In an ideal situation, you will receive the proper notice to vacate from your tenant. When this occurs, your Turn Over Process in triggered to begin. In this article, I outline a sample Turn Over process you can emulate, edit and use for your rental property management.
During the turn over, there are 2 primary work functions happening simultaneously. First is the administrative function, including the Move Out/Move In inspections, setting market rent, advertising the unit, scheduling & conducting property showings, the application process, and finally deposit return. And documenting all of the above.
Second, there is the physical turn over of the unit or property. This should include your standard preventative maintenance procedures and any minor / major repairs, renovations, or improvements you'll make during turn over. Big ticket items include paint and flooring: Will you shampoo or replace carpets? Will you touch up or completely repaint (Don't forget to check the ceiling)? Finally, a turn over is a convenient time to make minor or major rental property upgrades such as installing laminate flooring, new vanities, cabinets, and counters, appliances, electrical fixtures, doors, windows, ceiling fan, tub, shower enclosure, and plumbing fixtures. Is now the time?
Below, I've outlined how we conduct these 2 functions efficiently, to minimize vacancy time, make necessary or desire upgrades to justify market rent, and create clear and fair expectations to both outgoing and incoming residents.
The Pre-Move Inspection is KEY to efficiently turning over your rental property. Always schedule your Pre-Move Inspection 10-14 days before scheduled move out date. This will allow ample lead time to schedule vendors, order & pick up materials.
PRO TIP: Taking pictures during the Pre-Move Inspection can help you remember specific needs.
PRO TIP: Have all necessary materials on site to save time on the job.
In the example above, arrange for the paint, kitchen sink, faucet, and blinds to be delivered before the job starts. Most vendors will greatly appreciate if materials are already there, this makes their job easier too. You can deliver them or let them know where they can store materials before the job starts.
Now that you have a plan, your vendors are scheduled and materials prepared, you should have an accurate estimate of when your property will be ready for move in. Using the example above, the property should be ready 9 days after the current residents vacate.
Run your rental market analysis and set your asking rent amount. I recommend starting to advertise the unit as soon as you know your turn timeline, this will allow you to have as much exposure as possible.
You will have more response once new pictures are up, but at the time of this writing, the rental market is aggressive enough to "pre-rent" the unit before the work is done.
Schedule showings in the evenings, after the workers have left for the evening, but ALWAYS state the unit is "under construction" and you'd prefer to wait until the work is finished. The most motivated potential renters will insist, stating they understand and want to see the unit anyway.
Show the unit and offer your rental terms; Explain your rental application process and rent the property, you'll be surprised how often you are able to schedule a move in date for the 9th day or very close to it.
Planning in advance is critical in minimizing your vacancy and turnover time. The organization, thoughtfulness and thoroughness of your turn over process results in a better relationship with your vendors, attracts higher quality residents and creates less drama for you, the professional landlord.