You wake up Monday morning July 30th and you know for the next 120 hours, you are going to be going nonstop. That’s what it felt like this morning and I am pumped about it. Hell Week is my favorite week. This is my 8th year of Hell Week and we probably have one of the easiest weeks ahead of us, yet the excitement is the same. This week is about all the work prior to this week.
Vendor Relations and Preparation
You need to have a team of vendors who know your system. Floor installers, painters, cleaners, steam cleaners and maintenance techs are the vendors who make the magic happen. Without these vendors, your turns won’t turn and your tenants won’t be happy. Do your vendors know they are going to be working in the unit with other vendors? Have you provided them a rough estimate of about how many turns they are going to have? Do they know the locations of their turns and the layout of the property? If you’ve done all of this, at least your vendors are gonna rock it.
Although the lease terminates on the 31st at noon, the 31st is a Tuesday and no one likes moving on a Tuesday. Most folks work, or only can move on the weekends which means early move outs. It is imperative that you’ve called all of the tenants moving out weeks in advance to inquire if they are planning on moving out early. If so, hopefully you can get into the unit to begin work. On the flip side, know if your future tenants plan on moving in the 1st or 5th or if they’re going to be a late move in. If so, one less property you have to turn with the others, set it aside.
Employee Job Tasks
Although your accountant, secretary, maintenance supervisor, property managers all have daily tasks. Turn day is a day where no one job is more important than the next and everyone needs to be working together towards a common goal. Secretaries may still be answering phones, but then relaying the needed vendors to the maintenance supervisor. Property managers may be driving the properties to inspect work/units/employees. Accountants may be doing checkouts. It has never been truer on turn days “One for all and All for one.”
Friends, family and random college kids may all get involved on these days. Extra helpers may do all of the following: Deliver work orders, do checkouts, weed whack back yards, pick up dog poop, collect rent payments, deliver lunch to techs or any number of other random tasks that the company/the system needs help with on these days.
I can’t emphasis this one enough. If you’ve been around a stressful situation and others are in a frenzy, it never helps the situation. These days are going to be crazy nuts and the only thing you can do to help both your sanity and the company is keep a completely positive attitude, no matter what. If a unit was missed and there is going to be a late move in, it’s okay, what do you do now? Is there a tenant that is refusing to move out, it is going to be okay, follow protocol and begin the process of getting them out. There are SO many unknowns on these two days and being ready for the unknown is all you can do to be successful. In the meantime, stay happy and positive and think creatively to find solutions.
Systems Systems Systems
Over the 8 years I’ve been here we have fine tuned the process while I am leading the charge. Each individual team member must know their roll but also be willing to help where needed. The process of turnovers start months before the 31st, but the 31st is where it all comes together. Step 1, check out units; Step 2, call in vendors; Step 3, turn over units; Step 4, unit checks prior to move-in; Step 5, collect rent, provide new keys. Essentially the 24 hours of turns consist of these 5 steps, but you need to know who is doing what, where and when.
I created a video for our maintenance techs a year ago to help them visually see how it goes. I don’t want calls from new vendors not knowing what is going or when to expect calls. This video has helped. A video like this could be applied to leasing agents checking out units, accountant taking in new rents and providing keys, but everyone needs to know what they need to do without any hesitation. A phone call of “what am I supposed to do?” is never a good phone call on these days. Know the system and fine tune it annually.
Step 6 – celebrate the end of turns!
Hell Week and turn days are my favorite part of the year. The excitement of working as a team and getting SO much accomplished in such a short time never ceases to amaze me. Whether you are turning 1 unit or 200 units, you too probably have those turn day jitters. As long as you’ve got all of these ideas lined up, you should be golden. Good luck to all that are doing unit turnovers!!