Looks Matter: Why Maintenance is Important Now and for the Future

Last Updated: April 29, 2015By

mp1000275It’s called curb appeal and it is one of the most important things you can do to keep your property on the short-list of those tenants who are searching for their next place to put down roots. Maintaining your property to a certain level has two major benefits: it allows you to attract those tenants that you desire most to rent from you and it helps make your property more appealing to that particular segment of the population.

Maintenance: Money Well Spent

Let’s face it: your maintenance budget is probably one of the largest line items in your property’s budget. It can seem like a good area to tighten the belt if you are looking to save a few pennies here and there. While it is likely that you will be able to find a few places where you can trim your maintenance budget, be wary of slashing too much from that area.

In addition to using this part of your budget to promptly address any tenant concerns when it comes to those mechanical items that are your responsibility – always a good idea as you want to be known as a property that takes your tenant’s issues very seriously – your maintenance budget is also where your property’s regular expenses will come from. From snow and ice removal to landscaping during the summer months, from paint to power washing, spending the money on maintenance now pays dividends now and long into the future.

Stop Downward Slides

It can be a challenge to keep your property looking fresh and new. This is especially true if it is located in an area that is still struggling economically. Finding the money to keep up with maintenance while you are still under capacity and having to invest in advertising to find suitable tenants can stretch meager budgets. Allowing your property to fall into disrepair is a self-fulfilling prophecy, though that can increase the likelihood of crime and make your property unattractive to those very tenants that you want to show interest.

Add Cheer Throughout Your Property

Planting fresh and blooming flowers each spring, clearing away the fallen leaves, removing accumulated snow. These are all ways to help your property look neat, welcoming and cheerful – exactly the attributes that many people are looking for when they are in the market for a new place to come home to. Festive touches like pumpkins and straw bales during the fall or lights and greenery during the winter keep your property looking fresh and updated without costing a great deal of money or taking a lot of time to set up.

Regular Updates are a Must

Ensuring that there is money built into your budget for regular updates – both visible and hidden – is important to the longevity and good health of your property. If your property is more than a decade old, consider updating its community areas or HVAC systems to better reflect the trends of today. Not only will these areas look more modern but they will be a mood-lifter for your current residents, operate more efficiently and will increase your property’s appeal for those looking for a new home.

Renovating individual units to ensure that they meet with updated codes is always a huge draw when tenants are searching for a new place to live. From fire safety to ADA compliance – and everything in between – there are often at least a few additions that can be made to increase the livability of your units and add to their appeal when it comes to attracting new tenants.

Your maintenance budget is something that works hard for you and your property. Using it to its maximum helps ensure that your property is situated well now and long into the future in terms of attracting – and keeping – the kinds of tenants you desire.

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At the American Apartment Owners Association (AAOA), our mission is to serve the interests of landlords, real estate brokers, property managers, real estate owners and apartment building owners nationally.  Visit www.AAOA.com for more information about membership details!


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