Operating costs can make or break your investment dreams. One of the keys to cash flow (or lack thereof) will be the
expenses you incur for taxes, repairs, utilities, maintenance, insurance, supplies, and property management.
In thinking about your investment, consider how to reduce operating costs for utilities and preventive maintenance.
This is a difficult cost to control. If you pay
the utilities, you will be at the mercy of every
cost increase from the utility companies and unknown usage from your tenants.
There are three approaches a landlord might
want to consider:
The Issue: For most properties, you will pay the water bill since typically there is only one water meter and no easy
way to split up water usage. The gas and electric, however, are a different story.
The Fix: Buildings with master-metered gas and electric utilities can easily be reconfigured to individual meters.
The Issue: You can look to eco-friendly options for reducing electrical costs over the long term.
The Fix: Solar panels will greatly reduce, or in some cases, eliminate the electric bill.
The Issue: It is hard to keep track of power usage, especially when you don’t live at the property.
The Fix: Plan out energy consumption. Simply installing lighting sensors in communal areas like laundry rooms and
parking garages can save hundreds of dollars each year. Your local power company’s website will have numerous tips on
how to reduce energy consumption and save money.
Preventive maintenance can also save thousands. Being on top of issues before they become problems keeps the
building in tip-top shape and the property accruing the best returns.
The Issue: Properties with small maintenance issues typically result later in equipment failures, water damage, and
higher-than-necessary utility costs.
The Fix: Doing regular preventive maintenance to take care of little jobs before they become big.
Be on the lookout of the following items: