Calendar icon February 6, 2023

Guide to Hydroponic Indoor Growing Systems

Indoor growing can be fast, easy, and fun with a DIY hydroponics setup.

Last month, we gave you the ins and outs of how to start your own vegetable garden. Now, with summer heat in full swing, toiling in that summer heat can be exhausting. So why not move the garden inside?

Move the garden inside? That sounds like a lot of dirt on the floor.

Actually, there is no dirt involved at all!

No soil in the garden? Do . . . do you not know how gardens work?

Of course we do. We're talking about hydroponics.

Ahhhhh yes, hydroponics. What's hydroponics?

Merriam-Webster's dictionary officially defines hydroponics as "the growing of plants in nutrient solutions with or without an inert medium (such as soil) to provide mechanical support." In layman's terms, it's the process of feeding plants the nutrients they need with a water-based solution instead of naturally through the soil.

Advantages of growing hydroponics

  • A plant growing in a hydroponic system can grow around 30% faster than a plant grown in traditional soil. This happens because the plant does not need to expend energy in search of nutrients within the soil continuously. Instead, the nutrients are carried right to the plant, and that energy goes to growth.
  • A hydroponic system can use as much as 95% less water than traditional soil-based growing methods. Since the system is enclosed, water used in the growing process is not exposed to the outside world, which reduces evaporation.
  • Environmental conditions don't play a large role in the success of your crop. Since your plants are growing inside, factors like weather conditions and soil type won't impact the growth of your crops. You have a lot more control over the growing conditions.

Disadvantages of growing hydroponics

  • Hydroponics can be an expensive hobby. There are lots of different types of hydroponic systems (we'll get into those later), but top-end systems can cost more than $500 alone. Fortunately, there are more affordable DIY options.
  • In traditional gardening, the soil stores nutrients that the plants can access on their own. In hydroponics, there is no nutrient storage. That means you're feeding the plants directly. If something breaks in your system or you forget, your plants will end up just like your Digipet.

As long as you can ensure that your plants will receive the appropriate amounts of nutrients and light, you can set up a hydroponics system pretty much anywhere, including in the comfort of your own home. Pre-constructed systems are available for purchase online, which can become quite expensive, or you can have some fun and make your own. The choice is yours.

Before we start though, here are a couple of terms you should know.

  • Growth tray - Where the plants themselves will sit
  • Reservoir - The bucket or tank that will hold the nutrient solution
  • Nutrient solution - A mix of water and key nutrients plants need to grow and will be supplied to the plant roots
  • Growing medium - the material that the plant will lay roots in (not present in every system)

How do you build your own system?

Building your own hydroponics system can be as simple or as complex as you would like. There are some really simple types of systems that require little effort to set up, and there are some really serious investments you can make. Deciding what kind of system is right for you is the first step. Since we're betting against most of you wanting to build a $5,000 hydroponics wonderland—because who has time for that?—we're going to focus on the smaller-scale systems that are best for building in your home.

Wicking systems

A wicking system is the most basic hydroponic system around and it's great for getting started in hydroponics. It has been called the "training wheels of the hydroponic world" and for good reason. It's easy to set up and use, making it the perfect system for first-timers.

This system has seen some innovation, but the general concept is older than hydroponics itself. All you'll need are two containers, your plant of choice, a growing medium, and a wick (hence wicking).

SN Tip: Growing medium is inert, which means it won't decay, and it provides no nutritional value to the plant. It exists to provide structural support, and that's about it. Common mediums include things like vermiculite or perlite, but just about anything that will give the plant support and allow it to root can function as a growth medium. Sand is another example.

This wick does not have to be anything particularly specific. A piece of rope or string will work fine. You set up the system so that the reservoir sits below the growth tray. You then run your wick or string from the solution in the bottom container up into the growing medium in the growth tray, as pictured.

SN Tip: The reservoir and growth tray can really be anything. As long as it can hold a solution, it should work. On a small scale, you can use bottles. Large plastic tubs will also work.
wicking system illustration

Fill the bottom container with the solution and the top with the growing medium and plants and you're done. Capillary action will move the nutrient solution up the wick and into the growth tray with consistency that will allow the plants to intake the nutrients and grow.

