The make-ready process is usually pretty straight forward. But, if it is so easy to figure out, why do some of our apartments sit not ready and unrented for so long? More often than not, it is because our make-ready plan is either flawed, or the flow of work gets disrupted. A lot of time can be saved by having a strong and consistent approach to make-ready planning. One way to get a head start on that make-ready is by conducting a pre-move out inspection of the apartment. By walking the apartment with a member of the service team you can get an even bigger jump on it. A comprehensive inspection can set the stage for a more efficient make ready process. Here is how you can maximize the information that you will get from the inspection:
Overall apartment condition – Find out the condition of the apartments flooring, paint and cleanliness. This will help you in the scheduling of vendors and/or employees. If an apartment is in really bad shape and is not preleased you may want to consider putting a later date available in your system. Give your maintenance team time to do a quality turn on that apartment. The un-written Murphy’s Law rule is that the apartment in the worst condition will inevitably be leased first for an immediate move-in.
Ordering parts – By taking a comprehensive look at what it will take to turn that apartment you can order the parts before it is even vacant. Doors, cabinet fronts, drawer boxes, blinds, mirrors, etc. Some of these items have longer lead times. Also consider ordering the usual items that most apartments need like drip pans, caulking, doorstops, etc. all on one order and use the apartment number as the P.O. number. That way everything comes together and will be ready before the apartment is vacant.
Scheduling – After determining the overall condition of the apartments now you are ready to schedule them out. The earlier that you can schedule out the better. Not only do you give your vendors a more structured schedule of when their services will be needed, but you also set the expectations to the service teams of when the make readies will be completed. Also by putting the schedules in your computers and on your boards will help the office teams make better decisions when leasing apartments. Of course, you will need to schedule your pre-leased units first, and then schedule the apartments that can be turned the fastest. The more ready product you have, the faster you can move people in, and the more revenue you can generate!
Remember that any re-iterating or re-vamping of any process will be easier with a complete team effort. Have a meeting with everyone and explain why these changes are being made and how they will help them in their everyday job and the property overall. The service teams will need to prepare to follow the new process, and the office will need to know to check those make ready schedules before leasing apartments. Depending on your notice to vacate policy, you can have up to 2 months to prepare for that next round of move outs. By planning enough time to do a quality turn you will cut down on call backs and frustration, and improve on your level of customer service. Resident retention begins the moment they move in! If you have a better plan, the rest is easy. Plan it, Turn it, and Rent it!