Unit Turns - Making Them Worthwhile

Posted By: Holly Furen Management,

The weight of the ever-ticking clock, money lost when the unit is off the market and the cost of getting the unit ready—all the while hoping to get a good return on your investment can create stress. Unit turns are one of the top stressors for housing providers. I’ve been there many times myself, and even after 20 years, it still can be stressful when budgets don't match the amount of work to be done while not meeting anticipated deadline. Having goals, standard materials and a must-do list will reduce unnecessary stress during unit turns.  
What are your goals for your property in the next 2, 5, or 10 years? Taking time to set goals (before your tenant gives you notice of intent to leave) will be a great guide for your next steps. When retaining your property as a rental (whether it is a single-family home, duplex, or larger), you will want to start making plans for future improvements, aiming for the higher end of the market. This will give you a higher rate of return. I recommend using stronger and better built materials that can hold up to the rigor of tenants’ use while setting a system for less expensive future turns. 
Did you know that apartments have the fastest turn times in the industry due to the standardization of materials used from one unit to the next? (same paint, flooring, cabinets, countertops, doorknobs, etc). In single-family homes and small apartment complexes, this type of standardization is not the norm. Standardization will be your key to keeping unit turns quicker and more budget-friendly overall. By picking standard paint colors, flooring materials and the like will speed up this and all turns moving forward. Pick materials that are easily available at a local store, materials that can be used in all your units. Be aware of specialty items due to their expense and the longer time needed to source them. Prepare a list of materials or companies you commonly use so that if the need arises, you already know where and what to get. With these goals in mind, it will help you make improvements to the property while renting it out at a proper market rate.

Must-do checklist:
1. To ensure the units are professionally cleaned along with any repairs that need to be done. 
2. Touch-up paint. 
3. Flooring - if the flooring needs to be changed (past its life or damaged, etc) I will go with either LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) or a carpet. LVP is my “go-to” product – little maintenance required and no need for professional cleaning. 4. Lighting - having matching bulbs that are bright. 
5. Exterior landscaping, decks, and patios (exterior can really shine with a quick pressure wash and fresh bark). 

Generally, whether flooring or paint - keep away from trendy colors. It may look great today but in 10 to 15 years, it's going show its age and date that unit while turning away prospective tenants in the process.

You have taken time getting your unit ready, therefore present it the best you can! Goals, standardization, must-do list, and a clean final product will help streamline your unit turn process.