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A rise in inflation makes everyone think about cutting costs wherever possible. For property managers, the challenge of keeping overhead low and tenant morale high remains a top priority, regardless of the current financial climate. Property management companies are always looking for smart ways to cut costs, from utilities to building maintenance and every other bill in between.
So what does this mean for your property and managing those costs with an eye on your bottom line? Consider the following solutions and think about how they might help you reduce the operating expenses of your rental property.
1. Conserve water
Sounds easy, right? Monitor your usage and you can keep those water bills under control. Unfortunately, many owners and managers are not even aware of the amount of water wasted in their properties.
- Undetected leaks have the ability to increase your water usage by almost a third of regular usage rates. Watch your water meter carefully; If you notice that one of your properties is showing a large increase in water usage, you may need to diagnose the problem by checking for any leaks in the plumbing. This leak can be anywhere and it is probably a small, drip leak that is dripping your profits down the drain. If it’s a leak you can see, you can fix it. On the other hand, if the source of the water remains a mystery, you could have a potentially bigger and more expensive problem on your hands. A leak you can’t find could be located somewhere deep in the bowels of the property, which could cause extensive water damage.
- Reduce utilization rate. Rental properties have started incorporating special features designed to improve the tenant experience while making day-to-day running costs more affordable. More and more management companies are installing highly efficient alternatives for plumbing fixtures. These include dual-flush toilets, which reduce water use by up to three gallons per flush, and water-efficient showerheads that deliver less than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) flow, or half the flow of traditional showerheads. Since we’re talking about saving money, the idea of swapping out all of your properties’ showerheads and toilets can be an expensive proposition. However, there is another option: instead of going for completely new fixtures, consider buying aerators and installing them on your faucets and showerheads. They are much more efficient in comparison, although they do not offer the same conservation rates as whole fixtures.
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2. Replace your landscaping
Think about all the ways you use water on your property. You might be surprised to learn that your landscaping choice can put a huge strain on your resources. Replacing your bushes, trees, and grass with less water-dependent options can save you a ton of greenery when you’re not spending it on your green thumb. Paving over grassy areas for more inviting common areas that your tenants can enjoy without the need for expensive water sprinklers and irrigation systems can help reduce your costs significantly.
3. Switch to green energy
Property managers have begun to realize how affordable it can be to go green by installing more energy-efficient options in their rental units. Reducing your building’s energy use could play as big a role as reducing your building’s water use. Green energy conversion incorporates a variety of measures to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your energy bills.
Smart thermostats have become increasingly popular as consumers can program these devices to automatically turn the air conditioning on and off, even when they are away from home. The type of lighting you choose to install in common areas and outdoors will also help you save money. LED is the way to go now; incandescent bulbs are a thing of the past. You might even consider installing energy-efficient washers and dryers for tenant use. If you supply the appliances for your units, look for refrigerators with highly rated energy efficiency. Taking the time to assess your properties electricity bill can also give you a more accurate idea of how much energy you could be saving.
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4. Routine maintenance
You know the old adage, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today. I wish more landlords and property managers would start repeating this as a mantra because I have known too many who have failed to practice even the most basic maintenance of their properties and have paid the price for it later. Perhaps the most expensive repair on a property is the roof – and eight times out of 10 the reason for that costly repair was due to a roof that was not regularly cleaned. Branches, leaves and other miscellaneous debris can accumulate on the roof of a house or building and cause serious damage if left unchecked. A damaged roof is a leaky roof that can be very expensive to repair.
If you don’t clean your property’s roof every 18-24 months, you’re simply asking for higher repair bills down the line. Let me assure you that the cost of having your roof cleaned by a professional is much cheaper than having it repaired by the same professional. Today’s building materials are built to last, but when neglected, they degrade much faster than you might think.
All of these ways of reducing costs require a minimum of financial investment. But spending a little now can ensure you pay a lot less later. A responsibly maintained rental property continues to generate revenue because tenants want to live there. Always keep this in mind.
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