SN Tip: Capillary action has a very sciencey definition, but all you need to know is that it's the movement of water or another liquid across a surface against gravity. The physical properties of water make this possible and it's what allows a wicking system to work.
SN Tip: fill the bottom reservoir as much as possible in order to minimize the distance the solution has to travel.

The advantage of the wicking system is that it's super easy to set up and maintain. The disadvantage is that it won't supply nutrients to the plants at the same rate as some of the more complex systems, so the variety of plants that can be grown in a wicking system is a little smaller. Plants that don't "drink" as much, such as smaller plants like lettuce or different types of herbs, grow best in a wicking system.

SN Tip: Wicking systems also don't require the use of a water pump to deliver the solution to the plant roots, making it a "passive system." Those that do require a pump to move the solution to the plants are referred to as "active systems."

Deep Water Culture (DWC) systems

A DWC system is a little bigger and a little more complex than a wicking system, but all in all, it's still relatively simple. This system differs from a wicking system in that it submerges your plant's roots in solution 24/7 instead of a growing medium that is supplemented by the nutrient solution.

deep water culture illustration



Because of this, it is critical that the aquatic environment the plants live in is properly managed. pH and oxygen level management are quite important with the DWC. An oxygen pump is necessary to ensure that oxygen levels remain sufficient.

Setting up a DWC only requires one reservoir and does not need a growth tray. The reservoir is filled with a nutrient solution, and the air pump is installed to ensure the appropriate amount of dissolved oxygen.

SN Tip: Smaller DWCs are harder to manage because it's challenging to keep nutrient concentration, dissolved oxygen, and especially pH levels consistent.

The plants themselves are suspended above or on top of the liquid solution in net pots. Net pots are simply pots with holes in them that allow roots to sit underneath the pot and submerged in the solution. There are several different ways to install the net pots in a DWC system. You can float them, where you attach a flotation device to each pot and allow them to rest on top of the solution. The second option is to suspend your plants in the air above using a brace or a roof with holes in it. The actual process of doing this depends on how you construct your reservoir, but the image below will show you a good example.




Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) systems

An NFT system is among the most popular hydroponic systems. It's an active system that requires a water pump to run, but other than that it is set up very similarly to a wicking system.




Like the wicking system, an NFT has both a reservoir and a growth tray. Unlike the wicking system, a pump is used to move the solution from the lower reservoirs to the growth trays (or upper reservoirs), where it flows across the tray and drips back into the lower one. The system also requires an air pump to ensure the water is properly oxygenated.

NFT, like any active system, requires a little more maintenance because the water does not reach the plants naturally. You're dependent on your pumps to keep the plants receiving the nutrient solution. If a pump goes out, your entire garden is at risk. Thankfully, this isn't common (pump technology isn't particularly complex), but it is something to stay aware of.

Other systems

An ebb and flow system and a drip system are similar to NFT systems, with the lone difference being how the solution is supplied to the plant. An ebb and flow system uses a pump to flood the growth tray the plants reside in periodically, draining it shortly thereafter. It's like an NFT except it doesn't push the solution through continuously. A drip system is also similar to an NFT, but instead of filling the upper reservoir with nutrient solution, the solution is trickled from drip lines on top of the plants in the growth tray, where it then percolates through a growth medium and falls back into the reservoir.

SN Tip: Because of the recirculation of these systems, pH and nutrient amounts can change frequently, so consistent monitoring is recommended.

How do I manage pH?

pH is an absolutely critical element of a functioning hydroponics system. A pH level that is all out of whack can cause plants to die from insufficient nutrient uptake or, believe it or not, too much nutrient uptake.

