Property Management Blog

Preventative Maintenance Tips to Save You Money in the Long Run: A Guide for Massachusetts Landlords

System - Wednesday, April 17, 2024

As a landlord in Massachusetts, you know the importance of keeping your rental properties in tip-top shape. Not only does proper maintenance create a more attractive and livable space for your tenants, but it can also save you significant money down the road. Here at Martin Property Management, we recommend prioritizing preventative maintenance to avoid costly repairs and emergencies.

What is preventative maintenance?

Preventative maintenance refers to routine inspections and upkeep tasks performed to identify and address minor issues before they snowball into major problems. This proactive approach can significantly extend the lifespan of your property's systems and appliances, ultimately saving you money.

Here are some key preventative maintenance tips for Massachusetts landlords:

Address minor plumbing issues quickly: Leaking faucets, dripping pipes, and clogged drains may seem like minor inconveniences, but left unattended, they can lead to bigger problems like water damage and mold growth. This is especially important in older buildings commonly found throughout Massachusetts.

Clean gutters and downspouts: Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and damage your roof, siding, and foundation. Regular cleaning, especially before and after fall and winter, is essential. Heavy snowfall in Massachusetts winters makes this particularly important to prevent ice dams and water leaks.

Inspect smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms: These life-saving devices require regular testing to ensure they function properly. Replace batteries according to manufacturer's instructions and consider replacing expired units. This is crucial to ensure tenant safety and meet legal requirements in Massachusetts.

Perform seasonal maintenance: Prepare your properties for seasonal changes. In Massachusetts, winterizing tasks might include checking and insulating pipes to prevent freezing, while spring cleaning could involve inspecting for signs of pest activity, such as after a long winter.

Additional tips for Massachusetts landlords:

Maintain a maintenance log: Track all maintenance performed on your properties, including the date, type of service, and any notes from the technician. This record-keeping will be helpful for future reference and budgeting, especially when dealing with older properties that may require more frequent maintenance.

Consider a maintenance plan: Explore offering preventative maintenance plans to your tenants. This could involve regular filter changes, air duct cleaning, or pest control services. Such plans can provide peace of mind for tenants and potentially reduce wear and tear on your property.

By following these preventative maintenance tips, you can avoid costly repairs, extend the life of your rental property, and ensure a smooth and positive experience for your tenants in Massachusetts.

Martin Property Management: Your Partner in Preventative Maintenance

At Martin Property Management, we understand the importance of preventative maintenance, especially for properties in a climate like Massachusetts. We can help you develop a customized maintenance plan for your properties, coordinate with qualified service providers familiar with the needs of older buildings, and ensure your investments are well-maintained.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you save money and protect your rental properties in Massachusetts!

Get professional property management in 2021

System - Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Are you thinking about investing in rental properties in 2021? Maybe you're thinking about hiring a property manager for the first time? If so, you've come to the right place!

At Martin Property Management, we specialize in total property management and can save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental property yourself.

Unlike some companies in the area that only started in property management recently, we have years of property management experience and can promise you the quality property management services that you need for your property.

Get More ROI From Your Rental

One goal that every owner should have is to get more ROI from their rental property.

Sadly, some people lose track of why they invested in rental properties in the first place and they become exhausted with managing their rentals themselves. Don't let this happen to you!

Our company can assist you with all of the property management services that you need so that you can count on comprehensive service for your investment property.

Enjoy Passive Income From Your Rental Property 

Earning passive income is one of the top reasons why most investors choose to purchase rental properties but it's no uncommon for them to get caught up with managing their rentals themselves.

With all of the work that does into self management, a typical DIY landlord quickly gets burned out and sells their rental property.

When you hire us to manage your Bedford area rental property, you can count on us to provide you with professional service and excellent support.

Learn more about the services that we can offer you by calling us at (617) 957-0166 or click here to connect with us online. 

Best way to communicate with tenants

System - Monday, December 28, 2020

It doesn't matter how long you've owned rental properties, tenant communication is vital to being a successful landlord because fast, clear communication is a key to success with ensuring that your tenants stay happy and pay their rents on time.

10 Reasons Landlords Should Communicate With Tenants by Texting 

1. Texting is fast

Text messages are the fastest way to contact your tenants. Text messages are sent and received in an instant. Depending on the service or app you use, you can also see if the tenant has read the text message. And it’s more likely that the tenant will check their messages more frequently than emails.

Here are the problems with calling and emailing. Trying to reach someone depends on the time you have to speak to them and whether they are available to answer the call. Emails are quicker than a call, but this also depends on tenants checking their emails.

