As a property manager, you're in the business of protecting your owner clients' investments. There are a million other tasks that go along with the job, but the most important thing is to ensure that the properties you manage are consistently in good condition.
So, how can you make sure that's the case? By conducting regular property walkthroughs to help identify maintenance issues and ensure that the tenants are following the terms of their lease.
What is a property walkthrough?
A property walkthrough is a visit to a rental property to document the condition of the outside and inside, track maintenance issues, and record tenant wear.
It's best practice to conduct property walk-throughs periodically, at least once or twice a year. That way you can check the interior and exterior, and confidently document the condition of the property in its entirety.
Showdigs' recommendation: We suggest documenting the condition of your properties when a tenant moves out, before a new tenant moves in, and at least once per year during tenancy. This also helps when it comes time to give security deposits back to tenants at the end of their lease. However, make sure not to conduct too many walkthroughs during tenancy — your tenants will quickly become annoyed.
How do you give tenants notice of a property walkthrough?
Laws vary between states, but typically, the landlord or property manager must give 24-48 hours written notice before entering the property. There is also language that states that the professional must conduct the walkthrough at a reasonable time of day.
At Showdigs, we handle all tenant scheduling, coordination, and reminders leading up to the Showdigs Agent walkthrough.
Five reasons why property walkthroughs are necessary:
- Opportunity to find and address maintenance issues before they become disastrous (and costly!)
- Document tenant living conditions
- Discover any illegal activities
- Build a relationship with your tenants
- Reduces the risk of a security deposit dispute, as you have photos and videos of the property during all stages of tenancy
Condition reports and property walkthroughs
Conducting just a property walkthrough isn't enough — it's critical to also document all of the details. If the property's condition is consistently documented, it’s easier to:
- Keep track of maintenance issues
- Protect your business from potential legal issues with tenants
- Make the move-in/move-out process run smoothly for yourself and your renters
If you use Showdigs, you can be sure that all rooms and details are properly documented. Showdigs' condition reports include 40+ photos and contain detailed descriptions, so you don't have to actually visit the property to have full visibility of its condition. Click here for an example of a mid-tenancy condition report completed by a Showdigs Agent!
Scheduling a property walkthrough with a tenant
Scheduling with tenants can be extremely difficult — from playing phone tag to answering all of their questions, it can definitely be a headache. And that's only for one of your renters! At any time, you could be overseeing hundreds (or even thousands) of tenants, which means streamlining the process is crucial.
Showdigs handles all tenant scheduling with an easy-to-use calendar that allows tenants to choose a time that works for them. All of their questions can be answered by a handy FAQ or a member of our in-house Live Operations team, which ensures tenants feel more at ease.
Once the date for the walkthrough is confirmed, Showdigs sends out a local, licensed real estate agent that is specially trained to conduct the property walkthrough and complete a detailed condition report. The condition report and photos are then sent to the property manager as a PDF, and can be sent directly to the owner.
If you’re not conducting regular property walkthroughs…
You should be! These walkthroughs will save you time and money in the long run, while attracting high-quality clients for your business. Most homeowners are willing to pay extra for walkthroughs to ensure their investment is being taken care of — so consider that when adding regular condition reports into your pricing.
Take a look at our website to see how Showdigs is revolutionizing property walkthroughs and condition reports!