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Property Management Blog

Published on Saturday, November 29, 2008

Importance Of A Manager In Property Maintenance

Any property needs to be managed and a part of management is maintenance. Maintenance of a single home is relatively an easy job when compared to maintenance of a building with a number of dwelling units. It is quite difficult for the manager alone to take care of every aspect of the management procedure. It is best to have the manager supervise and a have a set of employees or contractors ready to do the actual job. The nature of duties of the persons involved in apartment maintenance also depends on the size of the building and all the facilities that they provide. The condition of the premises and the terms of agreement with the tenants also determine the extent of maintenance that is required. the larger premises have a full team in place to look after the various matters while in the smaller units, the manager needs to arrange for the services as maintaining a regular support crew is not viable.

The first part of apartment maintenance is the number of support staff that premises must have to efficiently handle all maintenance matters. This actually depends on the manager of the property. He is the best judge of the requirements and based on his estimate he should hire the people. This estimate should be based on the actual experience about the nature of service required and also on the affordability of the owner. A combinations of full-time and contractual employees has been found to be the best option as some things need twenty-four hour supervision while other matters need maintenance job here and then. When hiring personnel for the job, the lookout should always be for the people having more experience and also their expertise in handling minor situations. There are people who can take care of any minor problems ranging from electrical to plumbing and to painting touch-ups.

Most of the multi-unit buildings have resident managers. In apartment maintenance this resident manager plays a very important role. He is actually the front office of the owner and the bridge between the owner and the tenant. So he must be an efficient man to keep the tenants happy. His nature can be very vital in prosperity of the owner. A man of gentle and pleasing nature with the occasional sternness is what makes the ideal manager. He should be cordial to the tenants and at the same time a tough task master in respect to the maintenance personnel. He must also be adept in accounts and make sure that the maintenance job is not eating into the revenues of the owner.

A resident manager is responsible for a variety of matters related to apartment maintenance . He is responsible for supervision of all the maintenance activities. Maintenance of the common spaces like grounds, pool, garage and driveways is compulsory and so is garbage removal. The utility services like water and electric supply are responsibilities of the supply companies but coordinating with them is the duty of the manager. Internally, he is responsible for supervision of the upkeep of the stairways, elevators, common recreation rooms, etc. A very important part is inspection of the electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilating systems of the buildings. A regular check and necessary repair and replacement is vital for gaining tenant confidence and proper apartment maintenance can go a long way in building the goodwill of the property and increase of revenue from it.

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Author: Web Master

Categories: Property Management




Landlord Knowledge Base

If you’ve ever considered investing in a few rental properties in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA now might be a good time. Prices are still low in Philadelphia, but have been on the upswing. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home in a US metropolitan area grew 13.7% between July 2012 and July 2013, the latest in a 17-month streak of year-over-year price increases. 

New landlords can choose from properties that are likely to appreciate and a large pool of potential renters.Licensed realtor Pat Mueller cites a few reasons for this trend: “Many families have lost their homes to foreclosure and are entering the rentals market for the first time in years. Mortgages are also harder to get now, so fewer people are qualifying for a new one.”The more skills you bring to the table to get into Houses for Rent in Philadelphia Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA and the more time you have to devote to your properties, the faster you can make a return on your investment. 

But investing in rentals can also be disastrous (or too stressful to be worthwhile) without expertise. Here are three professionals you may consult about your new rental properties, and what you can do to mitigate how much they cost you:Handyman:  You may need to hire a specialist for some work on your rental. If you need new outlets or new pipes, for example, hire an electrician, plumber or licensed contractor. Handymen usually tackle smaller, more manageable tasks, like:

  • Painting and paint removal
  • Drywall repair
  • Minor appliance repairs (fixing a leaky toilet or faucet, among others)
  • Installing tiling or flooring, moldings, windows, doors
  • Refinishing decks, cabinets and other wood items

When You Could Skip It: You could do any (or all) of these projects yourself if you have the time and interest in learning. Of course, this only works if you live relatively close to your rentals and are flexible enough to service them on short notice. And if you’re willing to respond to the occasional 5 AM basement flooding.

Average Savings: Any base rates or costs-per-hour vary from location to location in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA , but nationally, you can expect to spend an average of $60 to $85 per hour for repair costs. It general costs less to hire an individual handyman than a handyman employed by a company. Expect an additional charge if your job requires a trip to the store for materials.

Resident Property Manager As the owner of a handful of rental properties, you may be able to manage them yourself, but if you want help, a single resident manager would probably be more cost efficient than a property management company. Resident managers may:

  • Serve as a handyman
  • Advertise vacancies in your units
  • Show apartments to prospective tenants
  • Review rental applications
  • Collect rents

When You Could Skip It: Again, the closer you live to your properties and the more spare time you have, the less likely you are to need a manager. The obligations of being a boss will also cut into the time you save on maintenance.

Average Savings: The national median wage for residential managers is just over $25 per hour. Research the wages in your community and adjust according to how much responsibility your manager will take on. 

Real Estate Agent: Once you’ve gotten your financials in order and done your own research on the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, you might contact a realtor to show you potential properties. You can also arrange for a realtor in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA to show rentals once they’re ready to rent.

When You Could Skip It: It depends. Even if you’re a local, or have thoroughly researched the neighborhood(s) you’re considering, a realtor is a great resource for a first-time rental buyer. Realtors have access to data and statistics not necessarily available to the general public and first-time buyers may not know all the right questions to ask. Using a realtor to fill your Houses for Rent vacancies is less of a no-brainer, depending on your other time commitments or whether you plan to hire a resident manager who could do the same thing.

Average Savings: As a buyer of rental properties, as when buying your own home, sellers typically pay most, if not all, of the buyer’s realtor fees. In this case, Mueller points out there’s little reason not to work with a realtor. For help in filling your units in Philadelphia or Bucks County, PA, the services of a realtor would set you back between 10-20% of the unit’s rent per month.  Mueller recommends interviewing with several brokers before making your final decision to invest into Houses for Rent .

The Bottom Line: As a new landlord, you can’t necessarily control the flexibility of your schedule or the amount (and cost) of unexpected repairs to your properties. Rentals are a long-term investment. However, to maximize profits from your Houses for Rent, new rentals, you can buy close to home and start small. It is best to begin with just one or two properties. This will allow you to maximize the time you spend on your properties’ needs, and minimize the amount you’ll have to pay anyone else.


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