Could you use a vacation? Once the holidays wind down, it’s the perfect time to get away–but seasonal hazards like winter storms, freezing temperatures, and residential fires may have you feeling apprehensive about leaving your property at risk.
As you work hard to ensure that your residents have a safe and stress-free holiday, it’s easy to feel like you’re stretched too thin to take a break. We’re here to help you carve out time for the things that are important to you, whether that means quality time with your family or a well-earned vacation. While your properties can require your attention at any hour of the day or night–weekends and holidays included–it doesn’t need to prevent you from taking the time you need to renew your energy and motivation.
Here are 5 tips for a low-stress holiday season that you can put into action today (so you can make sure you get the break you deserve)!
Tips for Landlords During Holiday Season: #1
Invest in Preventative Maintenance
Start by asking residents what needs fixing rather than waiting for them to call in emergency repairs. Have furnaces, smoke alarms, boilers, fireplaces, roofs, and other key points of failure inspected ASAP. Insulate pipes in exterior walls, trim tree branches, clear out your gutters, drain outdoor spigots, and take other precautionary winterization steps before winter’s in full force.
Tips for Landlords During Holiday Season: #2
Help Residents to Help You
Residents are your eyes and ears for issues like frozen pipes, power outages, and failing appliances. Keep them in the loop so they can help you to prevent issues–for instance, by leaving cabinet doors open to warm pipes on exterior walls. Make sure they know how to get ahold of you if problems do arise, and that you have up-to-date contact information for each household as well.
Tips for Landlords During Holiday Season: #3
Stay on Top of Safety
Reach out to residents with guidelines for kitchen and space heater safety. Holiday meal prep and space heater usage are disproportionately responsible for residential fires, which unfortunately peak on Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition, remind residents to keep Christmas trees well-hydrated and away from heat sources, which can also result in fires. Last, be sure to test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, replacing batteries and swapping out expired devices.
Tips for Landlords During Holiday Season: #4
Contact Your Contractors
If you haven’t already, be sure to find contractors you can trust and line up service contracts for snow clearing today–before the worst of winter weather is upon us. If you wait until a storm hits, your contractors’ other clients will take priority, leaving you and your residents out in the cold. Make sure to have a supply of de-icing chemicals and shovels on hand for residents to use, too.
Tips for Landlords During Holiday Season: #5
Don’t Go it Alone
Above all else: Consider hiring a property manager to tackle your entire to-do list, for the coming season and beyond. This year, you could spend your time enjoying your loved ones’ company rather than worrying about what’s going on at your rental properties and troubleshooting issues. To find the perfect property manager for you (wherever your neck of the woods might be), just visit All Property Management’s website.
P.S. If you liked this post, we bet you’ll enjoy this, too: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Landlords for a Successful & Productive 2018.
Robin Burinskiy is the Senior Content Writer and Managing Editor for the All Property Management Blog and Buildium Blog. She cut her teeth as a marketing copywriter at Wayfair and TechTarget, and she spends her free time perfecting her lifestyle blog, Feather & Flint. She holds degrees in psychology, sociology, and songwriting.
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