When we talk about property management services in Winston-Salem, we’re talking about a lot of different services, such as rental property marketing, tenant screening, leasing, rent collection, and other property investor services.
What we most often talk about, however, is maintenance.
Most investors hire a property manager because they know that maintenance is complicated, and if it’s not handled properly, it’s also expensive.
After-hours emergencies are especially problematic. Tenants who call with a maintenance emergency are often stressed. If you’re not working with a property manager, you’ll need to be accessible to those tenants, and you’ll need to know how to respond.
Here’s a quick guide to those after-hours rental property emergency maintenance calls.
Set Up a Process for Winston-Salem Rental Property Emergencies
When a fire has started in the kitchen or a water heater has exploded overnight, there’s going to be enough confusion. You don’t want to add to that confusion by having tenants unsure of what to do and who to call.
Put a solid emergency maintenance plan into place. Make sure your tenants know who to call. If it’s you that they’re calling, you’ll want them to have all of your contact information. When it’s an emergency that threatens physical safety, make sure they know to call 9-1-1 first. When it is safe to do so, they should get in touch with you.
You’ll also want emergencies to be well-defined. A garbage disposal that’s stuck isn’t an emergency that requires after-hours attention.
Respond Right Away to Your Winston-Salem Tenants
This is not a phone call that you want to send to voicemail.
If a tenant calls you after hours, you can expect it’s going to involve some sort of emergency that needs your immediate attention.
Listen to your tenants, remain calm and professional, and let them know what you’re going to do next. Get as many details as you can. If they tell you there’s a gas smell, ask when they first noticed it and whether it’s stronger in any particular part of the home. If there’s a leak or a flood, find out where it originated and whether the tenants can safely turn off the water. Talk them through as much as you can to mitigate the emergency, and then send help.
Work Closely with Reliable Vendors and Contractors
You’ll need a great team of vendors and contractors to respond to these emergencies. These should be professionals who know you. Having relationships established already will help you get immediate help. You don’t want to be calling a plumber for the first time in the middle of the night over a holiday weekend.
Look for vendors who are licensed, insured, and have after-hours response teams. You’ll want them to be cost-effective as well. Because we provide residential property management and use the same vendors all the time, we receive some deep discounts from our preferred vendor list. This is another great reason to work with a Winston-Salem property manager.
Emergencies at your rental property can be contained when you have a consistent policy in place and you know who to call for help in making repairs. Talk to your tenants about the process, and be prepared when they call with a problem after hours.
If you’d like some help, please contact us at Capstone Realty Consultants. We provide property management services in Winston-Salem, and we’d love to help you put together an efficient and effective maintenance system.