If you have a rental that is getting $2,000/Month in rent, that averages out to be about $67/Day. Many property management companies and or owners have 5 days between when the old tenant moves out and the new tenant moves in. That is $335 of lost rent. If you have 5 rental units that are turning over, that is $1,675. There are many reasons I got into real estate investing, and losing money is not one of them. Rental turnover in owning investment property is part of the game. A major part of the game. You best understand how to operate them. 24-Hour turnovers are difficult, but possible.
Solid relationships with vendors is the key to every property manager. This business is built on relationships. The vendors need to be intimately familiar with how you turn properties over. When should they expect a call? Do you pre walk units prior to move out? Will they have to work around other vendors?
Here are the vendors typically needed for your AVERAGE turn:
Maintenance/Handyman, Painter, Floor Company, Steam Cleaner, Cleaner.
To accomplish a 24-hour turn, systems need to be in place and understanding that timing is crucial.
The most important step to a 24-hour turn is pre walking units. Set up a time with the tenants where you can come in for 15-25 minutes and determine the severity of the turn. Determine if 24 hours is even possible. Has this tenant destroyed the unit? Let the tenant know the repercussions of all the work that will need to be done. Give him or her the opportunity to scramble to get the place in decent condition. Otherwise, you may need to make arrangements on move-in date with the new tenant. Ask the current tenant if he or she would be willing to allow you and your vendors to get into the unit early to begin the work. Or maybe, the place looks amazing and all it will take is minimal maintenance and a steam clean. You need to make these decisions and inform your vendors what is potentially needed.
You should also provide all your tenants (when they inform you that they will be vacating) what is expected of them upon move out. As discussed previously in blog on tenant relations, communication can go a LONG way in mitigating problems. Have a check list of expectations. Have the tenant sign off that they have received this check list so that no “he said/she said” can be claimed.
The 24-Hour Day
When the day comes to turn the property over, you should have an initial “check-in” form of the unit. This should have been completed by the current tenant when they moved in. When the tenant turns in his or her keys AT NOON, you take this form to the unit and begin your check out. This is to determine what if any damage has occurred in the property while the tenant has lived there. This is also your opportunity to take 1-2 hours to inspect the unit for what is needed to put it into move in condition. Determine what vendors are needed and get it scheduled. If you properly pre walked the units, these vendors should be on standby and waiting your call.
The order of work to be done:
Maintenance should get into the property first after you have checked the unit out. If the prior tenant has left the property in a condition where a clean is not necessary, inform your maintenance tech to please clean up after themselves. If the unit is to be cleaned, then maintenance can focus on getting the items to be repaired and let the cleaners do their job after they’re done.
Are you having to touch up paint the place? Careful, paint fades and touch ups, even if it is the exact paint can leave a polka dotted room. If the carpet is having to be replaced and the unit is to be completely painted. Painters can spray the walls. Which means saved time. A paint should take a team about 5-7 hours in a 1000 square foot unit.
After the painters and maintenance has been into the unit, it is time for those floor installers to get ripping and installing. A full carpet replacement in a 1000 square foot unit should take about 6-8 hours. Plan accordingly. Do they need to stay in after hours to get the job done? Let them know that it is okay to work past 5PM and what, if any quiet hours there are. We use Carla’s Sunshine Flooring for all of our floor installations. They’re amazing in Northern Colorado.
Cleaners, should be the LAST vendor in the unit (unless the property is to be steam cleaned). Cleaners can come in after maintenance techs, painters, floor installers and clean up after everyone. They can finally get to the drywall dust, pick off the pieces of masking tape around the windows and vacuum up the pieces of carpet left over. When the cleaners walk out the door, the place should smell pinesolly fresh and ready for the new tenant to move in.
If the unit is to be steam cleaned, it should be absolutely last. Leave the new tenant those beautiful steam cleaner track marks when they move in.
I am not going to lie. 24-Hour turns are insanity. Sometimes, they just aren’t practical. If you’ve pre leased these units, you may be in for some rent concession negotiating because the unit is not going to be ready when you promised. Here is a fun video of the turn process!
On my personal properties, I give myself 5 days. But that is because I work a full time job and cannot dedicate my full attention to getting my properties turned over. If I was 100% focused on my properties turning over, I would most likely implement a 3-day turn over. Five days is far too many, 1 day is insanity (but can be done) and 3 days may be the sweet spot.
The more properties that you own and manage the more difficult doing 24-hour turns is. If you have just one and the tenants have meticulously cared for it, then 24 hours is a cake walk. If you have 20 beaters and 10 of them are turning over; good luck is all I can say. Take the proper steps above and give yourself a fighting chance.
I have had seasons where the rental turnover was 78 units, 64 units, 50, 24, 44 and 46 units over 6 years. All in 24 hours. It can be done. With the right processes in place.