For anyone who didn't pay attention in eighth-grade science class, pH is a measure of the acidity of a liquid. The scale runs from 0–14, with lower numbers being more acidic and higher numbers being more basic. For reference, battery acid has a pH of 0, water has a pH of 7, and drain cleaner has a pH of 14.


pH scale


The reason this is so critical is that the solubility of nutrients changes at different pH levels, which affects the ability of the plant to absorb these nutrients. If the plant has trouble absorbing nutrients from your solution, growth will be stunted, and the plant will eventually die. If levels are too high and the plant absorbs higher than acceptable amounts of nutrients, it can die from poisoning. You can have the coolest hydroponics setup in the world, but if your pH is off, all your plants will still die.

SN Tip: There are multiple ways to test your pH. The easiest and cheapest are pH test strips, which are extremely quick and easy to use and available at any gardening or pet store. You simply dip the strip in the solution, swish it around for a manufacturer-specified amount of time, and then match the color it turns to the color on a corresponding table that comes with the test strips.

As you'll see below, many plants prefer a slightly acidic nutrient solution. It's necessary to continually test your solution to ensure it remains at the right pH. If you find it needs adjusting, you have a few options. The easiest is adding "pH up" or "pH down" chemical solutions. These are readily available at the store or online. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how much to add and be sure to check your pH frequently.

What can you grow in a hydroponics system?

You can grow just about any type of fruit, vegetable, flower, or herb. Ideal growing conditions will vary by plant, and some are more suited for specific system types because of it, but almost anything can be grown with hydroponics.

Hydroponic lettuce and hydroponic tomatoes are some of the more common items to "plant" in your system. Lettuce, in particular, is one of the best plants for beginners looking to dive into the world of hydroponics. The leafy green is easy to grow, will grow in a wicking system, and can be harvested in just one short month.

Fruits like strawberries and the aforementioned tomatoes (a tomato is a fruit, deal with it) have a slightly longer grow time, but are good starter crops as well. Below you'll find some popular plants and key details needed to succeed at growing them.


  • pH range: 6.0-7.0
  • Grow time: 1 month
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • pH range: 5.5-6.5
  • Grow time: 2 months
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • pH range: 5.5-6.5
  • Grow time: 2 months
  • Difficulty: Easy


  • pH range: 6.0-7.0
  • Grow time: 1.5 months
  • Difficulty: Easy

Bell peppers

  • pH range: 5.5-6.5
  • Growth time: 3 months
  • Difficulty: Easy

Hydroponics is a fun way to grow your own fruits and vegetables from the comfort of your own home. It can get complex and expensive, but it doesn't have to be if you don't want it to be. Simple and easy systems exist that will allow you to enjoy fresh homegrown produce at your dinner table.

You know what else you can make simple and easy in your home? Air filters, with Second Nature. Never forget to change your filter again.

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10 Best Property Management Maintenance Software

