Make Readies

How Long Should a Make Ready Take?


A make-ready (or a turnover) is preparing a rental unit for a new resident after a previous one has moved out. Make readies, rental turns, and rental turnover are all expressions used to describe this process.

When a resident decides to move out, the make-ready begins with a move-out inspection. This is a survey of the property to outline any damages. This way, property managers know what maintenance tasks must be completed before the property is rent ready.

After the move-out inspection and the current resident is fully moved out, you can begin preparing the unit for rent. This may include painting, deep cleaning, replacing carpets and fixtures, and other general maintenance. The goal of a make-ready is to prepare a unit for use and make sure it is in good condition for the next resident.

The cost of a turnover can vary based on the state the property was left in. The more damage the property endures, the more money you’ll have to spend on repairs. In addition to the property’s condition, the most significant impact on the cost of a make-ready is the amount of time a unit sits vacant. According to industry data, the average rental turnover costs around $2,500.

Each day a unit sits vacant, you cannot charge a resident rent. Not only are you not receiving rent money, but you likely have to pay utilities and insurance on the property until a new resident is found.

Completing a make-ready as quickly as possible is imperative to your success and getting a new resident moved in.

What is the average speed of rental turnovers?

If you asked various property management companies how long their make-ready process takes, you would probably get conflicting answers. Large property management companies may boast a quicker turnover time than a property management company managing a few units. While this may seem backward, larger property management companies often have processes in place to speed up the make-ready process, such as automation tools or software. Plus, they may have a preferred group of vendors who complete all their turns or have a solid approach with their internal maintenance technicians to complete make-readies efficiently.

If you are a property manager, you should aim to complete your make-ready in 7-10 days to get new residents in the property as quickly as possible. Although this may not always be possible when the turning season is in full swing, aiming for a week is a great way to ensure units aren’t vacant for too long. Of course, if a unit needs extra damage control, it may take longer, but there are some things you can do to speed up the process. First, get the move-out date from your resident. This way, you can begin scheduling the work while the unit is still occupied.

Ensuring your vendors or internal technicians get started as soon as your resident moves out, lowers the number of days the unit sits vacant. Another way to manage make-readies is to create a turnover checklist. This checklist will serve as your guide to rental turnovers ensuring that nothing gets missed and giving you a place to track turn-related tasks.

In addition to a turnover checklist, you could also look into property maintenance software. With dedicated maintenance software, you can set up specific projects for turnovers. When you receive notice from a resident they are moving out, you can start scheduling all the tasks required to complete the project. With  maintenance software you can keep all turnovers organized in one location. In addition, with a metrics dashboard you can track how long your turns take and work to improve that metric over time.