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Your Guide to Preventative Maintenance

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You know how important preventative maintenance is.  You probably also know that the best way to make sure it all gets done is by making a list and sticking with it until everything is done.  But did you know that there are a few tricks to help ensure that you’re maximizing the utility of your checklist? Here are some of our favorites:

Prioritize appropriately.

Try to make sure the first checklist items you complete are the most important ones.  Things like electrical work, roof work, and plumbing should be your highest priorities, because problems in those areas can cause fires, leaks, and floods.  Start from there and work your way down, saving the least important work for the end.  That way, you’ll knock the biggest tasks out first and minimize the risk that can come with waiting too long to perform important tasks.

Don’t delay work you can do yourself.

Certain jobs — think plumbing and electrical work — are complicated and will likely need to be handled  by a qualified outside vendor.  That may mean some unavoidable delays as you try to fit into someone else’s busy schedule.  Most tasks, though, are simpler jobs that can be performed by you or your in-house team, and there’s no reason to delay that sort of work; take care of it as soon as you can and move on with the knowledge that it’s done.

Estimate costs realistically.

Making a meaningful estimate of the cost of each task on your checklist before it’s underway offers a couple of important benefits.  First, you’ll go in with an idea of how much you’re likely to spend, and consequently, you’ll be less likely to be surprised by costs later on.  Second, you’ll be able to compare your estimates with the actual costs, which allows some analysis of where you might be able to improve your cost efficiency in the future.

Save your checklists.

After everything on your checklist is completed, don’t throw it out; instead, file it away in your records.  You’ll be able to pull it out in future years and see how work played out in the past.  That can guide your planning in the future, letting you improve your maintenance processes over time and get better and better with each passing year.

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