Shooting blind may be a fun magic trick, but when it comes to rental turnover, the time between the old tenants moving out and new tenants moving in, you want as much information as possible. You want this information with as much time before the turnover as possible. Besides the fact that you should be getting either yourself, a maintenance tech or someone into the unit twice a year, pre walking units gives you a great opportunity to get eyes on the project at hand. You may have recently walked the units while showing to perspective tenants, but did you walk it with the idea of turnover? Where were your eyes? Were you inspecting the flooring for possible replacement, or if the unit needs to be painted? There are so many reasons that pre walking units is of the upmost importance, but I will give the the most important 3.
The Tenant Prepares Their Unit
Due to the fact that you have to post your tenants with the intent of entering at least 24 hours prior to entry, they will most likely scramble to get the place in a relatively clean state. This reminds the tenant of how serious you take your job. This is not passive management, but instead actively picking up your duty and preparing yourself and your vendors for what’s to possibly come. Also, the tenant may be in the middle of moving out already and thus presents the opportunity for you to ask if you can begin the turnover early. It never hurts to ask.
The Vendors Get a Heads Up
Although it is an imperfect science “estimating” how heavy a clean the unit is going to be or if the Carpet is going to need replaced, it is better than blind day of turnovers. Sure the tenants could put a rug over a 3 foot stain and a poster over a hole in the wall, but hopefully you can see the overall condition of the property. Based on your experiences, you can determine how heavy of a turn the unit will be. The vendors will appreciate you for doing some initial leg work so they in turn can prepare materials and subcontractors for the potential work. You will be a super hero in their eyes. Well, maybe.
You Get Prepared for What Kind of Turnover to Expect
Whether you have 1 high end single family unit that you’re turning over or 78 apartment units. Preparation is key. Mostly for yourself. Get eyes on these units to determine how long you’ll be working these turnover days. Determine how many floors need to be replaced and if you could get into units early with tenants moving out early. How many cleaners are you going to need or if the yard needs to be weed whacked down from the jungle it has become. Without pre walking the units, you won’t know what you’re getting yourself into and may cause yourself far more headaches than you need to.
We started pre walking units 5 years ago and I don’t know how we ever completed turns before then. We have had upwards of 80 units turning over in a 24-hour period and as few as 35. But how could you even begin to think about turning over 80 units without SOME idea of the condition the units are in.
It takes about 15 minutes per unit to pre walk and make estimations but can save you or the owner time, money and headaches. Good luck and pre walk those units!