With the new year fast approaching, it’s important for property managers (PMs) to start preparing for the challenges and changes ahead. Staying ahead of new trends in property management is often essential for achieving success in keeping current renters happy and attracting new ones to retain low vacancy rates. One aspect of property management that people often overlook is property maintenance—a field of property management which often goes through its own unique trends.
What are some of the property maintenance trends that PMs should watch out for in 2019? How will these 2019 property maintenance trends affect property management practices?
2019 Property Maintenance Trends to Know: Home Remodeling
Home remodeling is increasing in popularity across the country. As noted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, “the LIRA projects that annual growth in homeowner remodeling expenditure will remain above 7 percent throughout the year and into the first quarter of 2019.” LIRA, in this case, is an acronym for “Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity.”
While the Harvard article speaks primarily towards homeowners and their activities, the data is still relevant for property managers. The reason PMs should pay attention to this uptick in remodeling activities amongst homeowners is that it may signal a similar preference in renters—the desire to upgrade their current living space or to make it more modern.
Working some remodeling efforts into ongoing property maintenance tasks to upgrade a space can help to both improve its value and increase renter retention.
2019 Property Maintenance Trends to Know: Energy Efficiency Upgrades
Energy efficiency has been a property management trend for quite a while. However, this is still an important ongoing trend in property management and maintenance, as it can impact the profitability, carbon footprint, and appeal of rental properties.
As noted by Energy Star, energy efficiency upgrades are a way “to add value to your properties or make your business more profitable” through reduced energy costs. The challenge is determining what types of energy efficiency upgrades to make and when. Some upgrades are relatively simple and inexpensive (such as replacing older fluorescent lights with newer, more energy-efficient LED models) while others fall under the mantle of home remodeling (such as installing better insulation or replacing doors and windows with ones designed to minimize heat loss).
One of the simplest energy efficiency upgrades that a property manager can make is low voltage lighting systems. An additional benefit of this type of property maintenance is that LED bulbs tend to last much longer than traditional fluorescent bulbs, meaning they’ll need to be replaced less frequently—thus reducing the total cost of ownership for these bulbs over the course of years of use.
2019 Property Maintenance Trend: On-Demand Property Maintenance
In a world where consumers are accustomed to instant gratification because of companies such as Amazon and Uber, property managers need to be more responsive to their renters than ever to keep them happy. Despite massive growth in the rental industry (according to Forbes, “roughly 45 million families and households are tenants”), there are still plenty of competitors out there eager to snap up renters from other PMs to fill their own vacancies.
As such, it’s important to provide renters with “on-demand” services that are ready whenever renters need them. One example of such a service is on-demand property maintenance. Normally, putting in an order for property maintenance is a slow and painstaking process as property managers:
- Receive a complaint from a renter;
- Investigate the issue to determine its extent;
- Review local property maintenance technicians to find an appropriate vendor;
- Wait for a qualified vendor to free up time in their schedule to complete the repair; and
- Check the status of the work to determine if it was completed to satisfaction.
Billing disputes are common in this process, and it can take days to find a licensed and insured property maintenance pro who can complete the work.
However, with an on-demand property maintenance solution, it is possible to reduce the cost of property maintenance while lowering the wait for service from days to half an hour or less. Here’s how the Homee On Demand property maintenance solution works:
- The renter notices a problem;
- They use a mobile app to place an order for service—complete with an explanation of the issue and photos;
- The property manager approves the maintenance request while setting a not to exceed (NTE) spending cap for the repairs;
- HOMEE automatically routes the request to the nearest maintenance professional with the right qualifications (a.k.a. a “Homee”);
- The Homee arrives and begins work—typically within 30 minutes of the request being approved.
Instead of having to wait for days to get the plumbing, electricity, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system fixed, renters can have repairs done the same day that they’re called in—a massive improvement over traditional methods of supplying property maintenance services.
Because of how much faster and more efficient outsourced property maintenance services through an end-to-end solution provider can be, their use is quickly becoming a property maintenance trend.
Learn more about how you can save money, make renters happy, and improve your property management by reaching out to the HOMEE team today!