Wednesday, March 27, 2013

5 Smart Ways Property Managers Can Save Money

Yongjin Clover Apartment
 (Photo credit: Bitman)
Successfully maintaining an apartment building can mean big profits for owners and savvy property managers can save even more money while keeping tenants happy. 

Even little changes have a big impact and most of these changes are energy-efficient, too. And many new and existing apartment buildings can qualify for substantial tax deductions for these eco-friendly construction and changes. 

Conserving Water and Its Use

Water prices are rising, so it’s important to find ways to conserve and use water wisely. There are many ways property managers can make changes and many of these changes aren’t too difficult to tackle.

Repair leaky faucets which also reduces costly hard-water stains. Finding the right water holding tank is important as well. As the seasons change, review the watering schedule and make changes accordingly. Another thing you need to do is to drain the water heaters once or twice per year to remove built-up sediment.

Here are a few more ideas. Retrofit plumbing, toilets, showers and faucets. You may even find some incentives and rebates to help you do so for cheaper. And another idea is to change top-loading washing machines to front load or other energy-efficient models.

Choosing Proper Lighting

Replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and in common areas, use high-performance T8 lighting. Solar lighting recharges during the day and lights up at night and is something to consider.

You may also wish to install occupancy sensors to control common-area lighting. LED exit signs can equal further savings, about $40 per year. Consider when a room or space is vacant, the owner pays for any energy costs, so installing and encouraging efficiency is the way to go. 

Weatherizing Buildings

Sealing windows, ceilings, floors and doors with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping is one of the easiest ways to save on heating and cooling bills. According to the EPA, doing so can save up to 20 percent. Filters on heating and cooling systems should be changed every three months to increase energy efficiency and reduce the risk of failure. Also, installing programmable thermostats saves a lot of money. If funding assistance is needed, the Department of Energy has a Weatherization Assistance Program that might help your property. 

Conserving on Payroll Costs

Payroll is the single biggest operating expense. Web-based systems offer savings in this area. Property managers should also work to ensure they are hiring the right people, who will make tenants lives better. Of course, it’s important to do background checks — that is a worthwhile expense. 

Reducing the Advertising Budget

Similar to saving on payroll, going online for your advertising can also save money. Choose no-cost places to get the word out about your apartments, including Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter.

As a final tip, make sure you inspect all areas of your properties regularly and don’t defer maintenance until later. Fix things now while thinking about the future.

About the Author: Alisa Martin is a property manager with 15 years of experience. For finding the right water system for your apartment or property, she recommends Waterline Controls.


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