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Turning Rental Units

We find renters look for housing year round, but in our city, June, July and August are the best months to have availability because of the demand.  We also have a major university in our city which generates student rentals that turnover in August.  These are 3 recommendations we have for turning rental units.

Have a make ready software program such as Make Ready Manager which helps keep all your units’ lease start and end dates organized and streamlines the process of scheduling work done between tenants.  Without a system like this, it is a lot harder than what it should be and can lead to disorganization, frustration and mistakes.  You want to at least have a make ready board or a scheduling board to keep things organized so your vendors and employees know exactly what units they are assigned and when they are to do them.  Keeping them informed and organized will lead to better and more efficient work.

Spread out your lease expiration and lease start dates so you do not have too many units to turn all at once.  We have leases expiring at various times of the month.  We can only handle so many inspections and general maintenance preparation in a day.  We contract out painters, cleaners, carpet cleaners and flooring installers.  They like having their work spread out, too.  Our painters and cleaners can do two apartments a day.  If we have more than that such as during student housing turnover, we plan to have additional painters and cleaners. 

Have the best workers lined up to do the work and ensure the jobs get done right the first time.  There isn’t much worse in a property manager’s world than having a new tenant come to pick up keys for a unit and it is not ready or wasn’t done properly.  The tenants get quite angry and do not understand all that a property manager goes through to prepare their home.  Make sure you can count on your workers to do tasks as scheduled and do them to your level of expectations, even if they have to work late or on the weekends.  If you can’t rely on them 100% of the time, you need to make sure you have a backup plan with other workers who can step in at any given notice.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  People get sick, have personal emergencies and other unexpected problems that become YOUR problem if they don’t get their work done.  Having written contracts with your vendors with consequences for work not getting done to your satisfaction as scheduled is recommended.  That still doesn’t help when they fail to complete the work as expected.  That is why a backup plan is always best.

Preplanning is another recommendation we have.  Schedule pre-moveout inspections in the units that will be turning so you can plan the work that needs done after the tenant moves out.  Flooring work, appliance replacement and other more time consuming work needs to be preplanned so the work can get done in the time frame you have. 

Have a happy turnover season.   

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