In the property management world, tech solutions abound. There are so many different players on the market, but sometimes, that wealth can be tough to navigate. When it comes to property management maintenance software, single-family property managers have to identify, first, how they approach maintenance and, second, what tech solution will best support their team, workflows, and operational structure. It’s a daunting task! That’s why Second Nature builds integrated solutions to support residents in preventing issues from ever developing. These solutions reduce maintenance needs through preventive maintenance strategies and take work off the property manager’s plate. But no matter how much prevention you build in with tools like our Resident Benefits Package, you’re always going to need some maintenance management. So, today, we’re going to look at some of the best approaches you can take and the best software available to you for property management maintenance. Property management maintenance software solutions come in two basic categories: Platform Solutions: Property management operations platforms or accounting software that include maintenance support, among other full-service property management solutions. Dedicated Point Solutions: Property management software designed to tackle one specific problem – in this case, maintenance. We’ll explore solutions that fit into both of these categories and how to weigh the pros and cons of each. 1. Property Meld Property Meld is a leader in the small to medium-sized property management business space. It’s a maintenance point solution to optimize work order management, response time tracking, vendor and resident communication, scheduling, and analytics. Its built-in “Owner Hub” helps provide the right amount of transparency to your clients. Perhaps the best feature is the Insights Tool, which helps you track metrics like the median speed of repair, average resident satisfaction, vendor health score, total spend per unit, and more. Pros: The user interface is intuitive for PMs and residents Opening repair tickets takes just minutes Tracking repairs and resident satisfaction is easy and transparent Powerful analytics help you see your success at a glance Cons: If you’re looking for a full-service operations platform, Meld won’t be the solution for you. 2. Lula Lula is another dedicated point solution focused on property maintenance technology. They leverage a network of vetted contractors to make finding the best technicians easy. Lula’s team becomes an outsourced extension of your property management company, troubleshooting, coordinating, and managing maintenance tasks. They operate in over 30 markets in the US and boast results like 80% one-trip resolutions and a net promoter score of 80. Pros: They do the work to vet and provide the vendors You can bring your own vendors in if you want to Integrates with any software Customizable plans for self-service or full-service Cons: May not yet be available in your market Only focuses on maintenance 3. Buildium Buildium is a popular all-in-one solutions platform and property accounting software with excellent management features. The web-based solution and app provide support in accounting and invoicing, communications, leasing, and maintenance activities. Their portals provide tenant support, maintenance management, and templates to make every part of property management easier. Pros: A near-complete solution for property management Excellent tenant and owner portals and communication hubs Analytics and tracking to streamline operations and results A 14-day trial helps you evaluate if it’s a fit Customizable packages Cons: Lack of transparency for owners The listing process isn’t as comprehensive as some users want Can be pricey 4. Mezo Mezo is an AI-driven, cloud-based property maintenance management software. The aim of the app is to take work off your plate by automating maintenance ticket responses, resolutions, and insights. Mezo takes requests directly from residents and uses conversational AI to ask questions in real-time, identify problems, and diagnose the issue. It will support residents in resolving the issue on their own or integrate with your management system to get work orders quickly sent. Pros: Residents can get help immediately when they have issues and potentially resolve themselves with Mezo’s chatbot support Technicians arrive with Mezo’s analysis and diagnosis, allowing them to come prepared and resolve issues quicker Integrates with most PMS options Cons: Doesn’t integrate with all other PM tech solutions As a newer technology, still has some bugs and gaps 5. Lessen Lessen, formerly SMS Assist, is an enterprise-level solution providing