain your rental property over time, we tend to focus on preventative maintenance and ongoing improvements. Keep your attention on your property year after year, and you won’t run into the risk of allowing it to deteriorate.
Vendor and Contractor Relationships
Good maintenance will allow you to keep your investment in great shape over time, and an effective maintenance plan begins with knowing who to hire to do the necessary work to repair and protect your property. Maintaining your investment property over time will require you to work with a fantastic team of vendors and contractors. When you invest in relationships with these professionals, you’ll find you can take better care of your investment property. They’ll get to know your home and it how it works. That personal relationship and expertise can help you take care of it now and in the future.
Finding vendors when you need them is not something to take for granted. If you establish relationships before you need them, however, you’ll be able to count on immediate service and affordable rates.
Vendor relationships are one excellent reason to work with a professional property management company. These relationships are already in place, and you don’t have to worry about who is responding to maintenance issues at your rental property.
Property managers have their own in-house maintenance teams or they have access to the best vendors and contractors in the area. These are licensed and insured professionals who stand behind their work. The long term care and maintenance of your investment property will require a great network of vendors.
If you’re managing on your own, start gathering your preferred vendors early. Start with a plumber and a roofer and an HVAC tech, and then keep asking for referrals until you have a great team put together. These are the professionals who will let you know when attention is needed or a seemingly minor repair is actually something more serious.
Working with Tenants to Identify Maintenance Needs
Vendors and contractors are essential when you’re maintaining your property over the long term, and your tenant relationships are equally as important. Residents are living in the home; they can see its needs before anyone else.
When tenants report that something needs to be fixed or replaced, act right away. You’ll want to handle any issue that they bring to your attention because falling into a pattern of deferred maintenance will only leave you with higher expenses and a property that’s deteriorating rapidly.
Train your tenants so they understand the urgency in making maintenance requests. Unreported maintenance is just as dangerous as deferred maintenance.
Tracking Maintenance and Conducting Inspections
To effectively maintain your property over time, it’s important to set up a system where you can track the maintenance work that’s done on your property. You need to know when the water heater was replaced and how long ago your roof was inspected.
Keep track of all your work orders so you know which of your vendors went out to your property last. This helps you to ensure the same eyes are on the same systems. It also allows you to send them information about whether you are having the same problem. You’ll know if there’s a warranty on something. Consistency is important when you’re maintaining your property over time. Good record keeping will help with this. You will always know who is there and when and what was done.
Put together a schedule of routine inspections and keep up with them. Document the condition of the property at multiple points in a tenancy and even between tenancies. This will help you spot what needs to be done now and the next time you’re turning the property over. It provides you with an idea of improvements and upgrades you might want to make. Those are important in long-term maintenance. Wood paneling on the walls from 50 years ago is not great aesthetically or for the condition of your property.
An inspection from time to time will also keep you in compliance. You’ll know if your smoke detectors are working properly or if they need to be replaced. You can check carbon monoxide detectors and filters as well. Look for leaks and cracks and make sure nothing is a code violation within the property. Create a full report of the complete property inspection, including photos.
Preventative Maintenance for Long Term Investment Properties
You need to keep your property safe and habitable over the next year, five years, decade – even longer.
To do that, preventative maintenance is essential. We have four preventative maintenance items that you should check while you’re conducting your inspections every year and thinking about how you’re going to continue taking care of your investment.
1.Clean out and replace filters and vents
Your air filters need to be changed regularly. Whether it’s your responsibility or your tenant’s, make sure the air filter changes are scheduled and seamless. This routine and preventative process protects the condition of the home’s heating and cooling unit. It also contributes to a more efficient flow of air. This keeps your tenant’s energy bills lower, and keeps your expensive heating and cooling system in good shape for years to come.
There are filters and vents in appliances, too. Check your dryer. Look at the filter and the vent in the hood of your stove top range. Vacuum all the heat registers such as air intakes, vents, fans, and radiators, if you have them. Clean out the areas under, behind, and between appliances. This keeps your fire hazard low and ensures a healthy living environment now and in the future.
2.Inspect doors and windows
All of the exterior doors should shut tightly. Check the locks and look at other doors and windows in the property to ensure there’s an ease of use. If necessary, lubricate your door hinges and tighten up any screws that are loose. If you have weather stripping, check its condition on the doors and windows. A well-insulated home will save energy, and there will be less deterioration inside and outside over time.
3.Consider upgrading floors
While replacing carpet and flooring during your tenancy might not be necessary, you do want to keep your floors clean and in good condition. Consider having your carpets professionally cleaned during turnovers or vacancies. When you can, upgrade to hard surface flooring. It’s safer, more attractive, and easier to clean and maintain than carpet.
4.Drains and disposals
Look for clogs, debris, and back-ups in the traps and drains in your dishwasher. You’ll also want to inspect the sinks, tubs, and showers in your property. Look at your faucets and make sure there isn’t any dripping or leaking. You may need to change some washers. Drop a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal to clean the blades. Then, flush the disposal with baking soda and hot water. Plumbing areas that aren’t used every day such as a laundry tub or a sink in a spare bathroom should be checked. Turn on the water and make sure there’s some water kept in the tap. All of this prevents plumbing disasters and protects your property over time.
Remember to invest in high quality materials and supplies. Cutting corners and buying the cheapest possible paint, for example, only means that you’re going to have to paint more frequently. When you know you’re holding onto your investment for the long term, it’s worth your resources to invest in quality. This is better for your property, your finances, and the tenants who ultimately live in the home.
Keeping your investment property in good condition over the long term is much easier to do when you partner with a professional property manager. We can take care of the inspections, the vendor relationships, the tenant responsibilities, and the ongoing routine and preventative maintenance. We’ll respond quickly to emergencies, avoid deferred and unreported maintenance, and make recommendations on upgrades and updates that will increase rental values and long term property values.
Let’s talk about your long term investment goals. Contact us at Jacob Grant Property Management.