Turn Student Housing Units More Efficiently

Matthews_Scott_800x600As students leave at the end of the semester, property managers are challenged with updating the units quickly before the next wave of residents move in. Student housing properties require all units to be turned at once, so efficient project management is critical to a seamless transition and a healthy bottom line.

In the past, it has been difficult to find a service provider that could address all the different aspects of turning an entire multifamily property at once. Today, big box retailers such as The Home Depot can streamline the process by helping to manage it from end to end with a single point of contact. The key is compliance with various enterprise resource planning service providers, including Yardi and RealPage—enabling you to take advantage of third-party resources that will maximize productivity when getting facilities ready for a new batch of residents.

The first step to turn units efficiently is to proactively source products well in advance of the turn. Consider sourcing products in December if the units will be turned in June and July. With The Home Depot’s recent acquisition of Interline Brands, which specializes in MRO sourcing and fulfillment, property managers can take advantage of the essentials needed to update facilities by procuring products with a trusted brand.

After the product is sourced, it’s time to create a reliable schedule for fulfillment and delivery. Relieve some of the stress off the management team by outsourcing the project to a service provider that can handle the large volume of products needed to turn units.

For example, The Home Depot’s footprint of more than 2,200 stores can serve as a temporary storage facility for larger appliances. You may need to order new appliances for the student housing units. Instead of finding a place to store the hundreds of refrigerators and oven ranges needed for the facility, Home Depot can break up the delivery to make installation and storage more convenient. Scheduling 50 appliances to be delivered and installed at one time can help managers finish critical tasks and eliminate inefficiencies associated with doing everything in-house.

Installation can be costly and complicated, especially if student housing managers have to find a separate contractor to handle all of the tasks. Instead, use that same third-party resource for installation services.

Consolidating tasks and projects can help eliminate inefficiencies and minimize unexpected costs, especially for student housing managers. Look for opportunities to integrate tasks and outsource the process to a single partner when turning a student housing property.

Scott Matthews is responsible for managing national accounts and e-commerce while overseeing business-to-business relationships. During his 25 years at The Home Depot, he has served in a variety of roles and capacities, including regional pro sales manager, district manager and store manager.