One of the biggest issues managers of large property holdings encounter is the lack of a clear line-of-sight into the assets within their property portfolio. This lack of clarity can affect anyone from individual investors with a handful of properties in their portfolio, all the way up to institutional owners such as Fannie Mae and Ameritrust.
Owners of portfolios of properties often do not have an up-to-date status of the equipment on their properties, and this makes it difficult to plan and prioritize for their upkeep and repair.
In turn, poorly planned repair and replacement jobs on “behind-the-wall” assets such as HVAC systems, electrical systems, and plumbing can lead to bloated maintenance expenses. However, these can be pared down with asset tracking and planned replacements. Performing planned replacements during the lower-cost offseason, rather than performing expensive emergency repairs during the peak heating or cooling seasons, can make all the difference.
Asset tagging or tracking—the logging of age, model, and warranty status of services—helps owners know what systems are most likely to fail and then plan their budgets accordingly.
An asset-tagging project typically involves a contractor or technician going into a property and labeling existing behind-the-wall assets with a unique identifier, which can then be scanned and logged by the technician via a mobile application.
To use HVAC as an example, once asset data is gathered on all properties of a portfolio, a 360 profile is built showing the brands of the equipment, efficiency/SEER ratings, tonnage, the types of refrigerant used, and the condition of the equipment. Once the data is collected, a report is generated that shows the overall health of a given property and the portfolio as a whole.
Additionally, the technology can be merged with home automation solutions such as smart thermostats to provide additional benefits such as remote monitoring of an entire portfolio of properties, managing heating, and cooling efficiency.
With this asset report in hand, the property owner or investor then is able to optimize their capital expenditure with planned replacements, avoiding both fluctuations in HVAC equipment prices and labor costs.