2. Texting tenants is easier

It’s easier for tenants to text landlords if they need to contact you quickly. This type of service leads to a better customer experience because tenants can receive instant responses. This, in turn, reflects positively on your reputation as a great landlord, reducing tenant turnover and making it easier to fill vacant units.

After all, it’s not just landlords who are busy. Your tenants may also lead a hectic life and don’t always have the time to reach you or draft out emails.

3. You can send more than just a text

You can spend a great deal of time talking to a tenant as they attempt to describe an issue and the extent of any damage. Texting gives you the ability to send photos and videos. This is an invaluable resource when resolving maintenance issues.

With the help of visuals, you quickly get a clearer idea of what exactly has occurred with your property and what needs fixing. You can also provide a solution much faster as you have seen the problem without having to visit the property. So, texting tenants to resolve maintenance issues saves you and your tenant time and money.

4. It’s what the customer wants

Studies show that 75% of millennials would rather lose the ability to talk than the ability to text. The statistics are the same for Gen Z. So, it’s better to jump on the trend now to prepare yourself for the next wave of young tenants.

Aside from making it more convenient, younger generations are not used to or even comfortable talking on the phone. So, a messaging service is what they are looking for. Many young adults view it as obtrusive if you call without warning them.

5. You can stop wasting time

When it comes to checking voice mail messages, 19% of millennials don’t bother. It may not sound like a lot, but if you are in the habit of leaving voice messages, chances are that 1 in 5 of your tenants will never hear them.


6. Enhanced tenant engagement

Receiving a text message can be more personal than an email. This allows tenants to feel a little bit closer to you and improves engagement. You can make valuable connections with tenants without having to make a phone call.

7. You have better records

Unless you delete them, your messages stay there for the long term. This is essential if there are any severe disputes between you and the tenant.

Text messages are considered written proof, and it’s much easier to authenticate a text message than a conversation that is not recorded—which legally you probably can’t do. As an electronic record of dialogue, you can enter as evidence into court if you need to file an eviction.

8. Text messages can refresh your memory

We have all had that bugging feeling of forgetting something. The upside of having a permanent record of your text communications is that you can always go back and see what it is that you might be forgetting. It’s like a digital Post-It note.

9. You can resolve issues 24/7

Having text communication with your tenants helps you to resolve issues fast. Although there’s a question about maintaining a work-life balance, having access to text messages allows you to sort out emergencies when they occur. At the same time, you can also stay in touch with your employees for internal operations.

10. Texting is a cost-effective solution

Typically, you want to find the most cost-effective method to communicate with your tenants. Plans may include free text messaging, as well as free photos and videos. Even if there is a cost to the service, the advantages will far outweigh the small fee you may incur from a text service. Many mobile apps allow you to send videos and images for free.

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Contact Martin Property Management

For more property management tips, or to speak with us about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or click here.

Tips for listing your rental property online

System - Monday, December 21, 2020

It doesn't matter if you've owned rental properties for years, or you're investing for the first time, knowing how to list those rentals online is one of the keys to success with earning ROI from your property.

In this article, we will share with you several tips for marketing your rental property online like a property management professional.

How to List Rentals on Online Marketplaces

1. Know your market audience

Not every potential renter is going to be a good match for your property. If you have a three-bedroom house in the suburbs, it’s unlikely that you will have much interest from students. Similarly, if you aren’t in a good school district, you might struggle to bring in families.

There are numerous rental websites, and they will often appeal to a specific type of renter. When you match your target type of renter to your rental units, you will be able to save time and money by advertising in the right places.

2. Get your wording right

You have just a few words and sentences to capture someone’s interest. So use language that appeals to a person’s emotions and desire for a better lifestyle. That way, you increase the chance that they click to get more information.

For example, there is nothing catchy or exciting about a “2-bedroom apartment in the city center.” On the other hand, an “open plan loft with gym and pool” will make people hungry for more.

The same is true for the description. While it is essential to describe the crucial aspects of your property accurately, don’t forget to highlight the best parts. Imagine yourself as a renter. What would you need if you were a young couple working in the city? Include these things in your description.

Of course, it’s also vital to avoid any discriminatory advertising under the Fair Housing Act.

3. Don’t scrimp on photos

Statistics show that online customers are 80 percent more likely to request more information about a property when there are 20 or more photos. Now, that may sound like a lot if you own small rental units. But you should include as many images as possible to highlight the best aspects of each room.

When it comes to photos for online marketplaces, it’s also essential to use high-quality images.