tech-powered renovations and maintenance at scale. It’s an end-to-end platform for maintenance operations with a vetted vendor network and provides everything you need for maintenance or turning projects. PMs simply use the app to request projects, deploy Lessen network pros, track progress and checklists, check for quality control remotely, and process payments – all in one slick tech solution. Pros: Excellent, seamless tech that’s easy to use and deploy A fully vetted vendor network takes that work off your plate An established brand that has worked out the “kinks” in service Cons: More ideal for more enterprise companies who need scale (rather than smaller SFR PMs) 6. AppFolio AppFolio is a full-service rental property management platform solution that is very popular with single-family property management companies. The web-based app streamlines and automates every stage of real estate management, including management, training, marketing and leasing, maintenance, accounting, reporting, and communications. For maintenance, AppFolio includes workflow automation, work order managemen toolst, online maintenance request, mobile inspections, and more. Pros: Easy-to-use technology with great UX Fully mobile and automated Customizable dashboards and advanced reporting Cons: An expensive platform if all you need is a maintenance point solution Customer service is not always available for maintenance line 7. Rentvine Rentvine is a full-service property management platform that focuses on communication support between PMCs, residents, and clients. The platform streamlines application and tenant screening, inventory management, accounting with a manager’s ledger and client money tracked separately, marketing, leasing, and – of course – maintenance. The app tracks all your work orders from start to finish and supports communication between residents, property managers, and vendors throughout. Pros: Easy to use with excellent customer support Owner and tenant portals work seamlessly Excellent accounting process Cons: Has fewer features than some competitors but is continuously improving 8. DoorLoop DoorLoop is another full-service property management software that provides all the features a property manager needs to manage their portfolio. You can handle accounting, maintenance, listings, marketing, client success, and more, all from the app. For property management maintenance, their software helps manage work orders, handle vendor payments, and track the process from start to finish. Pros: Intuitive, streamlined UX that’s user-friendly Great customer service Excellent integrations Cons: Expensive if all you need is a maintenance point solution rather than a full platform Some functionalities are still being developed 9. FTMaintenance FTMaintenance is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) point solution platform designed for maintenance managers, executives, and technicians. While it’s not specifically designed for property management, the software streamlines work order management, vendor payments, tracking, and more. For some PMs, this could be the added solution they need to focus simply on complex maintenance jobs. Pros: Robust work order tracking Excellent mobile app for vendors and maintenance managers Analytics and organization Cons: Not designed specifically for property managers, focused more on commercial properties Complex if you are not tech-savvy 10. UpKeep UpKeep is another CMMS point solution focused entirely on managing maintenance. It’s not designed specifically for property managers but may have the features you need if you’re looking for a maintenance-specific app. Explain key features, pricing, and why it should be considered. Their web and mobile app helps manage day-to-day maintenance life cycles, work orders, payments, and more. Pros: Great work order tracking with in-depth reports and financial analysis Easy to use for maintenance scheduling and organizing work orders Cons: Not specific to residential property management Difficult to learn how to use How Second Nature Helps with Property Management Maintenance When it comes to maintenance, at Second Nature, we’re always looking to empower the resident. Our Resident Benefits Package provides solutions that minimize maintenance needs and costs in the first place. From HVAC/air filter delivery to on-demand pest control to rental rewards, we aim to incentivize residents to care for their property and take work off the property manager’s plate. We also work closely with other property management software providers to ensure you have everything you need for success in your SFR property management business. Learn more about the Second Nature RBP and how it can bring ease to your work.

