The art of the quick turn
If you want to impress Andrew Propst, get the job done right and early. Propst is president of both the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and Park Place Property Management in Boise, ID. His company oversees about 1,400 multifamily and 800 single-family units, and he’s always in need of paint pros that know the art of the quick turn.
“Vacancy is the most money lost. If you don’t have a reliable painting vendor, it’s all going to take longer. It’s dollars out of that investor’s and property manager’s pocket every day that a unit is empty,” Propst said.
Propst, and paint pros who specialize in quick turns, say there are a few keys to getting a quick turn right and, if done well, they can be the best introduction to a new long-term customer.
Bill Walloch, a manager at Brad Stoner Painting in San Diego, said one of the keys to turning a job quickly is making sure he has enough staff to do it. Strong relationships with employees has allowed Walloch to enjoy some schedule flexibility with his crews, which comes in handy for quick turns.
“I retain a lot of employees and I typically have guys I can move around at the last minute to take care of customers like that,” he added. Walloch also has teams that have been specifically trained to do quick turns.
Propst likes to use a service coordinator for move-outs who can also effectively schedule and communicate with tradesmen. It’s a critical role for his team, but he also expects his paint pros to clarify any scheduling issues up front. “If the painter is skilled but is brought in at the wrong time, that could be a huge problem,” Propst added.
Point out trouble spots that could extend the job before you start, especially on exterior jobs, said Drew Keilt, a commercial sales associate with CertaPro of the Main Line in PA. Rotted wood, damaged surfaces and hard-to-reach areas should be talked through with a property manager before a contract is executed.
“They may tell you, ‘I know a couple areas have some bad spots,’ but they don’t really know. … They may be telling you to put two coats on rotted wood,” he said.