While routine maintenance is common sense to most property managers, it may fall to the wayside because of their busy schedules.
Unfortunately, like anything in life, it’s the little things that can make a big difference between a quickly signed lease and extended time on the market. First impressions matter to tenants, especially when it comes to where they’re going to live. This means that every part of your property needs to be in tiptop shape, not just to get the perfect tenant, but to see each property turn faster than average.
While tenants consider a variety of factors when deciding whether to rent a particular home, such as proximity to work, neighborhood conveniences, or even affordability, the initial look at a home plays a vital role.
The good news is that many of the things that may turn off applicants can be easily fixed. Here are the top maintenance opportunities you should look out for to turn over your property faster than average.
1. Lawn Care
Curb appeal can make the biggest difference when it comes to attracting quality tenants. If the property doesn’t look appealing at first glance, people won’t stop to look at the vacancy. There is a direct correlation between the number of vacancies per year and the condition of their landscaping. What you do doesn’t have to be high-maintenance, but giving your lawn a clean trim weekly can improve your property’s value dramatically.
Cutting the lawn and watering it frequently should be performed on your lawn biweekly if not weekly. Aeration and fertilization should be done twice per year. All these tasks take time away from managing other aspects of your properties and spending time with your family, which is why hiring a lawn care company is usually a smarter solution.
2. Plant Trimming
The best way to compliment a freshly manicured lawn is through the trimming of bushes, shrubs, and trees. Many times, mowing the lawn isn’t enough when trying to give the property a cosmetically attractive look. Trimming and manicuring major plants on the property results in longer, healthier, and fuller plant life, year after year.
Plant trimming also helps you avoid the costly mistake of replacing bushes, shrubs, and trees. These plants, which provide much wanted landscaping and shade, can easily fall victim to avoidable maintenance mistakes and be subject to unnecessary (and expensive) replacement.
3. Pressure Washing
Much like lawn care, if the first thing a prospective tenant sees is a poor looking exterior, they could build prejudice against the property. This results in a poor showing experience. Instead of painting the whole complex or house, try pressure-washing to see if that will be enough to give the property a cleaner feel.
4. Gutter Cleaning
It’s surprising how easily your gutters can become clogged and filled with debris. It takes only a few leaves or pine needles to create a blockage impermeable enough to prevent water from flowing down the spout. When runoff water has no place to go, it starts to spill over the sides of the gutters and then onto the ground.
Ideally, you should have any debris removed from rain gutters after each season. At the very least, try to clean the gutters out at least twice per year. Otherwise, misdirected water can cause significant damage to the home over time, such as stained siding, rotting fascia boards, flooded basements, deteriorating landscaping, and even foundation problems.
5. Sprinkler Maintenance
Many property owners take the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach when it comes to sprinklers. While most sprinkler systems are relatively low maintenance, they still require seasonal attention. This is particularly important in regards to the irrigation system to ensure efficient water flow.
Winterizing the sprinkler system is important in keeping the pipes from freezing. Drip sprinkler systems benefit from a professional winterization service. This service involves blowing the water out from the pipes, so if they freeze, no water remains in the pipes. Come springtime, you’ll be ready to service the sprinklers for the summer.
One of the most important things you can do to keep all your maintenance in order is to have good communication with your whole team. This can help solve problems before they start, and it will help you know if your team has all the right resources to keep your portfolio progressing smoothly. The responsibility of keeping each property in pristine condition is ultimately up to you, the property manager. By following this maintenance checklist, each property is sure to accommodate tenants faster than average.