Freshly painted interior of an apartment unit with large windows

Summer and fall are popular moving periods. Property owners and managers aren’t just busy filling units — they’re also preparing them for new renters. First impressions matter. To make sure your new renters have a positive move-in experience, consider these four tips to turn over apartments in under 48 hours. 

1. Build strong relationships with your renters

“Maintaining a good rapport with tenants will allow them to be more open to communications and requests,” says Craig Stevens, who founded investment company Groundbreaking Real Estate and owns multifamily buildings in New York. “If you only contact them at the end of a lease with a list of to-dos, those things will be harder to achieve.” 

Stevens recommends meeting new renters in person when their applications are accepted. As the relationship develops, it’s important to be responsive to renters issues and respect their preferences, too. For example, if a renter works at night, property owners and managers can avoid early morning visits. 

“Although tenants are encouraged to call the property manager for any day-to-day issues, I also provide my contact information as the landlord,” Stevens says. “Tenants rarely call me, but I think it provides a sense of comfort knowing they could should the need arise.” 

As the move-out date approaches, give renters plenty of notice and direction about what needs to happen. 

“Providing adequate awareness of upcoming events — such as pest control spraying, painting and cleaning — allows tenants to appropriately plan and accommodate,” Stevens says. 

2. Standardize units

“Use the exact same paint manufacturer, color and sheen for all of your units,” says Bill Samuel, a real estate developer and property manager who owns Blue Ladder Development, an investment company in Chicago. “This will allow for quick touch-ups. In cases where you may have to repaint the wall, it will likely save you time as you will only have to paint one coat since it’s the exact same color.” 

Standardization also comes in handy for move-in and move-out processes and steps for every unit. For example, when you use the same cleaning teams and each unit has the same parts and appliances, it’s much easier to ensure a smooth transition between renters. 

“The more you can do to have teams in place that know what they’re doing — and common tools and procedures that can work for every unit in your portfolio — the better you’re going to be at handling quick turnovers,” says Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement Leasing, an online hub for property owners and managers. 

“Use the exact same paint manufacturer, color and sheen for all of your units. This will allow for quick touch-ups.”
—Bill Samuel

3. Prioritize cleaning and repairs over upgrades

Though you might be tempted to make upgrades in between renters, that can slow the turnover process. If your priority is turning a unit over quickly, upgrades might have to wait. 

“If you have a long to-do list on a unit and you’re pressed for time, focus on basic repairs and getting things functional first,” Ang says. “You will probably be able to arrange a future date to add some upgrades with the new tenants.” 

4. Schedule services in advance

Shaun Martin, owner and CEO of investment firm Denver Real Estate Solutions, recommends property owners and managers schedule all necessary maintenance, repairs and cleaning well in advance. 

“This will help ensure that everything is done in a timely manner and that there are no last-minute surprises,” he says. 

Additionally, make sure that all the utilities are turned on and ready to go for the new renters’ arrival and that new keys are ready. 

“Make sure tenants have all the information they need to move in without any issues,” Martin says. 


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