A new tenant might be impressed by all the bells and whistles of your newly furnished property, but after a while, that magic will wear off. A nice looking house is great for getting a property leased, but it is insufficient for keeping a property leased. The best way to do that is to establish a long-standing relationship that will get your tenants to renew their lease again and again. And to that, you need to make sure that your maintenance game is on point.
In the real estate business, the better your maintenance is, the better your customer service is. Indeed, they are basically synonymous. Of course, many investors hire property management companies to oversee both the management and maintenance. If that is the case, make sure to both interview the management company ahead of time and review their results after hiring them to make sure they make maintenance a priority. If, on the other hand, you intend to manage yourself, here are some key points to keep in mind regarding maintenance.
How to Ensure Good Maintenance?
To make sure you are providing top-notch service to your tenants, you should follow our rather odd, but very useful acronym of sorts: Quality PECS.
This goes without saying! If you are trying to create a long-lasting relationship with your tenants, then you need to make sure that the quality of maintenance work you do on the property is top-notch. Moreover, you should not confuse quality with expensive. It is quite possible to do a job while making sure it doesn’t put a dent in your wallet. That being said, dirt cheap is another story. Avoid cheap materials and cheap contractors as well.
2. P: Professionalism
If you hire employees, make sure your maintenance professionals all wear shirts with your logo on them. Asking them to drive company vehicles or putting company decals on their vehicles is also a good idea. Furthermore, put extra focus on ensuring any individual who works for you engages only in professional and courteous behavior. No cussing, being rude, smoking on the job or anything like that.
And that goes for both employees and contractors.
3. E: Expectations
Make sure that you set your tenant’s expectations right from the start. More often than not, the tenant’s expectations will dictate whether the quality of a job is up to the mark or not. If those expectations are unrealistic, even a job well done may be deemed unsatisfactory.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to disastrous results. It is important to have a long discussion with your residents regarding what kind of service they should expect right from when you sign the lease. Make sure they know what they can expect and cannot expect. “No, we are not going to fix the creaky door at 2:00 am on Saturday night.”
4. C: Communication
As a rule, an occupant won’t blow up with their landowner if a maintenance job takes longer than anticipated or goes sideways here and there—IF the landowner or property manager communicates with the tenant throughout the process. Tenants, like landlords, are human beings, and humans need to know that their interests matter and are being tended to. They need to know you haven’t forgotten about them.
The common response when something isn’t going great is to hide from it. On the off chance that you don’t have uplifting news for the occupant, the temptation is to just not get in touch with them so you don’t have to hear them blow up at you. This is the opposite of what you should do.
Truly, the main thing they need is for you to get in touch with them, even if you have no update to tell them.
5. S: Speed
Doing a maintenance job well is just one side of the coin, the other side is the speed. Speed is an essential aspect of well-rounded customer service as well. The ideal timeframe for any non-emergency maintenance job should be within 72-business hours.
If you are unable to do the task in the specified time, then make sure you communicate the situation to your tenant. Doing this will help placate your tenant (remember C for Communication).
If you are able to master all of the Quality PECS, then you will offer great maintenance and thereby have great retention. And great retention leads to more profit. So please make maintenance a priority.