Turnover is often more expensive than owners expect. As you prepare your property for a new tenant after a resident has left you need to get it into the best possible condition. That’s going to require a bit of maintenance, a thorough cleaning, and some potential updates and improvements that will make your home attractive to new residents.
All of this, of course, needs to be done while the home is vacant and you don’t have the benefit of rent coming in.
How can you save money on turnover costs, especially with labor and materials only going up in price?
We have some ideas. Check out some of our money-saving turnover tips, and let us know if you need any help preparing your property for the Cleveland rental market.
How Much Do Turnovers in Cleveland Really Cost?
You need to have a budget for turnover costs, and if you’re smart, you’ll budget more than you will actually spend. It’s always a pleasant surprise to have a little money left over.
Turnover costs will depend on how much wear and tear was left behind after the last tenant. They will depend on how long the tenant lived there and whether they took good care of the home.
- Budget for the Wear and Tear Issues
When your Cleveland tenant moves out, you can use their security deposit to pay for any damage that they left behind. Damage is their responsibility, and as long as it’s well-documented, you can make any claim against the security deposit that qualifies as tenant-caused.
While damage is the tenant’s expense to incur, you will be responsible for any repairs that are needed due to normal wear and tear. Wear and tear is the deterioration of the property that would normally occur under any circumstances – even if you were living there yourself. Wear and tear includes small holes in the walls from where paintings were hung or scuff marks on the walls from where furniture was placed. If there is wear in the carpet in high-traffic areas, that’s not going to be the tenant’s responsibility.
Budget for these wear and tear items if you want to understand the scope of your likely turnover costs.
Work with your tenants on preventative maintenance, and make sure they report all necessary repairs promptly. Then, you won’t have much to do at turnover time when it comes to taking care of the general wear and tear. That’s going to save money on your turnover costs and ensure you’re able to re-rent the property quickly.
- Budget for Upgrades and Updates
Upgrading and updating your Cleveland rental property isn’t absolutely necessary during the turnover process.
However, it is something you should consider, especially in a competitive market. You’ll have to spend some money on this process, but you’ll likely earn that back in an increased rental value. When you’ve made some improvements to your property, you’re likely to rent it faster and you have a better chance of attracting high-qualified tenants.
We will talk more about what types of improvements will save you the most money when we’re discussing cost-saving strategies, but make sure you have a budget for improvements when you’re preparing a turnover.
Re-Rent Your Cleveland Home Quickly to Reduce Turnover Costs
The first major cost you’ll encounter during the turnover process is vacancy, and when you can limit your vacancy time, you can save a lot of money on the turnover.
Without any rent coming in, you’ll have a depleted reserve to fund the expenses you have to pay. How can you protect your cash flow and long term ROI?
By renting the home again as quickly as possible.
This begins with good tenant relationships. You’ll want to be in constant conversation with your departing tenant. A good relationship means that the tenant will give you plenty of notice before they move. They’ll follow all of the move-out instructions and keep the property well-maintained. They’ll clean it before they leave and they’ll remove all of their personal property and trash.
Timing is also important, and you’ll want your turnover process to move quickly so you can get to the marketing, showing, screening, and re-renting. Approach every turnover with a strict deadline. Establish how quickly you want to get that home re-rented and then work backwards from that target date. With the right vendors and resources and a property that’s already in good shape, it might take you only a day or two to turn the property around and get it back on the market. Without a stated deadline, you can let the process drag on too long.
Preferred Vendors are Critical for Turnover Maintenance and Repairs
Good vendor relationships will keep your turnover costs down. You’ll need a team that can work quickly and professionally. Make sure you already have relationships in place with painters, landscapers, and vendors who can respond to every one of your turnover needs. When they work faster and more cost-effectively, your turnover costs drop.
- Your Preferred Vendors Will Provide Competitive Pricing
The right vendor list will keep your turnover costs down because you get a lot of value when you’re working with vendors and contractors who have worked with you before. They know your home. They appreciate your business. They’re going to provide their best prices.
- Your Preferred Vendors Will Prioritize Your Work
Having relationships in place with a good network of vendors will also ensure you’re not waiting too long for your work to be done. Whether we need a roofer, a fence repaired, an HVAC service, or a restoration project during your turnover, you can count on the team you always use to take care of these things in as little time as possible.
- Vendors Make Good Turnover Recommendations
Maybe you’re wondering if you should repair something again or just replace it. If you repair, you’ll likely save some money. But, the life of that repair may only last a year or two. But if you replace, you will have to spend a little more money now, but the property will look good and the replacement will last for decades. A preferred vendor network will help you make these decisions. You can access their expertise while preparing your home for a new tenant. That’s going to save you money.
Cost-Effective Upgrades and Updates Save Money in the Long Term
To remain competitive in the Cleveland rental market, your property has to be modern and inviting. This might require some updates and upgrades.
Making these renovations may seem like an expense you don’t want to take on during the turnover period. But, it’s better to do it now than later.
Increasing the rental value of your property will reduce what you lose during the turnover work. Take this time to upgrade whatever you can in a way that’s cost-effective.
You don’t need to spend money on a full renovation. There’s no need to gut and rehab the property (unless the former tenants really left a mess). But, when you can make the small improvements that will raise your rental value, those turnover costs can be seen as an investment rather than an expense.
Where should you focus? Consider some of these upgrades, which are among the most cost-effective and most likely to help you earn back what you invest:
- New fixtures on sinks and vanities
- Hard surface flooring instead of carpet
- New lighting in kitchens and bathrooms as well as outside
- Extra storage, especially in kitchens and bathrooms
- New mirrors over vanities
- Updated landscaping
Focus on Tenant Retention in Cleveland
The best way to reduce turnover costs is to avoid turnover.
Easier said than done, we know, but during every tenant turnover, you should take a look at your tenant retention strategies and see if there’s room for improvement. You’re going to have tenants leaving from time to time – they’ll move out of Cleveland or buy a house or move in with loved ones.
But, for the tenants who don’t have to move, are you doing everything you can to keep them in place?
Evaluate what you could do better. Try to find out why they’re moving. Do they simply need more space or are they displeased that you don’t allow pets? Are they looking for a better maintenance response or a more reasonable renewal rate?
We work hard to retain tenants so that turnover costs are irrelevant. When we do have to move out one tenant and prepare your home for a new tenant, we work as quickly and efficiently as possible to keep your costs down.
Your turnover costs need not be extreme. While it’s always better to keep a good tenant in place rather than going through this process and facing a vacancy, you can use the turnover period as an opportunity to create an exceptional rental experience for your next tenant.
If you have any questions about how to effectively manage your Cleveland rental property by keeping turnover costs under control, please contact us IIP Management. We work with owners in Cleveland Heights, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Parma, Solon, and South Euclid (Cuyahoga County).