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Make Ready’s! Using A List May Help Nail Those Details


An apartment turn or make ready is the process of preparing an apartment for someone to move in. At this time you should be doing all the work in a regular preventive maintenance process plus any other repairs in the apartment for someone to live there, and it be in the best available condition.  For the remainder of this article, let's call this process a “make ready.”

A make ready can be very easy or can be extremely complicated according to how much you want to put into it and how well you do your job or how detail oriented you may be.  You should be very detailed oriented anytime you do a make ready because when you do a make ready, it should always be to the best of your ability.The goal is always to give the new resident the absolute best possible apartment in the best condition that you can regardless what kind of property you are working.

The make ready process comes to some people very easily. Even when you think it is the easiest is when you always end up forgetting some details whether it be to lubricate the window slides or caulking around the tub. Something will always be left out, and you’ll end up with one or two maybe, even more, work orders once a new resident moves in and they find those details that you somehow forgot to do.  This is why sometimes even the seasoned pros or the new guy who thinks he’s got this needs a reminder to get the job finished right the first time.

Most of you and even us here at Maintenance911.com have done probably more make readies than you even want to count. I am very detail oriented, and I think this is the best way for a maintenance person to be when you’re giving a new resident a new apartment every detail has to be looked at and scrutinized. I still use a list every time I do a make ready because even the best of us will sometimes forget something no matter what but if you have a list you can always follow the list, and you will usually get 99% of the way through the make ready you working on without missing something.

You probably have done plenty make readies on your property and think you know just about every nook and cranny of every unit. Then you should not have a problem with going into any apartment and be able to make a list of every item you know should be completed on a make ready. Write everything down and then go to another style of apartment and look for the things that you may have missed or may be different in this apartment, and then do it a couple more times. Yes, it takes a little time but once you make the first list, the second one is easier and so on, but make sure you use the same pattern when you walk each unit. Usually to the left and follow the wall even through closets and look from floor to ceiling and note every action you would take doing your make ready.

Now that you have done a few different units take your first list and compare to the second taking any new item on the second list and add to the first, continue this process until you get to the end of your lists and you have one long list. Next, you want to separate these items on your list to rooms or whatever works best for you, but you want to end up with a list that is methodical and easy to understand. This way you can give it to any tech or temporary help, and they would be able to go to any apartment and know everything that is expected to be completed. You can use it to make sure you cover everything even on those busy days when you're bouncing between work orders, make ready’s and the office calling you.

There is an example list posted here in Maintenance911.com Document Library that has two bedrooms and two bathrooms listed with other rooms and general items that will come to you as you start thinking about all the details. In your make ready’s you may only need to do a small list because you have a newer property or maybe you are at the point where you are changing out fixtures that are dated, and your management is trying to present a better product, and you have a much larger list. Whichever of these fit you and your property just remember to give the best product that your budget allows, and everything in this maintenance business is all about the details. Anytime you or one of your fellow maintenance persons needs help or has a question Maintenance911.com is always just a few clicks away.