The Ins & Outs of Make Readies
Do you dread make readies because they are inefficient, taking from your bottom line? Successful property management companies create a workflow for their staff to follow to minimize the time a property is in the make ready stage of the property management lifecycle. While each property management company is going to have different needs, here are four elements we have found that help successfully turn a property on a dime for everyone.
1. Plan Ahead For Lease Expirations
You can start the process of turning a property before the current lease is expired. Start working on your lease expirations 60-90 days before the end of the lease. Add a 60-90 day move out notice requirement in your rental contract to guarantee the tenant gives notice on time. Even if you do not require notice at that point, you can still send a letter to each tenant reminding them to renew or give notice, and many will respond at that time.
The primary reason to work on move out notices two or three months in advance is to make scheduling easier. Certain times of the year are hectic for contractors. The sooner you get your property on their calendar the more likely you will have their attention right away instead of waiting until their schedule clears.
Schedule your primary vendors for bids immediately following the move-out date for your property. You should have an idea of which vendors you will need to engage based on your most recent property inspection as well as normal wear and tear based on how long your tenant was at the property.
3. Pre-Market Your Properties
Good contractors should be able to bring your property back to pre-lease condition after most tenants. Unless you are planning an extensive remodel or changes, you can use your photo set from the property to start pre-marketing your vacancies. Be sure to note any expected changes from the make ready process to set expectations that the property will not be exactly as shown. Let potential tenants know an expected ready date for the property.
You can start gathering interested parties’ information and scheduling walkthroughs as inquiries come in. When current tenants move out, and you have a set repair schedule from your vendors, call your leads and re-confirm your appointments. Build your waiting list this way and your property will lease much faster than waiting for the make ready to be complete.
4. Same Day Walkthroughs
Don’t only schedule vendors in advance. Schedule your property assessment for the day of or the day after move-out so you can get eyes on the property. If you adequately prepare for your contractors, the bids should proceed quickly so you can get all of the work completed within a shorter time-frame.
Build relationships with good contractors that can carry out the repairs you need quickly after meeting with you. Always walk with your contractors as they complete your work to look for last minute fixes. Remember, if quality suffers your reputation will as well so do not be afraid to interview new contractors from time to time if quality starts to suffer.
If you find these property management business solutions helpful, you can learn more from our full-length course, “How to Start, Run, and Grow a Property Management Business.”