MaintainingYour CRE Property: DIY vs Handyman vs Property Management

Keeping your property pristine and polished is about more than just curb appeal. High-quality properties attract high-quality tenants, which in time will increase the overall value of your property. Prioritizing maintenance and investing in improvements on your CRE property will create a positive experience for your tenants, their customers, and neighboring businesses, protecting your investment, improving your reputation, and boosting your ROI. 

But getting those day-to-day repair jobs across the finish line is a different story. While some lease agreements may require the tenant to handle maintenance and repairs, many traditional lease agreements put the property owner in charge of maintaining the facility and addressing repairs, (a plus if you want to ensure that only qualified professionals are working on your property to maintain its integrity and value). Accounting for overall cost, time spent, and quality, there are a few different approaches to providing appropriate maintenance and care for your property. Let’s dive in. 

Do It Yourself (DIY)

If you have a background in construction or another related field, performing your own maintenance and repair can be a great way to save money and ensure that repairs are done to your standards. Smaller preventative maintenance jobs, such as replacing filters on furnaces or air conditioning units, changing broken light bulbs, or repairing equipment are often simple enough to be performed by the property owner. Likely, the only added costs are any specialty tools or equipment needed and your time.

However, a list of quick and easy repairs can easily grow and escalate into more time-consuming tasks. Since property owners are responsible for many facets of their property, you may not want to spend your valuable time performing repairs. In addition, specialized repairs, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC are best kept to professionals. These types of repairs have a limited margin of error and if something goes haywire, a professional can quickly pivot to solve the problem (and offer a warranty in case they need to come back). 

Lastly, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Consider the value of your time. Could you make more money overall by hiring a professional to handle maintenance and then focusing on expanding your property or investing in new ventures? 

Hiring a Handyman

Connecting with a skilled local handyman is a great strategy for accomplishing small repairs around your property without breaking the bank. Handyman contractors typically have a diverse skill set, so you can avoid hiring multiple contractors for your various small jobs. They can perform everything from routine maintenance and small repairs (saving you time) to bigger, more complex fixes (saving you money).  

There are, of course, some downsides to working with handyman contractors. Finding your go-to handyman can take some trial and error, and there is a limit to what one person can do, both in skillset and in time. You may find that some jobs are outside of their area of expertise. If they work alone, they likely can’t respond to an emergency repair as quickly as you may need them to. They may not have the same quality assurance measures in place. So, for more advanced fixes, they may not guarantee their work or provide warranty measures. If a major project isn’t done right, you may need to pay extra for follow-up work from another contractor. 

Professional Property Management

Partnering with a property management company can help ensure your property is well cared for so you can focus your energy elsewhere. At NAI Mid-Michigan, we have on-staff technicians who will perform routine maintenance and improvement jobs on your property regularly. In addition, they can respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently, either making the fix themselves or calling in one of NAI’s trusted partners to get the job done. Above all, the greatest value in hiring a qualified property management team is in the knowledge and experience behind budgeting and forecasting for capital improvements. Whether short-term (the upcoming fiscal year) or long-term (the five-year plan), a qualified Property Manager will ensure a proactive approach to keeping your property in that “high-quality” condition necessary to attract those high-quality tenants, rather than the reactive approach (fixing things only after they are broken). Plus, working with a property management company has some other advantages, such as lease administration and tenant support.

Property management services will typically cost you 5-10% of your total rental revenue, so depending on your total number of properties and local marketplace conditions, it can be an investment. But remember — as a property owner, your time is valuable, especially if partnering with a property manager opens up more of your time and energy for other investment opportunities or financial goals. 
Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your property management needs. We’re NAI Mid-Michigan, your best choice for commercial real estate services.

NAI Mid-Michigan

Comprised of more than 30 real estate professionals, NAI Mid-Michigan is the best choice in commercial real estate firms in Mid-Michigan delivering clients a formidable package of office, retail, industrial, land and multi-family services and a direct pipeline to the area’s largest inventory of commercial property. NAI Mid-Michigan provides brokerage, investment properties, development and construction, property management, corporate and institutional services and property valuations supported by in-depth market intelligence. NAI’s global network is the single largest, most powerful owner-operated commercial real estate brokerage firm in the world. Located in 36 countries, with more than 375 offices and over $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions annually we’re all actively managed to perform for you.

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2149 Jolly Road
Suite 200
Okemos, MI 48864
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Phone: 517-487-9222
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