Handling a home repair project on your own versus hiring a contractor will always save you money, right? Generally speaking, yes. That is, assuming you can accomplish the same task with the same precision and aptitude as a professional, and that you have the time.
However, when you’re a landlord with one or more properties, or an owner juggling a lot of life’s other responsibilities, the equation changes a bit. If you fall in this second category, it might be time to consider how hiring a professional property manager can actually save you time and money on maintenance and repairs.
Network of Vendors
Property management companies are all different in how they operate. One similarity, however, is that they all rely on a strong network of trusted vendors to be effective. They have vendors who they trust because they have been vetted over the years. These vendors provide competitive pricing, are fully insured, and warranty their work. A good property manager will have multiple vendors for every facet of maintenance.
Property managers also have buying power to negotiate fair pricing on behalf of their clients and keep costs to a minimum. Keeping costs low leads to more monthly cash-flow and ultimately makes your investment a profitable one. If you’re consistently paying retail value for 5-star companies for each and every maintenance issue that pops up, your cash-flow will quickly disappear.
When you hire a professional property manager who is focused on keeping costs low, you may not need a vendor at all. Done the right way, whenever possible, a property manager should be diagnosing the issue prior to sending a vendor out to the property. Tenants have, for the most part, never owned property themselves and may not be aware of how to fix simple issues themselves.
That’s why a good property manager will make every attempt to first diagnose an issue over the phone and walk tenants through an easy repair. Many property managers use a library of “How to” videos as a resource for their tenants. We have one here that covers very common maintenance issues like a stuck garbage disposal or an A/C backup. Taking the time to ask a few troubleshooting questions can oftentimes resolve the issue in a matter of minutes, without the fee for a professional service call.
Nobody likes to spend money when they don’t have to. However, with property management, we oftentimes need to spend money to save money. Most investors look specifically at cash-flow and “if something ain’t broke, they ain’t gonna fix it.” More often than not, this is a bad strategy. You can and should be performing preventative maintenance, especially on high-ticket items, to prolong their lifespan and save you money in the long run.
Take preventative maintenance on an A/C unit for example. Having a technician twice annually inspect for damages, check the coils, check the pressure and Freon levels, clear the drain line, and replace the filter, can extend the life of a unit 4 or 5 years!
Other preventative maintenance includes checking for roof leaks, testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, checking fire extinguishers, flushing the water heater, cleaning gutters, tree trimming, and re-caulking showers and tubs. Many of these items are inexpensive, small fixes initially, but could easily turn into expensive projects if ignored.
Time is Money
Benjamin Franklin once wrote an essay in 1748 entitled Advice to a Young Tradesman that produced one of the most profound aphorisms ever–Time is Money. We get caught up thinking we can save money by handling projects on our own, but we fail to recognize that our time is more valuable spent elsewhere.
Say you’re a sales professional selling widgets and averaging $80 an hour in your full-time job. You’re also self-managing your investment property, and just spent four hours diagnosing a broken dryer, running to the store, purchasing parts, and then completing the repair. In the end, your cost is $320 in lost wages plus the repair expenses. How much could you have saved if instead you focused on selling widgets and let your property manager use a trusted, discounted vendor to fix your maintenance issue?
This doesn’t even account for the inconvenience of stopping whatever you’re doing—whether that be vacation or family time—to complete a repair. Sure, you may enjoy the occasional project, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, nobody wants to spend their Saturday fixing an old dryer.
Or maybe you do. And maybe you have the time, expertise, and diligence for ongoing maintenance and repairs for your property. If you are one of these talented few, I applaud you! If you’re like many property owners, however, hiring a professional property manager means saving time, increasing your longterm cash flow, and gaining peace of mind knowing that your investment is being cared for and optimized to give you the best return.
If you have any further questions about property management, don’t hesitate to give me a call, or check our website for more information on Property Management.
Jason is a licensed Realtor, focusing on Investor Sales, and the Business Development Manager at The Realty Medics. He works primarily with investors looking to fund their retirement or grow their investment portfolios. Prior experience includes sales in aerospace industry and corporate arena. Jason also began a non-profit organization while living in Arizona, and was involved with chapter in both the Phoenix and Scottsdale Chambers of Commerce.
WATCH: The Realty Medics have four layers of service to make property maintenance as easy as possible.
The Realty Medics engineer property management peace of mind through rocket science renting.
What is “Rocket Science Renting”?
It’s keeping your life simple by letting The Realty Medics handle the complex work of property management. It’s feeling like your property is running smoothly on autopilot with no hiccups or glitches. It’s the kind of advanced technology that can only be designed by a former NASA engineer like our owner, Ben Sencenbaugh. It’s delivering maximum value and ROI for your investment.
In short, it’s total Property Management Peace of Mind.
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