Calendar icon November 17, 2023

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Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Property Management

A big part of property management is prevention. Property managers anticipate issues, plan for problems, and execute solutions. For some, a key part of this prevention is to develop a property management preventive maintenance checklist. For multi-family property managers, a regular preventive maintenance check is standard–and easy. Their properties are often all contained to one apartment building or community, and it’s easy to do a walkthrough to ensure everything is as it should be. For single-family property managers, it gets a lot more complicated. With scattered-site properties, regular inspections are impractical and expensive. In fact, one of the best ways to approach prevention is to help equip residents to take preventive measures themselves. At Second Nature, that’s our approach: “How do we make it easy for residents to handle preventive care of the property?” In this article, we’ll explore both approaches to preventive maintenance: Doing inspections as a property manager – or finding solutions where residents support the process. Let’s dive in. What is Preventive Maintenance? Preventive maintenance is a proactive approach to keeping a property in good condition with the purpose of preventing unexpected failures and maximizing longevity. This type of maintenance encompasses a broad range of activities, from routine inspections (more common in multifamily) to air filter delivery services that keep HVAC systems running smoothly. By implementing preventive maintenance tactics, property managers aim to prolong the lifespan of property components, maintain property value, and provide a safe, functional, and appealing living environment for residents. What is a Preventive Maintenance Inspection – and Who Conducts It? A preventive maintenance inspection is a regularly scheduled, systematic evaluation of a property designed to identify and rectify any emerging issues before they escalate into serious problems. In other words, a preventive maintenance inspection is like a health check-up for a property. A well-documented inspection also provides a record of maintenance that can be valuable for insurance claims, move-outs, etc. Generally, SFR property managers find themselves in three different camps when it comes to property inspections: Those who visit sites only when an issue arises. Those who conduct scheduled annual preventive inspections, whether there are issues or not. Those who conduct biannual or seasonal preventive inspections, whether there are issues or not. But there’s also a fourth option: Those who rely on a partner who helps manage prevention for them. There is so much residents can do themselves to prevent larger issues from ever developing – they just need a little support. For example, if a resident is changing their air filter on time, the property manager is going to get fewer HVAC tickets, and the HVAC system is going to last longer. If you can provide scheduled air filter delivery, residents can stay on top of their filter changes. Whichever of the camps you fall into, we want to provide you with resources in this article to make preventive maintenance easier. If you’re the type of property manager who prioritizes regular preventive maintenance inspections, we have a checklist template for you below. If you’re the type of property manager who prefers to react when issues arise (often more cost-effective), we have some suggestions for how to help residents manage preventive measures on their own. What to Include in a Preventive Maintenance Checklist Let’s say you do prioritize regular inspections. Crafting a preventive maintenance checklist for property management is all about anticipating needs and averting potential issues before they arise. Building your checklist begins with a thorough assessment of the property's unique features and vulnerabilities. By understanding the life cycle of various components of a property across the seasons – from HVAC systems to appliances – you can prioritize tasks and schedule maintenance in a way that minimizes wear and tear. Your checklist will likely include the following categories: Structural Maintenance Electrical Systems Plumbing & Water Systems HVAC Systems (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Appliances (if provided) Lawn & Outdoor Areas Pest Control Safety & Security Systems Interior Checks Miscellaneous (Garage, waste disposal, etc.) Sample Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Property Management Companies With input from OnSightPROS, we’ve built a preventive maintenance checklist template for single-family rental property management companies. Use this template as-is or tweak it to fit your property needs! If you want a downloadable and more in-depth template for all types of rental inspections, check out our original post on rental inspection checklists and Get the download here. Structural Maintenance Roofing: Inspect for leaks, damaged tiles, or shingles. Check gutters and downspouts. Foundation: Check for cracks, water damage, or shifting. Walls and ceilings: Look for cracks, dampness, and signs of mold. Electrical Systems Safety checks: Ensure that outlets, switches, and wiring are in good condition. Lighting: Regularly test all indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures. Inspect circuit breakers and panels. Plumbing & Water Systems Drains and pipes: Check for leaks or buildup. Water heater: Test hot water temperature and pressure relief valves and inspect for signs of wear. Faucets and fixtures: Ensure proper flow and check for leaks. HVAC Systems (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) Filters: Ensure they are up to date. With Second Nature’s Air Filter Delivery, you’ll have the date stamped right on the filter itself. Ductwork: Check for mold or leaks. Seasonal checks: Ensure the heating system is ready for winter and cooling for summer. Appliances (if provided) Oven, range, microwave: Check for cleanliness and ensure they are working efficiently. Refrigerator: Check coils and inspect seals. Washer and dryer: Inspect hoses and ensure the resident is keeping lint and drainage clean. Lawn & Outdoor Areas Landscaping: Ensure that the landscaping is tidy and up to HOA standards, if applicable. Paths and driveways: Check for cracks or tripping hazards. Pools: Ensure safety measures are in place. Pest Control Notice any signs of pests With Second Nature’s On-Demand Pest Control, you can be sure residents can call a professional immediately if they ever have issues. We handle it for you. Safety & Security Systems Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Ensure residents have kept up to date and they are installed properly. Fire extinguishers: Check expiration dates and