Inflation is impacting both personal and business budgets causing everyone to look for ways to lower expenses. As a landlord, balancing lowering expenses while keeping tenant morale high is a challenge that may feel like walking a tightrope. However, there are opportunities to reduce overhead, from utilities to maintenance to other expenses, that may come your way.
Here are some suggestions for lowering overhead at your rental property while balancing the needs of your tenants.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
While adding to your already long to-do list may not seem feasible, figuring out what changes you can make before you really feel the pinch will save you both money and stress. Maintenance costs make up most of a rental property’s overhead. There’s no way to avoid these expenses because forgoing needed maintenance will cost you more in the long run. So, think through ways to be economical and avoid those unexpected costs.
Creating a schedule for regular maintenance tasks will keep you on track and reduce the number of calls you receive from tenants. Add a more thorough check every time you have a change in tenant, and you’ll be able to stay on top of the leaky faucets, sticky keys, overgrown bushes, and running toilets. They may seem inconsequential at the moment, but these small jobs can grow into large expenses.
Do the Small Jobs Yourself
Not everyone has the skills needed to complete odd jobs around their property. However, anyone can learn if the need is there. With the plethora of YouTube videos walking you step-by-step through routine maintenance and repair jobs, now might be the time to save some money and add to your skill set!
Not every job can be a DIY project. Some issues, like plumbing or electricity, require expertise and certification. If you haven’t started building relationships with local tradespeople, now is the time. Knowing that they will always be your first call for a job and, with multiple properties, a steady stream of income may go a long way in negotiating prices that help your budget and theirs.
Look at Your Utilities
Once you’ve taken a good look at your maintenance plan, created a schedule, and are well on your way to improving your skill set and business relationships, it’s time to look into another potential drain on your overhead. Your utility bills may be hiding some problems that are draining your budget.
Monitoring your water bills can tell you a lot about the health of your property. It may also reveal surprising waste! Undetected leaks inside the building and from outside faucets can increase your consumption by nearly one-third. A sudden increase in water usage should send you on the hunt for small drips! You can use those new DIY skills to fix it if you find it. If the leak is still a mystery, you’ll want to call in a professional.
The other culprit for water expenses is efficiency of use. Many property owners are installing high-efficiency plumbing fixtures in toilets to reduce the flow rate by three gallons per flush and shower heads for less than 2.5 gallons per minute. If you’re not ready or able to install new fixtures installing an aerator is much more cost-friendly and will also increase efficiency.
Be Energy Efficient
Energy-efficient appliances and even light bulbs will make a huge impact on your overall financial situation. Smart thermostats help reduce waste and manage energy usage for heating and cooling even when away from home. LED lights reduce energy use, as do energy-efficient washers and dryers. As your appliances age, keep an eye out for a new energy-efficient model.
There are many incentives offered in the state of Oregon to help property owners convert to affordable greener energy options. The state offers home energy scoring to help owners hone in on the most impactful changes. It also offers incentive programs for things like heat pumps and solar conversions, and a variety of home tips.
Moving tenant bill pay, service request, application, and lease termination services online reduce waste and paper costs, lowering your overhead. It also provides convenience for the administrator and tenants, which they will appreciate.
Screen For and Retain Good Tenants
There’s nothing like a solid and reliable tenant to make your life easier. If you haven’t invested time into a solid screening process for finding good tenants and building an atmosphere of reliability and convenience for them, it’s time to do it! Tenants that do their best to keep your property in tip-top shape and even take care of the little problems themselves are worth their weight in gold. Holding out for the right tenant may cost you a bit more during the wait, but they’ll pay dividends in the long run.
Partner With the Experts
Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew is one of the fastest growing and highest reviewed property management companies in the Portland metro area. We are passionate about finding the right tenant for each property with our exclusive marketing system and then providing full-service support to our landlords and tenants. Partnering with experts can help you shoulder the burden of wading through the details, lessen your stress levels, and increase the value of your properties. Call or text Darla Andrew today at 503.515.3170 to learn more about how we provide the support you need to confidently enjoy the rental process.