There’s an old saying “Being a landlord would be easy if it weren’t for the tenants and the #*!)^?% repairs.”
Everyone has their own best practices on how they handle and organize maintenance requests from tenants. Some rental property owners keep things simple and complete them as they come up in a first come, first serve process. Some use Excel. But those solutions only goes so far….
Once a real estate investor has multiple properties, the permutation gets a bit hairier. Especially when you factor into the issue the lack of skilled labor in the current market conditions. As a result, residential property managers often develop and use a triage system to determine order of completion. For example, a decision matrix such as the one below can be quite helpful in getting and staying organized.
This decision matrix helps highlight and ensure the most critical requests remain the priority. It also minimizes decision fatigue when facing a high volume of requests and emergencies, such as extreme weather events which may affect HVAC and plumbing.
Another positive side effect is that it may also help keep your rental homes occupied longer. Tenants will receive better service (and be happier with their rental) because requests are managed in a streamlined and efficient way.
Finally, it can illuminate where staffing levels, both internal staff and outside contractors, may be insufficient to handle certain categories of maintenance or make ready tasks.
If you’re a landlord looking to hire a professional property manager, a good rule of thumb is to ask some questions about how their company handles the various types of maintenance requests. Nothing will irk your tenant faster than unresolved maintenance requests or slow service response.
Here’s to your pursuit of financial freedom with rental properties!
Executive Property Manager
Polaris Property Management, LLC