Here are a few handy tips if a professional photographer isn’t in your budget:

  • Use a camera with a flash and tripod instead of your smartphone
  • Take photos of all the rooms and from different angles
  • Don’t forget to include any outside areas
  • Include photos of the benefits of your property that you mentioned in your description

4. Use videos and 360° pictures

Millennials are busy people, and they don’t want to view a ton of different properties. By providing virtual tours or 360° images, you can give them a more precise overview of what’s on offer. This will help to make sure your property is on their final list to view.

Another advantage of videos and 360° pictures is that it lets your tenant know that you are tech-savvy. This may be just enough to convince some millennials to short-list your rental unit.

5. Get on social media

Almost 80% of millennials are on Facebook. It’s not an exaggeration, but if you want to find good renters and fast, your property has to be on Facebook. The latest algorithms allow rental properties with videos to be ranked higher than those with only photos—another good reason to create a virtual tour.

Post your rental properties to Facebook and other social media sites and ask your friends and family to share the post. It is also a good idea to join rental property groups where you can share your posts.

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Contact Martin Property Management

For more information about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling (617)  957-0611 or click here to connect with us online. 

Tips For Managing Your Bedford Rental Properties Remotely

System - Thursday, December 17, 2020

Owning rental properties in the Bedford area is an excellent way to build consistent cash flow while building long-term wealth.

Although rental properties have their benefits, the big question is what do you do if your rental properties are in Bedford, and you have to move out of the area?

Even though managing a rental property remotely may seem like it's going to take a lot of time and hassle, the reality is that it's going to be easier than you think, especially when you start utilizing online tools to assist you with all your property management needs.

Tips For Screening Tenants And Collecting Rent

One of the first tools that you should use to manage your rental properties remotely is rently.com. with this online tool, tenants will be able to self tour your rental property without you actually having to meet them in person.

The great thing about Rently is that everything is tied to a credit card so that if a tenant chooses to damage your rental property while touring it, those damages can be taken off their credit card.

Let’s say that a prospective tenant wants to rent your property after they tour it. Thankfully you can utilize DocuSign, which will enable you to send your lease to a prospective tenant electronically and they can sign it over the internet.

When it comes time for your tenant to pay their deposit and rent, it's also best to sign up for another online service which you can use collect rent online. Some of the best services for this are Buildium.com and AppFolio.com.

Know When To Hire A Property Manager

Even though self-management may seem easy, the reality is that the best way to earn consistent return on investment from your rental property is to hire a property manager.

A property management company is going to save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental property yourself.

To learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by clicking here.  

Secrets Of Profitable And Successful Landlords

System - Monday, December 7, 2020

Are you planning on investing in a rental properties for the first time in 2021? If so, you’re making a smart choice!

Rental properties are an excellent way to build wealth and generating monthly cash flow.

In this article we will share with you several tips successful and profitable landlords use to build profitable portfolios of rental properties.

1. Profitable landlords know their numbers

It’s not enough to calculate a mortgage, add on the profit you want, and rent out a property for that amount. There are a ton of other numbers you must consider.

Here are just a few:

  • Property taxes
  • City tax
  • Insurance
  • HOA dues
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Vacancy rate (approximately 8% of the rent)

You may also want to consider a property manager, particularly if you have to manage many rental units. However, for startups, the cost of a property manager usually makes it an unviable investment.

Profitable landlords are always realistic, even though they always consider the worst-case scenario to ensure they have the cash flow available.

2. Successful landlords know how to find the right rental properties

The best landlords keep their emotions out of business. It’s easy to find a property that you fall in love with. But a bargain price tag doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal. After all, it’s paying tenants that make a rental business successful, not a cheap property.

It is essential to have a good knowledge of real estate, especially in your local neighborhood. You need to know how much people are paying for rent in the area and for different properties. Consider what amenities are close by—for example, schools, public transport, shops, and physicians. Is the property in a safe neighborhood? The most profitable rental units are the ones that attract good tenants, who pay their rent on time.

3. Savvy landlords are aware of tax advantages

Don’t wait for the IRS to knock on your door and tell you how to reduce your tax bill. Profitable landlords will research tax information and determine exactly which expenses are deductible and which aren’t—saving a ton of money.

To be a profitable landlord, get professional real estate tax advice. States have different real estate tax laws, and you need to know what you can deduct. Generally, you can deduct mortgageinterest and expenses from buying the property. If you are working from home, you may be able to deduct some household expenses.

It’s highly recommended that you hire an accountant to guide you through the tax process. They will save you money on your tax returns and make sure you aren’t making any expensive mistakes.

