Improve Cash Flow to Pay for Maintenance Expenses
By: American Purchase Wealth Bank
Behind every great apartment building is a solid maintenance plan, and behind every solid maintenance plan, is an adept financial strategy to fund it. In order to keep your apartment building appealing for all your future tenants, this financial aspect of owning an apartment building is perhaps the most crucial.
If a person walks into your building, may it be a guest or a possible tenant; the upkeep of the most basic necessities, the availability of amenities, and the overall ambiance that they experience; is your most important medium of marketing. People talk about what they like, how they feel, and they also talk about what they don't find appealing. So no matter how insignificant a maintenance job seems to appear, trust that it plays a major role in the bigger picture.
Before you go around thinking of ways to fund the maintenance work around your building, you must first know the type of maintenance that is required.
This type of maintenance preserves the physical integrity of an apartment building and ultimately, its value. By creating a guideline for preventive maintenance and following it to the letter, you can help reduce the cost of corrective maintenance (discussed below).
This type of maintenance is conducted throughout the building on a scheduled and regular basis. It encompasses; changing the filters of various equipment, removing debris, cleaning roof drains, cleaning gutters, repairing and cleaning windows, and more. These are just a few of the numerous things that require regularly scheduled maintenance.
Focuses more on keeping a property functioning, and usually requires immediate attention. Corrective maintenance is usually performed to address issues, such as; systems not functioning properly, or breaking down all together. Hence, this maintenance will involve replace of broken HVAC systems, unclogging drains, replacement of light bulbs, fixing leaking faucets, and repairing improperly functioning toilet fixtures.
Usually a result of a severe lack of maintenance. This type of maintenance isn't maintenance at all, as it primarily deals in replacement, significant repair, and improvements. Replacement and repairs occur when the time of maintenance has passed, resulting in more expenses for the building.
Now that we know how different types of maintenance are categorized, you will have a better idea of how to budget for these expenses accordingly. Next, we must discuss the question of raising money for building maintenance and there are numerous ways to generate funds for this purpose.
Ways to increase inflow of Cash
The first place to begin is to ask yourself if you are charging the rent according to the market rate. If your building is located in a rent controlled area, then it won't matter. However, if you can charge the rent according to what is being charged in the market, then it should be a primary concern. The key is to stay up to date with the rent fluctuations and the rent rate of the other buildings in the area before deciding on your rent rate. But be careful, as tenants don't like to live in a building where the rent rate fluctuates often. It gives off a negative impression which could hurt your reputation.
Other than rent, there are many ways to generate more money to fund maintenance in your apartment building. One way is to charge fees for the amenities you provide. If the building has extra space or a basement, you can create extra storage units and charge for their use.
Here's a list of income generating sources that will not just cover the maintenance expense, but prove to be very lucrative in the long run:
Charge late payments for late rent
Set a fee for parking expenses
Provide WIFI and charge fee
Rent storage units
Install cell towers on roof and earn from their rent
Recycle trash, Create and encourage recycling program
Rent out common areas for parties and events
Add vending machines to hallways and corridors
In the end, it all comes down to how observant you are and whether you can spot the money-making opportunities. They can be endless. Simply consider where your building is located, what the daily needs of your tenants are, and find a way to capitalize on it. Not every Cashflow improving technique will work for your property. What will work, is creating unique solutions as per the demands of your unique settings.
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