ensure they're easily accessible. Emergency exits and paths: Ensure they're clear and well-marked. Interior Checks Floors: Look for damaged tiles, caulk problems, carpet wear, or wood floor issues. Windows and doors: Ensure they open and close smoothly, and check seals. Miscellaneous Garage and parking areas: Check for proper lighting, security, and cleanliness. Waste disposal: Ensure trash bins are clean and in good condition. The Importance of Preventive Maintenance Did you know that something as simple as getting air filters delivered on time can reduce HVAC costs by hundreds of dollars annually? More on that in a minute, but it’s clear that for property managers, preventive maintenance isn’t just about keeping the property in good shape—it's a strategic approach that yields all kinds of benefits. By prioritizing prevention, you can: Minimize costly repairs: Regular maintenance can prevent small maintenance issues from escalating into expensive emergencies. Extend asset longevity: Helping residents proactively care for components like HVAC systems extends their lifespan, saving money in the long run. Enhance resident satisfaction: Supporting a resident in maintaining their property means fewer complaints and issues, leading to higher retention rates. Ensure safety: Regular checks keep safety hazards at bay, reducing the risk of accidents and liability. Improve property value: Consistent upkeep maintains or even increases the property's market value. Stay compliant: Keeping up with building codes and safety regulations is non-negotiable, and preventive maintenance ensures compliance. By incorporating a preventive maintenance strategy, property managers not only safeguard the property's physical health but also its financial viability and desirability in the market. It's a proactive measure that resonates well with residents and investors alike. Best Tools to Support Preventive Maintenance Here’s the big question: How can property managers for single-family homes make preventive maintenance easier? Scattered-site properties don’t lend themselves to regular inspections. So, the best solution, as we mentioned above, is to help your residents do it themselves. Here are three of our favorite products to get that done. Second Nature We’ve built a Resident Benefits Package with proactive property management in mind. Each feature – from renter’s insurance to on-demand pest control to air filter delivery – aims to address ongoing needs and prevent common issues from escalating. Let’s take air filter delivery as an example. In the largest HVAC data study of its kind, filter delivery service reduced HVAC ticket requests by 38% Just by including a filter subscription for your residents, you can help them cut energy costs and ensure your HVAC system lasts for the long term. Learn more about all of the features of our Resident Benefits Package and how it delivers results for residents, property investors, and property management companies. RentCheck RentCheck is a property inspection app built to help residents do inspections on their own. The property manager can request and track routine inspections from the resident. You can set up any cadence you want and customize the self-guided inspection requirements. RentCheck will fully automate reminders and support residents in completing a video inspection that then gets sent to you as a shareable report. zInspector zInspector is another very popular rental inspection app in the SFR property management space. Like RentCheck, property managers use zInspector to schedule, customize, and receive inspections conducted by residents themselves. The app also includes a toolkit with an evolving set of property and task management tools. You can get 360 photos and virtual tours with a compatible 360 camera and printable, customizable inspection reports. FAQs Q: What are the benefits of preventive maintenance? Preventive maintenance offers a multitude of benefits, including: Cost Savings: It reduces the likelihood of incurring expensive emergency repairs and extends the life expectancy of property assets. Efficiency: Regular maintenance ensures that all systems and appliances are running at optimal performance, which can lower energy costs. Tenant Retention: A well-maintained property leads to higher tenant satisfaction, which can decrease turnover rates. Safety: It helps identify potential safety issues before they become hazardous, promoting a safer living environment. Value Preservation: Ongoing care maintains and can enhance the property's value over time. Compliance: Ensures that the property remains in compliance with the latest building codes and safety regulations. Overall, preventive maintenance is essential for maintaining a property's integrity, ensuring tenant satisfaction, and optimizing operational budgets. Q: What is included in basic preventive maintenance? Basic preventive maintenance for property management typically encompasses: Routine Inspections: Regularly checking the structural integrity of the property, including roofs, walls, and foundations. HVAC Maintenance: Ensuring heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are clean and functioning properly. Plumbing Checks: Looking for leaks, clogs, or wear in pipes and fixtures. Electrical System Audits: Inspecting electrical panels, wires, and safety systems to prevent malfunctions. Groundskeeping: Checking outdoor areas, including landscaping, gutters, and drainage systems. Appliance Upkeep: Servicing provided appliances to prevent breakdowns and extend their lifespan. Safety Inspections: Verifying that all safety equipment, like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, is in working order. These tasks are designed to identify and address issues before they develop into more significant problems, helping to ensure the property remains safe, functional, and appealing to tenants. Q: What’s the ideal schedule for preventive maintenance? The ideal schedule for preventive maintenance can vary depending on the specific needs of a property, but a general guideline is as follows: Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly: Regular checks on a weekly to quarterly basis are more common for multifamily properties and apartment buildings, with quick checks on high-usage areas and equipment, such as communal spaces and gardening upkeep. Quarterly maintenance inspections could include more in-depth inspections of HVAC systems, plumbing and electrical systems, and seasonal preparations. Annually/Seasonally: A small number of SFR property managers will conduct seasonal or semi-annual inspections. A few more conduct annual inspections (unrelated to move-in or move-out, which always includes inspections). These are more in-depth inspections to keep an eye on potential issues.

Calendar icon November 15, 2023

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