4. Landlords aren’t out to make friends

There is a balance between being a fair and reasonable landlord and trying to make friends. Successful landlords are kind, respectable, and reachable. However, you also don’t want to be dropping in for coffee every other week.

There’s a problem with being too close to tenants—they may feel that it’s OK to overstep boundaries. They might start by paying rent a little late. Or they could think that they can call you day and night for trivial matters.

There's another problem—having a personal relationship with tenants makes it more challenging to increase rent. Even if the rent increase is in line with current rental rates, they may feel hard-done-by.

However, if you are looking at multiple properties, you don’t want the reputation of being the horrible, distant landlord. Being friendly and listening to your tenants’ needs will encourage them to speak well of you and attract more tenants.

5. Always screen tenants

The best landlords know the importance of thoroughly screening every tenant. Don’t be tempted to take on any tenant because your property has been vacant for a while. If you panic, you rush the process and cause yourself costly problems in the future, such as expensive evictions.

Most people’s applications will look perfect, but you can’t rely on everyone being completely honest. Your screening process should include checking with listed references, background checks, and credit reports. Despite being time-consuming, you will get a complete overview of your tenant. Profitable landlords will also check if tenants have renter’s insurance, just in case there are any issues.

6. The best landlords report tenants to credit bureaus

Profitable landlords understand the benefits of rewarding on-time rent payers and punishing those who are late—it’s the fair thing to do. Tenants who know you report to credit bureaus are less likely to fall behind on payments, which means fewer evictions to deal with.

On the plus side, reporting those tenants who pay on time is a massive benefit for them. You help build their credit score, and most tenants prefer when landlords report rent to credit bureaus. Having a healthy credit score will make it easier for them to apply for credit or a mortgage in the future.

7. They are exceptionally well-organized

Being organized from day one is an absolute must. It is good to get into an organized habit even if you’re starting with just one property. Ensure you have a well-organized system that you can scale up when you expand.

You will need to keep a record of:

  • Signed agreements
  • Rental payments (due dates and late fees)
  • The payment of property taxes and insurance
  • Copies of insurance policies
  • Certificates and necessary inspections

Paperwork is always a bit of a nightmare. But it is critical to be organized in this area and have a thorough paper trail in case of any legal or financial problems. It would help if you also made sure that there is a digital copy of everything in case hard copies are lost or damaged.

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Contact Martin Property Management

At Martin Property Management we specialize in full service property management and can save you the time, money and hassle of managing your rental property yourself.

For more information about the services we can offer you, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or connect with us online.

What 2021 Goals Should You Have For Your Rental Property?

System - Monday, November 16, 2020

2021 is almost here, and for many people, it can't come soon enough!

If you're like most people, you're looking forward to starting a new year but, even though we're getting ready for the holidays, you should also be focusing on establishing goals for the coming year as well.

This article will share with you several tips that you can use for setting 2021 goals for your rental property. 

Goal #1 - Focus On Improving The Kitchen And Bathroom

Since most tenants spend time either in the kitchen or bathroom of rental property, these are the rooms where you should focus most of your renovation efforts.

Thankfully, you don't have to engage in extensive renovations in either room if you don't have the budget to do so, you can renovate, or refresh the kitchen and bathroom in your rental property by doing the following.

  • Repaint each room
  • Refinish the cabinets
  • Replace cabinet Door & Drawer Hardware
  • Replace flooring

Focusing on minor renovations is going to be enough to make your rental property look fresh and inviting when you start marketing again.

Goal #2 - Invest In Improved Marketing

Once you taking the time to improve your rental property, the next thing that you need to do is focus on improving your marketing.

By improving your rental property marking we mean that you should take new pictures and video of your property to post online.

New picture and video are important because you want to show potential renters what the property looks like now, instead of what it looked like 5 years ago.

Goal #3 - Hire A Property Management Company

Last of all, but most important, if you haven't hired a property management company to manage your property for you, what's stopping you?

Hiring a property manager is the most efficient thing that you can do to get an excellent return on investment from your property without having to do all the work yourself.

To learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by clicking here. 

Lexington Massachusetts Property Manager

System - Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Are you searching for a Lexington Massachusetts property management company? If so, you've come to the right place!

At Martin property management company, we specialize in offering full-service Property Management to owners and investors of rental properties in the Lexington Massachusetts and Bedford Massachusetts area.

Our company can offer you everything that you need for sourcing, acquiring, and managing your rental properties.

The Property Management Services that we can offer you include property marketing, tenant selection, maintenance, customer service, accounting, and more!

Although some investors may be encouraging you to manage your properties yourself, we will save you the time and hassle of Property Management.

