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Landlord Topics - Make Ready, Rent Ready

In today's video we discuss why it is so critical to make sure your property is "Rent Ready" and the various steps to become rent ready. We discuss inspection, cleaning and repairs that may need to take place between tenants to get your property in the best condition possible.  

Transcription Results:

Greetings from Colorado Springs. My name is Lance Kohler and I'm the managing broker for the Cornerstone Real Estate Team. Thanks for joining us today. Today, I'd like to discuss an interesting landlord topic and that is one of “make-ready” -- or making the property rent-ready. Why is that so important? There are a couple of different reasons why that's important. One, it impacts your vacancy. If your home is renting for $1,800 per month, every day that it's vacant costs you $60. So we want to keep that in mind. If you're doing improvements or repairs, there are costs involved. So again, attention to the make-ready process is important because we want to minimize those costs for you the owner, or if you're managing yourself, obviously you want to minimize those costs for your property.

And lastly, but maybe most importantly, is that a good make-ready process that presents the property in the best condition possible really sets the standard for that in-coming tenant, for you to tell them this is exactly how I want to get the property back. We have found this is really important. We want to present the property in the best condition possible, clean, and no repairs required. Everything has been taken care of so that we set the standard on how we want the tenants to maintain it and how we want to receive that property back.

Now for the make-ready process within our organization, I'm going to talk about two different cases. The first one is when a new owner provides their property to Cornerstone. So a new client is getting ready maybe to move out of their property, or they're turning their property into a rental property and they're handing it over to Cornerstone for us to provide them property management services. Preferably, we like the owner to give us the property rent ready, and we have a checklist for owners. The information we provide cleanliness wise, we like the term “hotel room clean”. Obviously not if you've gone into a dirty hotel room, but one that you've gone into and you appreciated the fact that it was clean. That's what we're looking for in a single-family home. In our management agreement, we allow the owner to set the date and we will take over the possession of the property at that date and get it ready for listing and leasing.

Now sometimes that doesn't work for everyone depending on their moving schedule or their work schedule, or maybe they're out of state and the home has been sitting vacant. So Cornerstone can also do the make-ready. We can also make that rent ready for the owner and we can easily facilitate that process for you. 

The second case that I’d like to talk about is between tenants. That's where we're managing the property, and we have the one tenant move out, and we've got new tenants getting ready to move in. So there's a move out inspection, to identify any damages or repairs that might be needed – if there are any upgrades or any routine maintenance things that we've got to provide to the owner. And then we'll do a move in inspection prior to the new tenants moving in and make sure that we establish the condition of the property and show that it's in rent ready condition before we hand that over to the tenants.

So a couple of things to remember: at least for us, we require the unit be professionally cleaned and that the carpets be professionally cleaned. The reason we ask owners to provide us their property in that condition is because that's what we will require from every tenant each time the tenancy ends; we require in our lease for the tenants to provide the unit back to us and provide receipts for professional cleaning and for professional carpet cleaning, and that's with a truck-mounted steam system. We specify that because we don't want the little rental from the Safeway. We want it professionally done, and the tenants are required to provide us receipts showing that they had that done.

We do have a list of recommended vendors. We can provide that to any owners and we do provide that to tenants when they're ending their lease and getting ready to move out, so they knew who to choose from. The reason why we prefer those recommended vendors is because we work with them on a regular basis. We know that they provide a good product, they provide a good service for a fair price. And if there's a problem, if they missed something, if there's some issue that needs to be addressed, we know that they are responsive and that they'll come back and fix what wasn't done right.

Sometimes we get asked by owners if, in between tenants, can I use my own contractor or handyman, or can I have a friend do that? Yes, but oftentimes there's a caveat to that answer. So yes, you can. We don't recommend it. We don't recommend it because we feel like we can do it quicker and more efficiently, oftentimes, than an owner can, especially if the owner's not local. That has been our experience. So we've done that before; we've done that a couple of times with other owners. We just think we can be more efficient because maybe we're more practiced with it. But if you, as an owner, want to do that, want to manage the process -- you're welcome to. We do ask that you manage the whole process. So what we don't do is piecemeal. So you can't do the carpets and then have us clean the cabinets and somebody else clean the bathrooms. That doesn't work and it's not efficient. So we just ask that if you're doing the make-ready process, then you manage the whole process. You pay the vendors, and then you let us know when it's done. We'll come back. We'll essentially take over the property again and get it listed and leased as quickly as possible.

Like I said, our vendors do good quality work at a fair price or we wouldn't use them. They're responsive to us. They'll fix a problem. They're licensed where that's required and they're insured. We track that for all our vendors that we use; we keep copies of their paperwork on file. And we don't upcharge maintenance, so there are no hidden fees. There's no maintenance addition. There's no 10% added to invoices, at least not here. So there's no additional cost aside from the cost of having the vendor actually do the work and for having Cornerstone manage that for you. We want you to trust the process so that we can save you time and money.

If you are curious about what your property could bring for rent income, we have a free market analysis on our website. Feel free to check that out and you can reach us there, if you have any questions, or you can stop by our office, or reach us on the phone – (719) 243-6400. Thank you for your time. Have a great day.