Turning Over Multifamily Units - What is the standard?

13 Replies

I was shopping an apartment for a syndicated investment this past week and was drilling the property managers on various topics.

One of the topics that I have been getting a wide variety of answers is when I ask the question of how fast they turn over units. 

I had one multifamily (261 units) PM tell me they turn over units and have them rent ready in 3 days. 

Another apartment PM (346 units) told me it took them 2 weeks.

Then I had another PM (178 units) say it took them "about a week".

What is the standard or "norm", if there is one for this type of turn over?

Any thoughts or input here?

@Dan Handford I'm not sure if there is a standard per se. It depends on various things: Do you need new carpet? Complete new paint? Do you need a lot more?

Do they have contractors on stand-by waiting to do the work or do you need to fit into their schedule? My experience has been generally between 1 and 2 weeks. Extreme scenarios would require more time: Mould, or some serious stuff is broken ...

@Henri Meli - what if there was very minimal work to be done? Bascially just carpet cleaning, painting walls, etc to get it ready for the next tenant?

@Dan Handford I had a contractor who would do this type of work for me within 3-5 business days (depending on the size). I would pay him extra to send someone on the week-end do it, if needed. 

It depends on if you do it in-house or if you bring in external company. And if you do it in-house, it'll depend on how large a crew you have. If you have a sub-100 unit apartment and only a single maintenance guy it'll take him longer. If you have a 250+ unit complex and have 2-3 guys then they'll be able to turn a unit quicker. I would say about 1 week though.

@Dan Handford One thing that I will add is that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease". You are hiring them and get to set the terms or at least expectations up front. You obviously want quick turns. If a PM told me that they take 2 weeks to turn an unit without much detail as to why that long, I wouldn't hire them...because it will probably take them 3-4 weeks.

So, another way of looking at this is, "what fits your business model or personal requirements"? For example, maybe you  want units turned and ready within a week. If a unit is going to take longer (i.e. holiday, extensive work) then the PM needs to let you know ahead of time. No exceptions. Hold the PM accountable and make them make you a priority, of course, without being a jerk about it.

Good luck.

In our pro-forma, we plan for about 2 weeks but try to turn them around in less time (say 1 week).

Hire a separate external resource for cleanings, flooring and sometimes painting.

I’d say standard is a week. If you have to repaint the entire unit or it’s trashed and you have to repaint it’s probably 2 weeks.

If it’s just clean and touch up paint or something like that it should be a week or less. Just remember this will vary on PM.

It really depends on the ownership / management company and their relationship / how they operate. 

Alliance Residential/Equity Residential/Fairfield/Graystar etc etc ... they train their maintenance for 5 day turns

Private equity ownership who owns their management company but has institutional product and institutional staff might train their maintenance for 3 day turns. 

2 weeks is way too long for anything other than a major damage fix (i.e., resident tears out kitchen cabinets, etc). 

Generally speaking of course. 

For my property (21 units), it depends on how long the tenant has been in the property. We recently had one leave after 10+ years of occupancy and the place is absolutely trashed. Lots of garbage left behind, needs pest control treatment, needs new paint, replacing carpet with vinyl, holes in the wall, stove is missing the handle, etc. It's going to be a 10-14 day turnover for 2 guys working part time.

For tenants who have only been there 1-2 years, typically it takes 3-5 days.

For a minor turn 3-5 days should be doable. If you need to replace flooring, blinds, patch walls, etc, then count on 2 weeks.