Residential properties pose both profitable opportunities and substantial undertakings for home investors. However, property maintenance management has long been a perplexing issue for home investors, given its importance in enhancing resident experiences and driving retention. Monitoring every aspect of managed buildings proves challenging, necessitating a balance between day-to-day responsibilities and prioritizing maintenance. To simplify property maintenance management, home investors can benefit from building a team of trusted professionals dedicated to maintenance tasks, allowing them to focus on enabling growth opportunities for property owners.

Property owners primarily view their properties as financial investments, often unprepared for the demands of rental ownership. Consequently, an increasing number of property owners seek property maintenance management services to alleviate their burdens and facilitate scalability and growth. Within this context, property managers play a crucial role in addressing two key pain points for property owners: tenant management and maintenance.

This paper aims to assist home investors in calibrating their roles and expectations. By shifting focus away from becoming property maintenance management experts, home investors can concentrate on raising capital, refining their acquisition strategies, and avoiding the headaches associated with repairs and maintenance (R&M). The paper explores the multifaceted responsibilities of home investors, the associated challenges, and the rationale behind refraining from investing time and energy into becoming maintenance experts.

Key themes covered in this whitepaper include:

  • The current landscape for home investors
  • Conventional versus forward-thinking wisdom in multi-site property management
  • Factors to consider when deciding between an in-house team and contracting a maintenance company
  • Available maintenance approaches for home investors
  • Challenges of multi-site property management
  • The need for a strategic multi-site property partner

The state of today’s home investors

Home investors primarily focus on asset selection and allocation, choosing properties based on investment strategies, goals, and risk tolerance, akin to managing investment portfolios. Initially, handling all responsibilities may be manageable when dealing with a limited number of properties and clients. However, as the fund management business expands, the accumulation of tasks such as market research, data analysis, revenue forecasting, investor communication, contract negotiation, and more can become burdensome, hindering crucial investment decisions and asset preservation.

Balancing maintenance and non-fund-manager responsibilities can impede sound decision-making and negatively impact portfolio value. To address this challenge, home investors benefit from partnering with experts in property development and maintenance, guiding asset choices based on factors such as property type, location, market conditions, and ROI requirements.

Conventional versus forward-thinking wisdom in multisite property management

The debate surrounding in-house teams versus contracted maintenance arises when considering efficiency in multi-site property management. Conventional wisdom suggests that in-house teams, tailored to portfolio needs, offer cost-effective and timely solutions. However, such teams can face challenges in terms of costs and resource availability. Building an in-house team requires substantial initial investments in recruitment, training, and tool acquisition, along with establishing effective maintenance processes across all managed properties.

Despite rising home values and increasing consumer demands for enhanced experiences, many home investors question the viability of in-house teams. Contracting established property maintenance management companies alleviates the burden of establishing processes independently, providing access to established supplies, tools, and streamlined operations. This allows home investors to focus their resources on core strengths and manage operations efficiently within their roles.

Factors to consider when choosing between an in-house team or contracting a maintenance company

Choosing between an in-house team and contracting a maintenance company requires careful consideration of factors such as property complexity, geographical distance, connected and coordinated services, scalability, and resources. Property maintenance management is a demanding task, particularly for home investors managing multiple properties.

Complexity of the property

The size and complexity of properties determine maintenance needs, with smaller buildings requiring monthly services and larger complexes necessitating more frequent attention. Maintenance service providers offer vetted contractors, customized maintenance plans, on-premise availability, and flexibility to handle properties of varying complexities.

Distance from the property

Geographical distance from properties poses challenges in overseeing and managing maintenance needs. Home investors must consider the costs of maintenance and potential strain on renter relationships when dealing with properties located far from their immediate area. Property maintenance managers specializing in multiple locations offer valuable support in managing diverse properties effectively, regardless of type or size.

Connected and coordinated services

Property maintenance management requires a sequential approach, encompassing various tasks from initial request to resolution. An integrated maintenance service provider offers full-service coordination, ensuring a seamless maintenance experience for home investors and tenants. With a contracted service provider, home investors benefit from comprehensive management, avoiding last-minute dispatch charges and guaranteeing timely resolutions.

Scalability

As investment portfolios grow, expanding an in-house team entails recruiting additional workers, further increasing responsibilities and costs. In contrast, contracted maintenance service providers offer flexible support across locations, accommodating diverse property requirements. They possess the capacity to scale quickly, addressing property maintenance needs in multiple states efficiently.

Resources and administration

Resource management and administration pose challenges when handling maintenance internally, even with an in-house team. Renters expect responsiveness around the clock, demanding quick resolutions to their concerns and maintenance issues. A property maintenance management service provider handles tenant needs 24/7, leveraging dedicated resources and established processes. Moreover, property management experts understand local laws and regulations, minimizing legal risks and compliance issues.

Investment

Considering the time-consuming and tedious nature of property maintenance, choosing between an in-house team and a contracted maintenance service provider carries associated costs. While both options entail expenses, maintaining low overhead costs is challenging with an in-house team, which incurs additional fees and requires assessing the quality of work provided. Home investors benefit from partnering with a strategic multi-site property maintenance management provider, enabling them to meet renter expectations, optimize their clients' portfolios, and stay ahead of industry changes.

To simplify property maintenance management programs, home investors are encouraged to reevaluate existing processes and consider engaging professional maintenance service providers. By doing so, they can enhance the resident experience, increase retention rates, and strive for profitability. Initiating this transition may seem overwhelming, but property maintenance providers can help home investors streamline their operations.

A well-functioning maintenance strategy is essential to the success of any modern-day facilities portfolio. To make sure your facilities maintenance strategy is meeting your needs, request a demo to learn more about how our programs can help you.

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