There are a million ways to manage property. Property management in Providence is similar to property management in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. Many cities face property management challenges, Providence, Baltimore and Richmond are no exceptions. One of the main challenges in property management is keeping the property in good condition. There are two basic strategies for maintaining property integrity. The first is a careful selection of occupants. Second is the selection of materials that go into a property.
Choosing occupants is risky business and dangerous business. Property owners often come with their own ingrained beliefs about who might make a good tenant. They are often based on stereotypes and prejudices. It is important to avoid selecting tenants based on a preconceived idea of who might make a better tenant. Well-meaning landlords or managers could easily violate the fair housing law by profiling prospective tenants. Decisions need to be made about occupancy rates and property use issues. While there are many ways to decide which tenant to choose, they are often littered with intangibles or purely clinical information, like credit scores. There are entire clinics to navigate the legalities and uncertainties of tenant screening.
The materials used in a property offer a more concrete (pun intended) way of managing the integrity of properties. There are two basic schools of thought in property maintenance. The first school of thought is to use inexpensive materials because if these are destroyed, they are less expensive to replace. The other school of thought is to use more durable materials. Using the floor as an example, these options can be better illustrated.
If a kitchen is covered with cheap glued-down linoleum, there can be an immediate savings of several hundred dollars. This is a material that can be quickly replaced when it wears out. These products usually come with a 5-year warranty, which is a good way to estimate their lifespan. While this may seem cost-effective, it could mean frequent replacement and is often less attractive, both visually and physically, as it tends to be thinner and harder on the feet. Upgrading to thicker, more durable, and more expensive linoleum can be economical because it lasts longer and takes more abuse. Going to laminate or even engineered wood is a more expensive proposition, but they are also durable options and add value to properties resulting in higher rents.
Most commercial or rental properties require a good balance of inexpensive building materials, durable building materials, and aesthetically pleasing materials. It is important to approach materials with the concept of cost per year and higher yield. More expensive materials can often pay for themselves in terms of durability and higher value. The property’s function is also essential in determining these options. A rental for financially secure young families might use different materials than a rental for transient college students. The materials approach requires some forethought and consideration of use and market value.