3 steps for staying on top of Chicago’s property maintenance issues
Maintenance issues will always exist regardless of the property’s age or condition. Here are some tips for staying on top of Chicago’s most prevalent property maintenance issues.
Step 1: inspect the property
Walk around the property and make a comprehensive list of the items you see that may need addressed.
- Roof and gutters
- Landscaping, lawn care and walkways
- Heating and cooling units
- Exterior surfaces, porches and railings that need to be painted
Then call a trusted contractor to give you the estimates you need. Once the inspection is complete, the contractor should be able to provide you with a detailed proposal of the work needed. (Read: Details for an RFP.) This information will play a critical role in your bidding process.
Step 2: develop a property maintenance budget and schedule
As a property manager, you understand the importance of planning for property maintenance and capital improvements. Here are a few tips:
- Based on the items you’ve identified in your inspection, create a budget and maintenance strategy for both short-term and long-term repairs.
- Work with your vendors, including your painter, to create a strategy for accomplishing the work.
- Develop a maintenance schedule and stick to it.
Step 3: communicate with your tenants, owners and board
Communication is always a critical component of assessing how successful a project is. If communication fails with any party, even if the physical restorations are of the highest quality, the project may be thought of as substandard.
With Tenants: Communicate before, during and after the project:
- Before: Tell them about the project to get them excited for the improvements. Outline the timeline and any inconveniences (such as parking or noise) they may temporarily incur.
- During: Remind them of the project outline and any short-term adjustments they may need to make, and make the experience fun. For example, ask them to post progress photos on social media and tag you.
- After: Outline the improvements and thank them for their patience.
Property maintenance can also be stressful on the wallet for the owners and/or board, so having a plan and communicating progress regularly will help.
By staying ahead of issues proactively, you will help lower property maintenance costs and keep your property in great condition.