Streamline your repairs process

Repairs are a big part of your job as a property manager. Here’s how to make taking care of odd jobs easier for you and your clients.

Like any home, investment properties require regular repairs. From a leaking tap to a worn-out floorboard, something always needs doing.

When your landlord clients contact you to take care of their investment property, they are happy to pay a monthly fee for the stress of organising repairs to be taken out of their hands.

If you have a specific patch where you work, it makes sense to build a list of on-call tradespeople. Having plenty of contacts to hand will streamline the process for organising repairs and maintenance.

Here are a few tips to make your job as a property manager easier:

Build your list

Scour the HIPages or any other tradespeople listing sites to find the operators with the best reviews. Keep their information and their prices on a spreadsheet and break your tradies down into categories, e.g. Plumbers, Electricians, Carpenters, Arborists. You can also segment them by location.

Reach out to a few tradespeople and let them know you’re looking to form a partnership. You could refer them regular work in return for a discount or chat to them about sending property management business your way.

In some cases, you may manage enough properties to have a few tradespeople who work for you almost exclusively. Offering them steady work in a set location may be a strong enough incentive for them to keep their prices competitive.

Create a menu

Once you have your tradesperson contacts, see if you can lock in some prices. For example, you may agree that the cost of fixing a leaking tap is around $200-$300. You can create a list and share it with landlords and potential clients as an incentive; a fixed price makes it easier to give pre-approval for the cost of repairs.

Some repairs are impossible to judge without a quote so you could also create a maintenance menu for things like fire alarm checks, appliance servicing and security system checks. Again, this will make life easier for your landlord’s clients as they can budget for regular expenses.

Update your list each year and send it out as part of your regular communication.

Know your tradies

Stay in touch with your tenants to gather their feedback about their experience when a tradesperson visits. Were they prompt, professional and helpful? Did they look well-presented and tidy up after themselves? Is the issue actually resolved? An automated email sent after a tradie has visited can gather feedback without taking up your time.

Similarly, let your tradespeople know they can tell you if they had an unpleasant encounter with a tenant or noticed anything didn’t seem right about the property. This kind of heads up could alert you to a breach of contract end up saving you and your clients a great deal of time and stress.

Reliable, efficient tradespeople are worth hanging onto as they will make your job so much easier. Get to know the people you call on regularly and treat them well. Keep their financial details on file and ensure they are always paid on time after doing a job for you. As a result,  they’ll be motivated to answer when you call.

Once you have built a network of reliable tradespeople, investigate which other partnerships can benefit you as a property manager. For example, you could contact a few companies which specialise in depreciation reports and set up a referral bonus or work closely with financial planners who can help your clients choose their insurance and fund their next property purchase.

BDH Solutions have been buying and selling rent rolls for over 30 years. Keep up with our latest listings here.