Handling tenant maintenance requests professionally is an important part of your tenant retention plan. You have to be responsive to their needs, and you have to make sure the work is done quickly and completely.
One of the main reasons tenants leave the properties they’re renting is because the repair requests they make are ignored or avoided. To minimize vacancies and turnover costs at your Sonoma County rental property, make sure you have a process in place to respond to those maintenance issues. Professional maintenance practices not only keep your residents happy and secure, they also protect the condition of your investment.
Make Sure Your Tenants Understand Your Process
It’s important that your tenants know how to get in touch with you when there’s a maintenance issue or a repair that needs to be made. If you’re working with a Sonoma County property management company, you won’t have to worry about being the point of contact. But, if you’re managing the property on your own, you’ll have to make sure you’re available to your tenants 24 hours a day in case there’s an emergency. This means being available in the middle of the night and on holidays and weekends. You never want to be inaccessible, especially if your property is flooding or on fire.
For emergencies, your tenants should call you right away, unless they need to call the fire department or 9-1-1 first.
For general repairs, we believe it’s a better practice to have your residents put the request in writing. This will keep the process well-documented, professional, and accountable. You can have tenants send an email or text you with the problem. Then, you can respond in writing and follow up with them after the work is complete. Everything will be in writing, and you can refer to those records when future maintenance needs arise or if there’s a dispute about work that was completed.
Be Responsive to Routine Repairs
It’s critical that you respond to emergencies right away. Tenants need running water and air conditioning. They need electricity.
Responding to routine maintenance requests with the same sense of urgency is good customer service. If a tenant reports that a toilet isn’t flushing but the home has two or three toilets, it might not seem like a request you need to handle right away. But, you should still get to it as soon as possible for these reasons:
- Fast action shows the tenants that you’re responsive and you care about their needs.
- You’re protecting the value of your asset. Small problems don’t become easier or cheaper with time. Don’t leave deferred maintenance for later. It’s better for your investment to fix and replace things right away.
Focus on Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is the best way to keep your investment in excellent condition. It can increase the value of your investment. With a good preventative maintenance plan, you’ll ensure the systems and functions of your investment live longer and work more effectively. Have your HVAC system inspected and serviced annually. Clean out the gutters at least once a year, and have your home inspected for plumbing leaks and electrical issues.
Make your maintenance process as professional and resident-friendly as possible because it’s also good for your investment. If you have any questions or need any help with maintaining your rental home in Sonoma County, please contact us at Healdsburg Property Management.