Maintenance. How to manage it.

The reality of owning an investment property is that you are going to receive emails from tenants letting you know that something is broken, leaking, or just not up to their standards. Your job as the landlord is to be attentive, listen, and take action.

You’re going to have to take each request, and then reach out to the tenants and let them know that it is under review. This is sort of like triage at the emergency room. If there is an issue regarding a broken cabinet, and another issue for a leaking roof, the reality is, you fix the roof first. You can reach out to tenants and let them know the process, it may look like this:

Hello X,

I would like to thank you for reaching out regarding the broken cabinet in your unit.

We have reviewed the request, and are pleased to let you know that it will fixed in 3-4 weeks.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Management

A short yet simple email that lets them know you’ve acknowledged their request, and have an action plan to resolve it.

Now comes the real deal, the resolution.

You’re going to have to find a professional to help with, let’s say, that leaky roof. You can hunt on Facebook, or your local classifieds service. You will want to look for reviews, you want to see what people are saying. Your gut will tell you who is the best to work with, however here are a few pointers:

  • Find someone who is willing to work WITH you. This means if you want to operate on a paper based change order system, find someone who will.
  • Get multiple quotes. Do not assume that the first company, is the best.
  • Stick to your guns. Contractors have gone too long with being bullies in the industry. You are paying their bills. If they do something that you didn’t ask for, you tell them.
  • NEVER put more than 50% down as a deposit.

I am known to have been “ghosted” by 2 contractors within 6 months. I will admit, I am extremely intense. I will go to the end of the earth to protect my investment. If that means I send someone an email once a day, for a month, then so be it.

Basically what I am saying is, don’t let anyone, in any industry, dictate your business, your investment. Don’t let someone sign your cheque for you.

Once you have laid out the terms of the project, and you make it known your serious, you have to follow through. You need to be on site, daily. You need to meet the crew, learn how they operate. They are in your property, as much as they may not want the owner coming around, too bad. Be there. Be present, and make it known that you expect quality.

Alert your tenants that contractors will be on-site, and explain any procedures that they may need to take to ensure they remain safe, and feel at home during any construction.

Now you’re set up for success. See this project out until completion. Thank your contractors. Pay your final invoice, ONLY after a walk-through and thorough inspection with the lead contractor or project lead.

I want to make one thing clear, this is not a post about how you should go around yelling at contractors. This is a post to ensure you are firm, and act with confidence. You’re in the shoes you are in, because you have the guts to take risks, and stand up for yourself. Again, don’t yell, however an invested intensity in your property, is exactly what you need.

Report back to your tenants that the issue was resolved, and apologize for any inconvenience that it may have caused. Ask them to report back periodically to ensure that the repairs are holding up. Note that if they aren’t holding up, that’s where your intensity kicks in, and you reach out ASAP, and explain what is happening, and determine a resolution plan.

There you have it, you’ve taken the bull by the horns, and you’ve really proved to your tenants that you are serious about providing them a quality apartment.

I sure hope this was insightful, and sparked a little intensity in yourself. As always, subscribe to the blog, like our Facebook page, and share the heck out of this. This is real, this is coming from my life. This is what you need to know.

Digitally yours,
Dalton Parker

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