The Cost of Cutting Corners When Managing an Investment Property

The Cost of Cutting Corners When Managing an Investment Property

Who doesn't love a good deal? As a landlord, when faced with the cost of necessary property maintenance, you might be tempted to go for a less expensive option that lets you get a repair solved quickly, so you and the tenants can return to the norm.

Then, two weeks later, the sink starts leaking slowly again.

Another two weeks go by, and there's a stain on the ceiling below the bathroom.

You likely see where this is going already...and if you don't - you've landed on the right blog post.

In this article, we will explore how cutting corners on maintenance and repairs can lead to more significant problems down the road. We'll also explain our role as a fiduciary when managing property for our clients and the guarantees our experts offer on their work.

Is the lower price a better deal?

It may seem that way when you're paying the bill at that moment. And it might be cheaper for the first or second time, but eventually, it catches up with most landlords.

Let's break down the three most common cost-cutting corners landlords might take when it comes to property maintenance:

1. Using a Handyman for the wrong job (or DIY if you're not a professional) While handymen can be equipped with diverse skills, it's important to remember that they might not be experts in every maintenance area. Their knowledge can be a mile wide but only an inch deep. When you employ a handyman, you're often trading off some level of quality and assurance for a cheaper cost.

Furthermore, handymen often lack the necessary insurance to cover any damages or accidents that may happen during the repair process. In such cases, the liability could fall on you as the landlord. In the event of a botched repair job, you could end up paying much more to rectify the damage, turning that 'cheap' fix into an expensive nightmare.

2. Uninsured Professionals

When the time comes to do more significant repairs like plumbing or HVAC, you might be tempted to take a chance on an uninsured contractor. They may offer a lower price, but you won't have any recourse if something goes wrong, and the costs could quickly add up.

A contractor willing to forgo insurance will probably not pull the required permits for work they're doing - which could leave you to solve that problem at a later date.

3. Quick Fixes

This is the most common way landlords try to save money - by fixing a problem with the cheapest solution. A leaky ceiling gets patched up, but no leak detection work is done because of the inconvenience and cost.

Fast forward a few weeks, and what was originally a minor plumbing issue can turn into a collapsed ceiling, flooded apartments, and some furious tenants.

The quick fix is rarely the answer for long-term rental property.

Are repairs cheaper with a property manager?

That depends on how you look at "cheaper."

If you're looking for the absolute lowest number on an invoice for a minor repair - you're more likely to get a discounted price from an uninsured handyman without any workmanship guarantee.

On the other hand, at PMI Profit Realty, we require all of our vendors and service technicians to be insured and offer a guarantee on their work. This may make the repairs slightly more expensive, but it also brings peace of mind that you won't be stuck with a costly repair bill in the event of an accident.

Ultimately, when you use PMI Profit Realty to manage your rental properties, we act as your fiduciary - always ensuring that we put your best interests first.

Part of that means managing your properties as if they were our own - for the long term. While one sub-par repair may not be noticeable, they add up over time.

It becomes easy to see when a property is not well cared for, and it reflects in tenant quality and, eventually, resale value down the road. (That's where the term "handyman special" comes from.)

If you're considering hiring a property management company for your San Antonio rental, we'd love to talk, to see if we're a good fit to work together.

Sam Maropis

PMI Profit Realty