Your Lexington Massachusetts Property Management Company

It doesn't matter if you own a single-family home, down-home, condominium, or apartment complex, our property management team can handle any rental property in the Lexington Massachusetts area.

Rental properties continue to be one of the best investments in 2020 because, not only do they enable you to build wealth, they also generate positive, long-term cash flow for you every month.

Sadly, even though rental properties continue to provide an excellent return on investment, many investors make the mistake of attempting to manage their properties themselves. This only leads to frustration and burn out, don't let it happen to you!

Contact Martin Property Management

Learn more about how easy it is to hire a Lexington Massachusetts property management company, click here to connect with us online. 

Bedford MA Property Management

System - Thursday, October 22, 2020

Are you searching for a Bedford MA property management company? If so, you come to the right place! At Martin Property Management, we specialize in full-service property management and can save you the time, money, and hassle of managing your rental properties yourself.

Unlike some companies in the Bedford area that promise full Property Management Services, you can count on us to provide you with a team of property management professionals to manage all the aspects of your rental property.

Some of the services that we can offer you include rent collection, maintenance, customer service, and so much more.

Now is the perfect time to hire a property management company

Have you been managing your rental property yourself? Or are you frustrated with your current property manager and are ready for a change? If so, now is the perfect time to hire a property management company!

With winter fast approaching, you want to have an expert property manager managing your Bedford rental property. This will save you the time and hassle of having to focus on all the aspects of Property Management so that you can enjoy your winter without having to be over burdened with all the day-to-day responsibilities of property management.

Let us help you grow your portfolio of investment properties

If you ask the average investor, they will tell you that they don't have time to grow their portfolio of investment properties because they get too wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of property management. Don't let this happen to you!

We will save you the time and hassle of property management so you can finally focus on growing your portfolio of investment properties once again!

To learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling 617-957-0166, or click here to connect with us online. 

The hardest aspects of being a DIY landlord

System - Monday, October 12, 2020

Owning rental properties helps investors to build wealth and positive monthly cash flow but they can also come with headaches, especially if you're managing them yourself.

In this article we will provide you with several of the hardest aspects of being a DIY landlord.

Turnovers: Where 90% of the Labor & Costs Lie

The overwhelming majority of the work and expenses involved in owning rental properties comes during turnovers.

It starts with walking through the unit with the outgoing tenant to determine if they caused any damage that should be deducted from their security deposit. You have to send them a detailed invoice, breaking down all security deposit deductions.

Then comes repainting, recarpeting, and other property updates, followed by advertising the vacant unit. And then open houses, showing the unit, collecting rental applications, and screening tenants. This includes pulling background checks, contacting references and prior landlords, and verifying income and employment. Fail to screen applicants well, and you end up with bad tenants (more on them shortly).

After going through all that, you have to collect the security deposit and initial rent, sign a lease agreement with all legally required disclosures, and come full circle by walking through the unit with the new tenants for a move-in condition inspection.

Woof. It’s enough to make you reconsider buying REITs and ETFs instead of putzing around with brick-and-mortar investments.

Chasing Down Nonpaying Tenants

There's nothing worse than chasing down deadbeat tenants who haven't the slightest interest in paying their rent on time.

They may eventually pay some back rent to prevent you from completing an eviction. And then you go back to square one, sending notices, calling them, cajoling, bribing, threatening, and eventually filing in court again. Round and round you go.

Word to the wise: avoid this cycle through aggressive tenant screening. In my experience, there are exactly two types of people when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Some people take their bills extremely seriously as a matter of personal honor and would be mortified to miss one. Others never saw a bill they wanted to pay on time in their life. And you can tell the difference instantly by looking at their payment history on their credit report.

And yes, “stuff” happens in life, and people occasionally experience a true crisis like a job loss or divorce. But you can still read it clear as day in their payment history, as a sudden stretch of late payments followed by a return to on-time monthly payments. Isolated blips serve as outliers—the exception that proves the rule that it takes a true crisis to force fundamentally responsible people to fall behind on payments.

People who regularly miss payments, however, are another breed entirely.

High-Maintenance & High-Impact Tenants

Some tenants pay their rent on time but treat you, the neighbors, and/or your property badly.

They call at 3 a.m., complaining that a light bulb went out. They blare their music or TVs late at night, driving the neighbors crazy. Perhaps they leave their dog droppings all over the communal grounds or the neighbors’ lawns.

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Contact Martin Property Management

Are you tired of being a DIY landlord? We can help! To learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling (617) 957-0166 or click here!

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Martin Property Management, LLC
P.O. Box 331
Bedford, MA 01730

Phone 617.957.0166

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