We talk a lot about the value of buying and holding Las Vegas real estate so you can continue earning money on your property in both the short term and the long term. This is the best way to build real wealth as an investor.
If you’re going to hold onto your properties for years to come, you’ll need a plan for maintaining them. This is going to be more in-depth than responding to general repair requests and having the pest control contract up to date.
Maintaining a Las Vegas investment property can include small things like fixing garbage disposals and clogged sinks. It can also include large projects like a new roof or an updated cooling system. It gets hot in the desert, after all.
When you own rental property in Las Vegas, you probably stay pretty busy responding to emergency and unexpected repairs as well as routine maintenance that shouldn’t be deferred.
All of that is expected, and if you’re a smart investor, you’ve budgeted for the ongoing repair requests and the occasional big ticket items.
That’s your day-to-day responsibility, and if you’re working with a Las Vegas property management company, you’re probably in good shape.
But you also have to think about the long-term maintenance your investment will need.
Prepare to address the needs of your property for the next five, 10, or even 20 years. How can you protect the condition and the value of your Las Vegas rental homes? How can you keep them modern, updated, and attractive to new tenants?
Most importantly – how can long-term maintenance help you leverage the rental value of your property?
We have experience with this, and we’ve found that it really comes down to preventative maintenance and good vendor relationships.
Preventative Maintenance Is Cost Effective for Long Term Investments
By prioritizing preventative maintenance, you will find that you’re able to preserve the condition and value of your home over any period of time. You’ll save money on the long-term care of your investment property, and you’ll avoid those expensive surprises like a leaking roof or a fire that was started in a dryer.
Investing in service inspections, cleanings, and professional expertise is necessary when you know you’re holding your property for the long term. Quick, cheap, Band-Aid fixes will serve no one.
You’ll need a professional HVAC technician to inspect the heating and cooling systems at least once a year. You’re renting out a property in Nevada, which means your air conditioning is likely to work overtime. When you have a technician come out to inspect your system once a year, you’ll know that the unit is functioning well and that you’re unlikely to run into problems over the long, hot summer. You will also get advanced warning if there is a problem or a future replacement that will need to be made. Have your electrical systems and plumbing looked at from time to time. Replace those appliances that are old and draining energy.
A preventative maintenance checklist can help with long-term planning.
When you keep up with these inspections and check-ups, you will know you’re not missing any potential issues from year to year. A process to manage safety and habitability issues is also important. Checking smoke detectors, window screens, and door locks should be part of your preventative maintenance checklist.
Create a Network of Las Vegas Vendors and Contractors
Relationships matter in property management, especially when it comes to maintenance work. Part of maintaining your Las Vegas investment property over time will include working with reliable, professional vendors who know you, know your property, and understand the urgency of your repair needs.
Always gather professionals who are licensed and insured, and willing to offer competitive rates in exchange for your loyalty as a customer. Instead of calling whatever plumber is available, you’ll want to lean on the plumber you’ve been working with for years. You’ll find your property is better cared for, and your costs are lower.
If you can’t imagine putting together a preferred list of vendors, ask for help.
Las Vegas property managers often have the best vendor relationships. In some cases, you’ll find property management companies like ours that specialize in maintaining rental homes. We work with some of the best partners in the area.
Choose Tenants Who Will Help Maintain Your Las Vegas Investment Property
Identifying, placing, and retaining good tenants will help you maintain your property over time.
Tenants, actually, can be a secret weapon in caring for your home. When you have great tenants in place, you can count on them to bring any potential issues to your attention. They’ll take pride in your property, and do everything they can to keep it clean, attractive, and feeling like home. They’ll minimize the wear and tear and the damage, and they’ll take the initiative with things like filter changes, keeping the outdoor space pretty, and cleaning.
When you’re screening tenants, think about how they’ll maintain your property. Some of your rental criteria should include:
- No prior evictions
- Good landlord references and a positive rental history
- A credit report free of judgments or money owed to former landlords or apartment communities
Long-term tenants are really going to invest in taking care of your property. They’ll be your partners, and together you can put together a long-term maintenance plan that works for both of you.
Look for Opportunities to Improve Your Las Vegas Property
Good maintenance includes modern upgrades and updates. Over the long term, this will be an ongoing process that’s necessary to attract good tenants and increase your rental value.
Focus on the cost-effective updates and improvements that will keep your property maintained now and in the future, attract high-quality tenants who are looking for modern homes, and increase the property value of your home.
These improvements are easiest to make during turnover periods when you’re working with an unoccupied home. So, when you have tenants moving out, look for areas that might benefit from a replacement rather than a repair.
Here are some of the things we suggest for long-term upgrades:
- Floors and Walls for the Long Term
Floors and walls are especially important to long-term maintenance plans. They do keep your property standing. Several things can be done to keep those floors and walls in excellent condition for the next 10 or 20 years – maybe even longer. When you’re making upgrades or responding to repairs, remember that you’re not just touching up a small wall stain or making a temporary fix. If you’re holding this property for several more years, you want to invest in the right repairs.
Think about this when you’re buying paint, and maybe upgrade to a higher-quality paint type. There’s going to be a lot of wear and tear on the walls. You’ll have pets, tenants, children, and guests touching the walls, leaning against them, and hanging things on them. Invest in good paint. Take down wallpaper. Long-term maintenance means keeping up with design trends and ensuring your property is attractive to a large pool of diverse tenants.
Flooring is also an important part of maintaining an investment property over time. Floors are about aesthetics as well as function. Hard surface flooring is better over the long term than carpet. When you have hardwoods or vinyl or laminate, you’re likely going to have an easier time keeping them in good shape for several years. This saves you money because you don’t have to clean and replace carpet every time one tenant moves out and another moves in.
- Outdoor Spaces and Landscaping
You can’t stop at interior features when you’re maintaining your rental property for the future. We have a unique climate in Nevada, and your landscaping needs to reflect that. Trying to keep a lawn plush and green will require a lot of water, a few chemicals, and more work than you and your tenants might be willing to invest.
Focus instead on low-maintenance landscaping that’s safe, attractive, and updated from time to time to reflect the best safety standards and maintenance precautions. Make sure you have enough exterior lighting. Check your windows and doors to be sure they open, close, and lock. Create a landscape that’s clean, attractive, and doesn’t require a lot of water. Paint the front door when it starts to look faded.
- Keep Up With Technology
The tech that your home provides is always changing. Keep your property modern and attractive by welcoming smart home technology or agreeing to video doorbells and installing smart thermostats. This will help your home value keep pace with the market. You’ll also attract tenants who insist on these things.
It can feel a bit overwhelming when you think about keeping your property in good condition for the long term. Luckily, we are here to help. Please contact us at New West Property Management. We’re passionate about the services and value we provide to the owners and investors who trust us with their properties. Our team expertly manages residential rental homes in Las Vegas and throughout Clark County, including Henderson and North Las Vegas.